We do not need a cause to hang out at the wayside puchka-waala or bhel puri-waala. Whether waiting for friends before tuitions or a short break while working in office, we just can’t escape from the urge to dig into these not-so healthy, yet so-appetizing roadside delights!
Can you imagine wandering around Park Street without having the mouth-watering puchkas? If it comes to food, Kolkata was never unsuccessful to satisfy a food lover with its irresistible lip-smacking list of foods. Not only are its very own puchka, jhal-muri, telebhaja famous – Kolkata has incorporated different street foods of other Indian states along with other countries.
So if your tongue has already started licking your lips, I’d say to hold on your taste buds, as our list will assuredly set your tummy on a roll. So now, come with me as I intend to take you on a delectable journey.
Puchka and Churmur
Puchkas are the Kolkata versions of Paani Puri or Golgappe. Whatever can be the name, but there is absolutely no better alternative to beat the heat than these little minty-tangy delights. Puchka stalls are present at almost each and every corner of Kolkata. It’s offered with a staffing of mashed potatos mixed with spices and dipped in “tetul-jol” (tamarind water).
Churmur is a cousin of Puchka. Those who do not like wet and messy food they can opt for Churmur. The ingredients of Puchka are crushed and chutney is used for additional flavor.
Please don’t be careless enough to miss these mouthful delicacies.
These are deep fried food items like the ‘pakoda’ but mostly made with potato, beetroot and various other vegetables. Under the generic name of telebhaja, there are many items like, aloo chop, vegetable chop, beguni etc etc. You can eat them alone or with puffed rice, if you like. They are found in roadside stalls.
This is served in a paper plate and made by using ‘papdi’ which is made out of flour and is a circular flat shaped crunchy ingredient and is served with boiled chopped potatoes, tomatoes, onions and others along with curd, red chutney and coriander.
There are many stalls; you can find it in ‘mela’s as well. Do try everywhere because there are wonderful outlets which have their own magic recipes.
This is mainly made of puffed rice and bhujia and it has a topping of a tasty and tangy tamarind juice. Though people says its best at the back gate of the Victoria Memorial but you can try from the others as well. They are also available close to shopping and tourist destinations.
Triangular shaped deep fried snacks. It is made out of flour and mixed vegetables are used for staffing. Have it hot and with sauce or chutney or without nothing at all. It is again available at every alley and sweet shop.
Kolkata is the main destination for rolls and a favorite for all food lover, they are prepared by wrapping up mutton, chicken or other ingredients inside the ‘lachha paratha’ (fried flat bread) which looks like a rolled up paratha, so it’s called ‘roll’. Egg rolls, kathi rolls, mutton rolls, chicken rolls, egg-mutton rolls, egg-chicken rolls, tikka roll, double egg roll, vegetable roll, paneer roll,– the list will never stop. It is one thing you must never miss out once you’re in Kolkata. There are many roll corners in Kolkata, try and you’ll know which is the best matche fot your tongue.
It is one of the favorite time-pass snacks of kolkatans, made by mixing puffed rice with onions, peanuts, coriander and other spices and different ingredients, served in a rolled paper bag. The sellers usually carry the ingredients and packets with them in many alleys to sell, or, make a permanent shop. This is available everywhere in Kolkata.
This Chinese food available at Kolkata is distinctively Kolkatan. It has been altered to a great extent catering to the demands of the people. A plate of egg, mutton, chicken, and veg chowmein is available everywhere. It is a favorite with youngsters and office goers.
The noodles are scorched on high heat in Indian style woks so they are smoky flavored, and a bit on the greasy side. A plate of chow is salty, and dangerously tasty.
It is a very popular snack in Bengal. It is made with ‘motor dal’ and cooked with myriad spices including Bhaja Masla. You may have tasted this outside Kolkata but the Ghugni available here is a thing of its own. This works as an appetizer, because the more you have it, the more you want it. This is available everywhere in Kolkata.
This is mainly available in the morning because many office goers or even students have it as breakfast. It’s actually a type of ‘puri-sabzi’ but the sabzi is replaces with ‘chola dal’, ‘aloo torkari’ or ‘aloo dum’. A plate of Kachori will be easy for the pocket but extremely satisfying for your tummy as well as your taste-buds.
These is traditional Tibetan dishes but have been incorporated by Kolkata’s street food culture. You will get these every corner of Kolkata nowadays. Steamed or fried, momo is a recent favorite among Kolkatans. It is a type of dumpling, but by origin did not have vegetables or chicken as the stuffing. That’s totally Kolkata’s input.
The honest-to-God, amazing union of chanachur, onion and lemon juice, is the Kolkata Street Food to have when you’re at Princep Ghat with your friends or lover, walking alongside the river in all its serenity. All says, at Princep Ghat, tea and various types of snacks are to die for and not to be missed.
It is an admirable illustration of Mughal impact on the cuisine of Bangal, that has now become the most sought after street food of Kolkata. The paratha is usually stuffs with ‘keema’ (minced meat) and then covered with egg; then they are shallow fried in hot oil. It is essential to have it as main course, because if you have it in the evening as a snack – be ready to skip dinner.
South Indian delicacies
You will hardly notice a man making vada or dosa at a roadside shop. Dosa, vada, idli are the ones mostly found at these stalls where dosa gains the highest demand. The taste has been lightly altered to meet the taste needs of Kolkatan. You can try the original ones at restaurants.
The street kebabs are as tasty as the ones available at restaurants; especially the ones available at Lord’s and Arsalan. They serve these hot, spicy and yummy kebabs with red or green sauce and one plate can be easily shared with a friend. You can get every type of Kebabs in here.
It is extremely popular in Kolkata. It is a thin cooked meat of mutton, chicken, fish or beef stuffing that is fried with a covering or batter. You can grab them from roadside food corners.