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Kapil Gumasta Mar 26 2014

How to eat like a local in Kolkata?

Benazir Khan Mar 26 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Diving into the heart of the city of joy, Kolkata, you will find that gist of treasure that lies in this very warm city. The gift of gastronomy. For if there is any city in India, which really knows its local food, it is Kolkata. Here's enlisting a must eat local food in Kolkata, one after the other, in order of their appeal to the senses.

Maach Bhaath in roadside stalls at Camac Street

A lot of eyebrows might raise for this one, as the entire city is flooded with options for the best plate of fish over rice (as it means in literal translation). However, the special flavour of spices and an added touch of butter and onions, with lemon zest atop the starchy white rich only exemplifies the essence of what will soon be divested off the plate.

A photo of fish over rice (by Ramakrishna Reddy Y)

Biryani and Rezala at Arsalan, Park Circus

A one stop restaurant for all your cravings for food that ranges from rich to richest in terms of gastronomical order. Dig into a plateful of the Mutton Biryani or a spoonful of a quarter plate of the Mutton Rezala, as it is one of the famous local dishes in Kolkata. Chicken is a good option for those who prefer a lighter meat/meal. With your colas in place at Arsalan, get set to be transported to another plane of existence altogether.

A photo of the famed Biryani (by Jayzain)

Rolls at Bedouin, in Gariahat

Egg, chicken, fish, mutton, come with a definite coating of the egg batted into the dough and moulded thereafter for the purpose of frying it in a circular shape. Vegetarians, you won't lose out at Bedouin, there are some specials for you as well, if you bear it out with a little patience to customise your roll, after standing in the long queue for a while.

A photo of the typical rolls served here (by SoHome Jacaranda Lilau)

Puchkas at Maidan

One of the reasons why the city is even considered a stalwart institution in the preparation of this favourite snack of the country, puchkas served here will only mark the beginnings of good times. Moreso, because it is must eat local food in Kolkata. The stuffing of aalu bhorta (mashed potatoes with chickpeas) simply won't let you move from the spot, irrespective of the downpour or the sun.

A photo of panipuris - the generic form of puchkas available throughout India (by Hari Prasad Nadig)

Authentic Chinese food at Topsia, Tangra

Chinese-Chinese food is not mere lingo anymore, but a means to identify with an authentic Chinese preparation from the people from their mainland themselves. The Chinese community in Tangra dishes out some very scrumptious savouries here - from momos - steamed and fried, to thick soups, dough sticks, Shu Mei and Tai Paos, everything served up makes it worth your while in the humid weather.

A photo of a thick broth preparation (by wEnDy)

Cholar dal aar luchi at Dacres' Lane

Brilliant in terms of its simplicity and even more heartwarming in its gentle appeal to the tongue and the belly, this is a plate of food you don't want to miss as it is one of the famous local dishes in Kolkata. The winters in Kolkata make for an even better time to gorge into this delicacy of flour-based, oil-tossed bread with the yellow pulse gravy. To add to this is the pleasant charm of finishing off with a earthen pot of mishti doi (sweetened yogurt) after this.

A photo of Cholar dal (by Rydia)

Singara, kochuri, alur dom and doodh cola at Balwant's Dhaba at Elgin Road

A solemn response to the hunger pangs which exist, but not really comes but naturally in one of the many places to eat in Kolkata. Dig in to some of these exquisites, to translate - samosas, kachoris served with dum aalu, with sime piping hot tea, over what they call an adda in Kolkata (a get-together of people to banter about topics ranging from politics to anything at all).

A photo of dum aalu (by the Commons repository)

Telebhaja and Jhalmuri at Howrah Bridge

Pristine and clear as the waters appear and the soft murmurs that you hear from a distance or ajar fill you with a sense of contemplation, which comes but naturally. Atop one of the many ferry boats which transpose you into a soothing little shell of Kolkata, having these goodies - telebhaja (brinjal fry/potato fry) with jhalmuri (rice puffs mixed with a host of spices, onions and raw chillies) only add to the experience, as it is one of the best must eat local food in Kolkata.

A photo of Jhalmuri (by Harsha K R)

Radhaballabhi with dal or dum aalu at Swinhoe Street

The difference here is in the details. And the details here include a small helping of boiled dal stuffing moulded into the flour which is later rolled out, fried and dished out as, what people would ideally relate to as puris. Eating it plain is as good as eating it with the mentioned accomplices, the smile inevitably never fades away, as it is indeed one of the best must eat local food in Kolkata.

A photo of stuffed puris (by the Commons repository)

Sandesh at Mithai

Wheat and jaggery make good long-term partners with milk. The fact will be established and re-established here in Mithai, from time to time. Simply go for sinful bites of roshogolla, sandesh of an enormous spread in terms of variety and numbers and the chamchams, to milk the opportunity to its zenith.

A photo of Sandesh (by Biswarup Ganguly)

Just when you thought there was nothing left to explore, come a plethora of new ways and places to savour the same old yum-yums. I'm sure you'd agree and partake in the guilty pleasures of the instinct that drives you to these famous local dishes in Kolkata - from one food crate to another. Till then, bhalo theko (stay well). Bon Appetit.

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