Eating out in Kolkata is satisfying and a treat, for sure! Homemade food comes in abundance, like I said in my last post, but if you want to step out you have options galore.
Find my last post on homemade food and stories of Kolkata here ~ https://anartsyappetite.com/winter-in-kolkata-homemade-food-and-stories/
Calcutta and tea go hand in hand. We love our tea! This is in Dolly’s Tea Shop – named after it’s owner who was the first woman tea-taster in India . This cute little tea-shop is a perfect alternative for cafes, especially if you like trying different teas and want a quick bite. They come in all flavors and you can buy a variety of excellent quality tea from them. A must visit when in Kolkata!
As the first meal, let’s begin with breakfast. I am not a big fan of Bengali breakfasts. Primarily because the breads that is common for this meal – luchis, paranthas, kochuri – they are all deep fried. I have never been a fan of any bread that’s deep fried. But mind you that I am an exception of sorts! Bengalis love their breakfast options and can probably eat them everyday if they had their way. This breakfast was for my brother and AB, and knowing that they were open to eating anything my Mami pampered them with Shingara and Jalebi (picture on top), and Kochuri Alu-r Dum.
One day as we were walking through the busy streets of Gariahat, I found this Phuluri man, frying these spiced lentil snack. It is served with two kinds of chutneys or dips. Remember I told you in my earlier post (here) that we love deep-fried food! Who doesn’t, lets be honest.
‘Chola Chyapta’ – one of my favorite street snacks since it isn’t deep fried!! These are flattened garbanzo beans that’s roasted and then mixed with spices and salt. What I was shocked at this time was the price. The price of this little pack of this has gone up exactly 10 times!
Phuchka!! These pictures don’t capture the food a whole lot but this is probably the most favorite street food in Kolkata! Crunchy, hollow, fried puffs filled with spiced potato and dipped in sweet-tangy-hot tamarind flavored water. It is a flavor burst in your mouth.
The purpose for this picture is to show you the diligency of the seller and the demand of this snack. It was cold in Kolkata and late that day. I made him stay back and let me photograph him. He grumbled but finally gave in. I could understand his pain. He was badgered to make a phuchka without me eating any.
The local flower shops are pretty, too. As we walked past this tiny little shop the bright lights caught my attention and the gorgeous yellow marigolds.
AB and I ate out together with friends around 5 or 6 times. This was a really tasty meal in a new restaurant that has opened in the city by Mainland China. Food was excellent. We did not order a ton but it was good for a not-so-hungry group of four.
One particular cuisine that is a favorite in the city is Chinese food. Don’t jump out of your seats wondering how a city in India have a popular Chinese cuisine! These fried rices (picture above), chowmeins, chicken, meat, and seafood is cleverly modified to suit our palate. And honestly, anyone who has ever had Chinese food in Calcutta, vouch for it versatility. Children love it so parents worry less about feeding them when they need to eat out.
I especially ordered a dessert (even without a sweet tooth) because its been eons since I had a Sizzling Brownie with Icecream. It is commonly found in some restaurants in the city – the brownie sizzles in chocolate sauce on a skillet, and there’s a contrasting cold scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!
From weddings to random eat-outs, Indians love their good old natural, mouth freshner – the Paan. It’s beetle-leaf that has a filling of chopped nuts, sometimes grated coconut, sweetened dried fruits, and mints – all carefully wrapped up in the leaf. The sweetness of the leaf also varies and you can ask the Paan Shop person to adjust to your taste. I would always have the Sweet Paan (Mitha Paan) since I didn’t like the drier version.
Kolkata is my birth place and I will visit the city every other year. Making these posts on food in Kolkata tempts me to photograph way more of what the city has to offer to a gastronome. There is TONS more to eat in Calcuuta – Mughlai food, more Chinese dishes, phuchka varieties, Indian chaat, Kathi rolls, the list just goes on…
Until I do that, happy eating! And if you happen to travel to Kolkata/Calcutta, be prepared to indulge your tummy!