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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Kolkata.. Rich Food Heritage

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Kolkata, city of joy has many reasons to attract tourists in India. One of the foremost reasons may be Kolkata’s food culture. There are lots of streets and traditional shops were foods are world renowned. Sweets of Bengal are world famous. Starting from traditional Bengali foods to multicuisine, you name it and we have it. In this blog I will try to give some food destinations of Kolkata.

Traditional Bengali foods have always attracted peoples from all over the world. Starting from regular household recipes to traditional recipes everything is available. Some good destination for Bengali food may be at Taj Bengal (5 Star) restaurant at Belvedere Road, Aheli (Peerless Inn) , Bhojohari Manna at Gariahat Road, Kasturi at Marquis Street, Oh! Calcutta at Forum-Elgin Road, ITC Sonar Bangla at Haladane Road, Hyatt Regency where people can try Ilish Maach (Hilsa Fish), Bhetki Maach (Bhetki Fish), Chitol Maach (Chitol Fish), Tangra Maach (Tangra Fish), Pabda Maach (Pabda Fish),Rui Mach Doi Diye (Rui Fish with Curd Curry) Parse Maach (Parse Fish), Chingri Maach (Prawns), Kankra (Crabs). Apart from Fishes people can try varieties of Mutton dishes like Kosha Manngsho (Richly Prepared Mutton), Dakbanglo (Dry Curry of Mutton), Kochi Pathar Jhol (Gravy item of Mutton) and lots to name a few. Chicken items are also available. The Bengali food is best matched with plain rice. If rice needs to be avoided then loochi (A flour preparation), Paratha, rotis are also available.

An ideal Bengali thali contains Plain Rice with Moong Dal, Allo fry, one side vegetable preparation, Begun Bhaja (Fried Brinjals), One Fish Item, One mutton or chicken item, Prawns, chutney, Papads, deserts (Payas), Sweets and in the end a pan. At ShyamBazaar there is food shop called Golbari. Mangsho (meat) from Golbari is very famous.

Apart from Bengali foods people can try North Indian foods like Punjabi foods or Mughlai even frontier foods are also available. Some famous restaurants include Azad Hind Dhaba at Ballygunje circular road (Punjabi foods), Dum Pakht at ITC Sonar Bangla (Punjabi), Guchi (Punjabi) at Hyatt Regency, Saffron at the Park Hotel in Park Street (Punjabi), Sonargaon at Taj. Frontier foods are available in Kafila at City Center and at Sigree in Silver Arcade EM Bypass Lane. Some dishes that can be tried out here are Biriyanis, Chaps, Kababs, Kormas and Firni. Apart from these big ones a very famous hotel named Royal Indian Hotel is there in Chitpur. It is famous for its Tikiyas, Biriyanis, and chaps. Also similarly Sabir in Ganesh Chandra Avenue is famous for its Rezala. Aminia is famous for its Biriyani.

Chinese food destination includes the famous Park Street. In this place some good Chinese restaurant like Bar-B-Q, Tung-Fong, Peiping, Beijing, Marco Polo In China, Japanese foods at Jongs, Jimmy’s Kitchen at C.I.T road. All types of Chinese foods are available here but if you are really experimental with Chinese food then a good destination will be at Mainland China in Gurusaday Road or at Hakka in City Centre.

There is an area in Kolkata called China Para. In this place you can have the most elegant Chinese food cheap and best in quality, although it is not very safe to go that place.

Multicuisine restaurants include Amber at Waterloo Street, Caught n Bowled in City Center, Sourav’s at Park Street, Charnock City at Salt Lake, sizzlers at Mocambo, Peter Cat in Park Street and continental at Hush and Kobe’s in City Center is also very famous. Other famous restaurants include Floriana at Russell Street, Trincas at Park Street, Kurry Klub at Sarat Bose Road and many more.

There are lots of small hotels like Randu Babu Shop Famous for its Mutton Kasa, Monohar Agor which is famous for its Chops, Aileen is famous for its Prawn Cutlet, Mitra Café is famous for its Kabiraji (A mutton Chop)., Chacha’s Ghoogni (A recipe prepared from Grams and Mutton). Also in Esplanade you can find lots of chat shops. In Anglo Indian Area (Para) you can have Beef Steak from Braganza’s. Even Olly Pub makes good Beef Steak.

Vegetarians are also having good scope for having nice food here. Vegetarian Restaurants Include Rajasthani food delicacy at Teej and Gangaur in Park Street, Haveli at Salt Lake, Haldirams in Rabindra Saranani, ISKON sponsored Gokul, Gupta Brothers, and lots of more including South Indian foods at Raj, Chennai Kitchen and lots more.

Coffee House….Its a status of Kolkata. Big minds like Acharya Jagadish Chandra Basu (Scientist), Satyendra Nath Bose (Scientist), Muzzaffar Ahmed (Affectionately called Kaka Babu, politician), Satyajit Ray (Director), Netaji (No introduction needed), and lots of great mind have tasted its coffee and puffed packets of cigarettes here. From this place great ideas born. Although now smoking is banned, but still coffee house preserves its status and glory. A whole blog can be written on coffee house. It is located in just opposite to Presidency College at College Street an area famous for books and Bengalis called this area as “Boi Para” (Area of Books).

Apart from these things there are MacDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Barista, and CCD. Modern Bengalis go to these places where as oldies like me prefer Sharbat from Kaplia Ashram.

Sweets are the most valuable food in a Bengali thali. Rassgulla, Gulapjamun, Sondesh, Rabri, Cham Cham, Doi (Dahi), Ladoo to name a few. Sweet culture in Kolkata can be divided in two categories. One Bengali sweets and other Non-Bengali sweets.

Bengali sweets include Rassgulla (Mascot of Kolkata), Cham Cham, Monohora, Malpoa, Chanar Jalebi, Doi, Nikhuti, Jora Mundi, Sor Bhaja, verities of Sandesh, Ladicanni, Langcha, Kalo Jam, Dorbesh, Danadar, Ladoo, Rabri, RasMundi, Chana pora to name a few. Famous Bengali shops include Bheem Nag, Nabin Chandra Moira, Bancharam, Ganguram, Gobindo, Satyanarayan, K.C Das, Balaram, Girish Nakur, to name a few.

Non Bengali sweets are from north India. It is available at Haldiram’s, Chappan Bhog, Bhikaram, Bikaner Bhujiawala and lots more.

Some famous confectionary includes Flurys, Nahoms, Cakes, Kookie Jar, Candy Treats. Ice cream can be available at Baskin Robbins Outlets, Mamma Mia at Ballygunje Circular Road, Xrong Place etc. Try Lemon Tart at Kookie Jar.

Pan is the end touch to Bengali Thali. Lots of Pan shops are there in Kolkata.Famous is Dutta Babur Paan in college street where a single pan can give you a pinch of 5000 Rupees.

At the end we will come to Bars. Famous bars include Chowringhee Bar (Excellent Vodka are available), Cloud Nine at Astor, Polo Club at Hotel Hindustan International, The Bar at Hyatt Regency (Lovely Cocktails), The Junction at Taj (best Ambience), Trincas and many more.

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Ambarish Pandeyhttp://www.pak-times.com
Ambarish Pandey is currently working for PricewaterhouseCoopers PVT. LTD. in India, Kolkata. He is a Senior Consultant in the Advisory Division of the firm. He holds Engineering degree from Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur, India's second oldest Engineering college. Besides Developing websites and other software jobs he loves to blog on Women, Minority Issues. His hobbies are Cooking, Collectibles and Archeology(Egyptology), Bengal's & Punjab's History... His book on cookery in Bengali under title "Hesel"(Kitchen) has been published in India.
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