When it comes to experiencing the cuisine of Kolkata, there’s no better way to do it than to hit the streets! Places such as Dacres Lane, Esplanade, Strand Road, Rabindra Sadan, China Town, Bura Bazaar, Vivekananda Park, New Market, and Bhawanipore have the best street food on offer.
So pick a street, whet your appetite, and look out for these local favourites:
Phuchka is known by many names like Pani Puri, Golgappa, Gupchup, Patashe, et al, but I promise you this: Calcutta undisputedly has the best version of it. Here, the crisp round puris are filled with tangy mashed potatoes and served with tamarind-lemon water…mmm!
2. Kathi Rolls
From chicken to paneer, mutton, and prawns, Kathi Rolls are soul-satisfying delights available in every nook and cranny of Kolkata.
Skewered kebabs are rolled inside golden brown parathas, and served with chutney, ketchup, onions, and a dash of lime. Over the years, many variants have evolved, each tasting like something you’ve never tasted before!
3. Fish/Veg Chop
These croquettes are filled with either fish or vegetables with a crispy coating on the outside — deep-fried and absolutely delish! They’re different from Fish Fingers, which are not as spicy as the chops.
4. Jhaal Muri
Jhaal means spicy and muri means puffed rice. This dish is similar to Bhel available in Mumbai. Prepared with various spices, Jhaal Muri is the cheapest and the tastiest street snack you can chomp on.
This ain’t your usual aloo puri, guys. It is tastier than you can imagine. We’re talking about deep-fried luchis (puris) that have a filling of dal (either chana or urad) and are served with yummy aloo ki sabzi (the gravy varies in consistency as per one’s liking).
Radhaballavi is a popular breakfast option — equally delicious at any hour of the day!
Momos are popular across India. But did you know that in Kolkata, the usual way of having them is not with mayonnaise or chutney? Here, we enjoy them with clear soup. Both veg and non-veg momos are finger-licking good, and leave a great taste in your mouth.
7. Mughlai Parathas
They’re usually available at roadside joints that serve Kathi Rolls. These heavenly parathas are stuffed with egg, mutton or chicken kheema.
It’s one of the dishes from the Mughal era that ruled the undivided Bengal’s heart, and continues to do so in Bangladesh and the adjoining areas.
8. Roadside Chinese
Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Our palates have become used to the Indianised version of the cuisine. But if you’re in mood for authentic Chinese, then Kolkata’s China Town is the place to be at. And if you are looking for a middle-ground, then pick any roadside joint. They maintain a great balance, while Indianising the food just enough to please your tummy!
Apart from these snacks, there’s a lot more that Calcutta has to offer. Each nukkad has something delicious in store.
What’s your favourite street food? Tell us in the comments below.