The food in Kolkata is not food; it’s an emotion. The dishes are made with a lot of thought and love, as it is everywhere, though what makes it different is the choice of ingredients and spices. Trying out new dishes here is like a culinary surprise, every time you try something from the street food, to sweets, and authentic Bengali recipes, you can’t help but marvel at the taste and flavours.
Among the traditional culinary delights, one must definitely try the famous Macher Jhol (fish curry). Every restaurant with a Bengali food menu will have this dish. They are paired the best with rice. You can try it at Bhajahori Manna and 6 Ballygunge Place and Peter Cat.
If you’re not an experimental eater, order a plate of Biryani from places like Arsalan, Royal Indian Hotel, and Aminia in the city. The highlight of the dish is the special potato that’s cooked with the rice, lending it an exclusive flavour.
The Bengali counterpart of your North Indian Aloo-Puri, this dish has a unique taste not found anywhere else in the world. Try this for breakfast. Another variant is Shada aloo-luchi, which is also highly recommended.
Considered as one of the best Bengali vegetarian recipes, Shukto is a dish made of a variety of vegetables like potato, pumpkin, bottle gourd and bitter gourd. It’s partly bitter and partly sweet, and is had best with rice or roti. You’ll get the best shukto at Bhajahari Manna and Oh! Calcutta.
Phuchka and Jhalmuri
Kolkata street food has a legacy of its own. You don’t leave the city without trying the phuchka, jhalmuri, and chur-mur. The best places to eat them are: Krisnakant Sharma’s stall at Vardan Market, Ram Gupta’s Stall at Victoria Memorial and Dilipda’s stall at Vivekananda Market.
Telebhaja and chop
Telebhajas are basically fritters made of brinjal and onions. They’re best had as a snack in the evenings with a cup of tea. Aloo chop is perhaps the tastiest of them all. Try them at Kalika Mukhorochak at College Street, Dacre Lane or Mitra Café.
Unlike ordinary rolls, Kathi Rolls has a special place in this city. You get them in egg, mutton, chicken and paneer options and can be had on the go. They’re sometimes had for dinner when people are in the mood for something quick yet tasty. You’ll get some of he best at Kusum’s at Park Street, Anamika Roll Center near Triangular Park and Nizam Rolls at New Market.
Mishti Doi and sandesh
It’s no surprise that the sweets in Bengal are some of the best you’ll ever eat. Try the different flavoured Sandesh, mishti doi, chom-chom, roshogulla from places like Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, K.C. Das and Bheem Nag & Jadav Chandra Das.