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When one talks of Durga Pujo, it's imperative to talk about pandal hopping and some mouthwatering street foods of Kolkata, of course!
Durga Puja is a time of pandal hopping, celebrations, and – you guessed it, the street foods of Kolkata!
Unlike in most of the country where Navaratri usually means on vegetarian fare, Durga Pujo is the time to indulge in yummy non-vegetarian food, which is also found as blog to the Goddess, and every pandal has their own version of it.
While we are out and about exploring different neighborhoods and their extravagant pandals, we cannot miss the unique street food experience during Pujo. Here are some must-have street foods of Kolkata during Pujo.
Among the street foods of Kolkata, the Kathi rolls are possibly the most versatile, with the most popular versions being egg and chicken rolls. The possibilities are endless with many variations of flavors and fillings available, including vegetarian ones.
Image source: Anish Arunkumar Pandya from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
Best eaten with green chutney and crunchy raw onions, they make for an excellent snack at any time of the day, while also being filling enough to see you through a busy evening of pandal hopping. Some of the best ones are available at Park Street.
While tangy, spicy snacks dominate the street food scene, Mishti Doi is the Bengali queen of sweets found in all stalls outside pandals.
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The creamy, caramelized sweet yogurt is served in tiny earthen pots and is a good change from the other spicy fare.
Balaram Mullick And Radharam Mullick is a popular chain of sweet shops known to serve the best Mishti Doi.
Without getting into the biryani debate, it is safe to say that Kolkata’s Biryani is one of the best, with tenderly cooked meat and mildly spiced potatoes being the stars of the dish.
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There are multiple locations where one can find amazing biryani, but both chicken and mutton Biryanis from Arsalan’s and Aminia’s are time-tested favorites. They have multiple branches across the city.
Golgappa, Pani Puri, or Puchchka – there is no introduction needed for this all-time favorite street food.
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The flavor burst that happens when you bite into the crispy outer puri, with the mix of spicy, tangy liquids gushing into your mouth takes you straight to foodie heaven.
The best puchchkas in town can be found at Vivekananda Park at Dilip Da’s Puchka stall.
Ghugni is Bengal’s answer to Chole, with motor (white peas) being the star of the dish.
Image source: Aham Singha Roy from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
During Pujo, Ghugni can be usually found outside all pandals. A good ghugni has the peas boiled to melt-in-the-mouth consistency, is mildly spiced, and garnished with fresh coriander, raw onions, and coconut bits.
Check out the ghugni stalls in Dacres Lane that claim to offer an authentic version.
Kolkata is known for its lip-smacking Indo-Chinese fare.
Image source: Debmaiya Mazumdar from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
Momos, both steamed and fried are available with a variety of stuffing including fish, chicken, pork, and vegetables. (Psst, don’t miss the sauce and the soup that it comes with!) The chow-mein and the chilli chicken are also popular favorites, available outside every pandal.
If you are looking at exclusive Chinese street fare, Terreti Bazar is the place to be.
Minced fish, mutton, or chicken coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried, this irresistible dish is a Durga puja exclusive, rare to find otherwise. There is also a variation made with aloo for vegetarians.
One place to find this addictive snack is at Mondol Snacks around Maniktala, from where the above image has been taken.
Lebu Cha is the spicy, tangy, lemon tea that is unique to Kolkata’s streets.
A special mixture of spices like ginger powder, black salt, and pepper elevates the flavors and makes it the perfect thirst quencher after an evening of pandal hopping. Walk along the lanes of Gariahat and Park Street to find the most authentic Lebu Cha sold by vendors on the street.
What is your favorite Bengali Street Food? Do you have an all-time favorite serving up the best local food during Durga Puja? Tell us in the comments!
Image source: Still from Daawat-e-Ishq
An engineer turned SAHM of two who wants to be known beyond that. Passionate about words, parenting, making eco-friendly choices, feminism and lifelong learning. read more...
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