Street Food in Kolkata
As promised i am back with my second offering in my series of posts on Kolkata….celebrating my stay in this beautiful city for the last five years. With just one and half months more left for me for “pattari gotano” i am looking back at the days that shaped me. 3 brilliant years in Presidency College and two not so great yet wonderful years in Department of Biochemistry,CU. So, what did i do all these years that make them so special??? Like i mentioned in my post “Kolkata & Me” my friends made my stay in this city pleasurable. This time i wish to explore another avenue of this “Mohanagori”. Food.
Bangali and Khaabar are synonymous. In our literature we have read how the babus used to hog “kobji dubie”, the great Bengal famine of 1943….Khadyo Andolon that brought the present state government to power….food has had a strong relationship with Bengal. Over the ages the eating habits have definitely changed but the “bhojon rosik” bangali has not.
Street Food is immensely popular in any city. For people like us who do not have the resources to frequent CCD or KFC everyday, street food provides an alternative that is superior in quality to the high priced food in the corporatist eateries.
Be it the chicken roll at gariahat bedouin or fuchka outside college,the borofer thela at gariahat crossing or momo at exide, Kolkata has the variety like no where else.
Those who know me know well how much i eat. Monginis, Sugar and Spice, Bedouin or the quintessential thela wallah earn a lot out of my pocket!
In fact it was the shared love for food that brought me and bhamuu closer….a bond we still cherish although we do not eat out together like we did in Presi days.
That reminds me of the Lebu jol wallah who sits outside Presi’s gates and also the aam sherbet seller outside Indian Coffee House. Even the dosa wallah :)
I still remember what Sakshi had written in my autograph diary after we passed out of Presidency College : “it took Agnivo from jalpaiguri and bhamuu from jadavpur to introduce sakshi from deshapriya park to the rolls of smokochino just 2minutes away from my home” :) Quite an achievement!!!
Jadavpur is a hotbed of street food…when i stayed with my pishi during my initial days in Kolkata, i used to hog away to glory at the thela wallahs who sell all junk food at the 8B bus stand.In fact i was waiting for Bhamuu and Linz at prince Anwar Shah crossing one evening. The wait cost my wallet two chicken rolls & a cup of tea at a roadside stall.
Also the trips to the British Council Library were supplemented with momos at the exide crossing and then a roll at Saima :)
When i stayed in my PG at Triangular park, i used to take evening strolls by the lake everyday. The walk around Southern Avenue used to pass away in seconds with the roll from the shop opposite ramkrishna Mission Library and fuchka at Vivekananda Park.
Recently i had been to Barista with some friends. And the same evening i sipped on some lemon tea inside Nandan Campus. Oh i swear! Why do people waste 100 bucks over tea when you can have it better and cheaper on the streets?
People have issues with hygiene when it comes to street food. Its a simple case of ignorance. Anything good comes with a price.Its a small price you have to pay for savoring the culinary delights on the streets.