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.

Now when i think of June, my heart fills with sorrow….no more bedouin, no more roll, no more “pet kharap” and frequent visits to the loo at night :(
Everything has to come to an end. And i guess my 5 year long affair with Food too. 
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About Agnivo Niyogi

Typical Bong intellectual, reader, writer, news addict, opinionated, tweet-a-minute King. Aspiring journalist/politician. PhD dropout. Pursuing my passion of writing professionally now.

Posted on April 13, 2010, in kolkata and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. "…Oh i swear! Why do people waste 100 bucks over tea when you can have it better and cheaper on the streets?…"Essence of the post! Loved it for sheer.. wat we call in our twitter hashtag #OhJustLikeMe

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  2. in this matter we are not #confusedvellas brother :))))

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  3. Nice thinking bro :) hmmmmm

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  4. Aditya Nandode

    I swear, i went through all the best street i had since i first stepped in Pune, still love them all, have even taken some friends on visit her on round trip to gobble street food, and Sinhagad too for the sole reason of unique food available there, and not for any historical reasons, like most do!

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  5. @aditya street food zindabad :)))

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  6. Lovely.

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  7. Mumbai has its share of "cheap and good" food … all urban places share this common agenda.. of competing to get the best of the lowest.. and it succeeds most of the time.. at least in the matter of food it does! Food Zindabad!

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  8. @vimal @shakti yeahhhhhh Food zindabad!!!

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  9. Bedit Banerjee

    Nice blog, Aagan.'Kolkata Street Food' will be a part of me forever & ever. Keep up the good work. :)))

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  10. thanx Bedit :))))

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  11. thenewdimension

    Nice Post. You go any city of India, you will find these street food vendors. They actually are the face of the other India who resisted the modernization in the Indian Market. The cause, their quality and the friendly way they treat their customers. They didn't learn it fm any B-School. That's what i strongly feel about these vendors.Well, the post reminded me that i haven't had anything on the street in recent past. So planning to eat some GupChups (you call them Fuchka) tonight with friends. :)

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  12. thanx a lot thenewdimension well what u have said is absolutely true :) the behavious and the prices attarct crowds to them!

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  13. Subham Dasgupta

    well…what will i say…i have been mentioned many a times over in the blog…just that street food…with all its unhygienic quality, rocks…i shall miss it too agni…missing it rather …

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  14. is short; eat. is one of the fav. tweet I enjoyed yesterday. And now: "Over the ages the eating habits have definitely changed but the "bhojon rosik" bangali has not. aagan, it is my personal opinion that those who love to eat and enjoy eating are nice people. But U said that this enjoyment will not be there from June. Okay…enjoyed this food oh blog!

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  15. Somesh Mukherjee

    Now, I have to agree with you on this point: Kolkata does have the best street food in the country. A whole lot of variety, from fuchkas to rolls, ice-creams to Boiled Frog in red sauce (maybe not the last one)Although I am rather sad i don't live in kolkata. I am stuck in a pathetic excuse for s city: Kalyani. I do cherish the time I spend in Kolkata when I visit it.

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  16. yes bhamuu i already miss it!

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  17. smokochino..i agree one of the best discoveries i have made…yus yus..the fooding habits of bhamuu and agni..the cynosure of all our get togethers..and how confidently we girls wud order food and rely on agni nd bham to finish it for us!! agni is synonymous to food for sure..in a way u surpass bham also!

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  18. Subham Dasgupta

    sakshi..dont be so sure…agni has lost his appetite…u will be able to consume twice as much as him in a restro nowadays

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