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These dishes showcase the diversity and richness of Kolkata’s culinary traditions, ranging from street food delights to traditional Bengali delicacies, each offering a unique and flavourful experience.

Kolkata’s food scene is vibrant and diverse, offering a plethora of flavours and dishes that truly embody the city’s rich culinary heritage. Here’s a more detailed look at the top foods not to miss:

Rosogolla: Bengali sweets are a highlight, and Rosogolla tops the list. These soft and spongy cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup are beloved across the region. The delicacy melts in your mouth, leaving behind a sweet and creamy flavour.

Phuchka (Puchka/Golgappa): Kolkata’s streets are incomplete without these tangy and spicy water bombs. Crispy, hollow puris are filled with a mix of tamarind water, spicy mashed potatoes, chickpeas, and a blend of spices, creating a burst of flavours in every bite.

Kathi Rolls: Originating from the iconic Nizam’s, Kathi Rolls are a quintessential Kolkata street food. Succulent kebabs or chunks of chicken or mutton, seasoned with spices, are wrapped in parathas or flatbreads, making for a convenient and delicious meal on-the-go.

Macher Jhol: Bengal’s love affair with fish is evident in Macher Jhol. This light and flavourful fish curry, often made with freshwater fish like Rohu or Hilsa, combines the piquancy of mustard oil with spices and vegetables, creating a harmonious blend of flavours.

Kosha Mangsho: A tantalizing Bengali mutton dish, Kosha Mangsho, involves slow-cooking tender mutton pieces in a medley of spices until they turn succulent and aromatic. The result is a robust, spicy, and utterly delicious curry.

Mishti Doi: This creamy and sweetened yogurt dessert is a Bengali classic. Prepared by fermenting sweetened milk in earthen pots, Mishti Doi has a luscious texture and a subtle sweet-tangy taste.

Chingri Macher Malai Curry: This is a quintessential Bengali dish featuring prawns cooked in a luscious coconut milk-based gravy, delicately flavoured with spices. The creamy texture and delicate flavours make it a must-try for seafood lovers.

Shondesh: Another sweet delight, Shondesh, is made from chhena (paneer), sugar, and often flavoured with cardamom or saffron. These bite-sized confections come in various shapes and flavours, offering a perfect balance of sweetness.

Aloo Posto: A simple yet flavoursome Bengali dish made of potatoes cooked with poppy seed paste and spices, Aloo Posto showcases the elegance of Bengali vegetarian cuisine with its unique blend of flavours.

Mughlai Paratha: This stuffed paratha is a street food favorite in Kolkata. Stuffed with a mix of minced meat, eggs, and spices, it’s fried until crispy and served with a tangy chutney or gravy.

Jhalmuri: Kolkata’s version of a spicy and tangy snack mix made with puffed rice, chopped vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, peanuts, and an assortment of spices. Tossed together with tamarind sauce and mustard oil, it’s a popular street food snack.

Bhetki Paturi: A traditional Bengali delicacy where fillets of Bhetki fish are marinated with a paste made of mustard seeds, coconut, and spices. The marinated fish is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or grilled, imparting a unique flavour.

Aloo Kabli: A tangy and spicy snack made with boiled potatoes, chickpeas, chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, and a mix of spices. Tossed in tangy tamarind chutney, this street food is both flavourful and refreshing.

Dimer Devil: A Kolkata-style egg dish where hard-boiled eggs are coated in a spicy mixture of mashed potatoes, onions, and spices, dipped in beaten egg, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried until golden and crispy.

Mochar Chop: A vegetarian delight made from banana flowers (mocha), boiled and mashed, mixed with spices, shaped into patties, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried to crispy perfection.

Ghugni: A popular Bengali snack made with dried yellow peas cooked in a spicy gravy with onions, tomatoes, spices, and tamarind water. It’s often garnished with chopped onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves.

Kolkata Biryani: A distinct variety of biryani known for its use of fragrant rice, marinated meat (usually chicken or mutton), and aromatic spices, cooked in layers. Potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are common accompaniments.

Chingri Bhaapa: A traditional Bengali dish where prawns are marinated with mustard paste, coconut, green chilies, and spices, then steamed in banana leaves, infusing the flavours and creating a fragrant and delicate dish.

Aam Porar Shorbot: A refreshing summer drink made from roasted raw mango pulp, sugar, water, and a hint of spices like black salt or roasted cumin powder. It offers a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and tangy flavours.

Kuler Achar: A unique Bengali pickle made from kuler (berries) marinated in mustard oil, mustard paste, spices, and sometimes jaggery. It’s a blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours that pairs well with rice dishes.

From the street stalls to traditional eateries, these dishes represent the soul of Kolkata’s culinary culture, showcasing a blend of flavours, textures, and aromas that will leave you craving for more.

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