People who have left the city of joy and cannot visit Kolkata during the Pujas can take this virtual ride through the streets of Kolkata. After all it’s October, and once again time for Durga Puja and most importantly PeytPujo (feast for the tummy).
There is a history behind our Bong cuisine. There was a time when Kolkata used to have a large community of Jews, Armenians, Chinese and Anglo Indians and hence the Bong cuisine was a truly eclectic mix of Mughlai paranthas, Chinese chowmin, Armenian dolmas Jewish mahashas, Portuguese Bandel cheese and British cutlets making the cuisine truly international.
To spice things up the festive season, Monkey Bar, India’s favourite gastro-pub, celebrates Kolkata’s biggest festival Durga Pujo with a gastronomic trip down the iconic lanes of India’s favourite street food destination.
Next Stop Kolkatathroughout the month of October will offer Kolkata’s finest flavours, just off the streets. From the Beadon Street Fish Roll to Girish Park-er Shoitan Deem, College Street Hing-er Kochuri to Chitpur Road Chicken Rezala, from Tiretti Bazaar Prawn Dumpling to Esplanade Mughlai Porota, Vardaan Market Moong Daal Pakodi Chaat to Elgin Road Pork Momos, Lake Market Chicken Kabiraji to Vivekanand Park Ghooghni covering a whole range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Celebrating the City of Joy and India’s favourite street food destination- you can delve deep into the streets, stalls and by-lanes which will bring you the most iconic street food. The food is been curated by home-chef Iti Misra and MonkeyBar’s Head Chef Dheeraj Varma.
Our guides this year,Kolkata based home-chef Iti Misra and MonkeyBar’s Head Chef Dheeraj Varma, have scoured the by-lanes and nondescript stalls of Kolkata to curate a festive menu that highlights the best of Kolkata’s Street food – one that captures the spirit of the city, which is often called ‘a melting pot of people, cultures and cuisines’. “Next Stop Kolkata” brings alive the sights, sounds, memories and aromas of Kolkata’s vibrant streets with a menu of small plates, mains and cocktails, each with a signature Monkey twist. Join us this festive season, as we visit Kolkata’s unique history and food culture.
What’s truly ironic and a brilliant example of Kolkata’s multi-culture in itself is that most of its street food does not really originate in the city. Be it the momos made famous by the Tibetan joints, the dumplings by the Chinese settlers, the meat-laden delicacies brought in by traditional Awadhi cuisine experts, or the ‘chop cutlet’ obsession probably caused by the plethora of British clubs in the city. But almost every ‘evening snack’ or ‘quick bite’ that has been passed through the sieve of Kolkata, has undergone slight changes to find its unique identity. So travel with ‘Next Stop Kolkata’ -across the ‘Chinspiration’ of Tiretti Bazaar, or the Awadhi influenced dishes of Chitpur Road, to savour an iconic dish served for decades at a favourite hangout in College Street or a hole-in the wall in Lake Market. The menu is a delight for every epicure, who has memories of stopping at roadside stalls across Kolkata to sample its fare and an introduction to this smorgasbord of tastes and flavours for the uninitiated.
Begin your journey with the Beadon Fish Roll, a slightly smoked fillet of Kolkata Bhekti stuffed with curried shrimps, breaded and fried and served with Kasundi mustard spiked ‘salaad’. Or allow yourself to be carried away by the flavours of the quintessential College Street hing-er kochuri, deep fried thin urad daal stuffed kochuris served with a spicy potato curry and sweet and sour red pumpkin. Dig into the meaty Girish Park-er Shoitan Deem, an ode to the roadside tele-bhaja shops dotting the streets, this is a deep friend six-minute egg, is encased in shammi kebab mince- when Kolkata meets the Scotch egg and Dimer Devil and moves beyond.
The Elgin Road Pork Momo, the steam and pan fried Tibetan style dumplings, served with a spicy, smoked chutney broth, has cult status on Kolkata’s street food list while the Tiretti Bazaar Prawn Dumpling, first served up by Chinese migrants in the 60’s paved the way for the popularity of Chinese food in India.
Discover lesser known street food gems like the Lake Market Chicken Kabiraji, inspired by Radu Babu’s tea shop, succulent mince chicken patties with a frilly egg coating served with a house- special apple and kasundi chutney; Vivekanand Park Ghooghni- curried white peas topped with potato and onion and Esplanade’s Mughlai Porota with a spicy keema filling served with paanch-phoron baby potatoes. How can one possibly miss tasting the mild and delicately flavoured Chitpur Road Chicken Rezala – a curry that is inspired by the Awadhi flavours brought to the city by the cooks of the ousted Nawaab of Awadh - Wajid Ali Shah.