The Many Tastes Of Kolkata

Street food is one of the great delights of the City of Joy.


Credits: Riyanka Chowdhury (PG '22)

By Riyanka Chowdhury (PG '22), Ritu Saha (PG '22) and Sumit Bhattacharya (PG '22)

Kolkata: The grand old city of Kolkata has a unique sense of unity and a special understanding of noise that is not cacophony. A great measure of its happiness seems to emerge from the legendary food that is sold and consumed in its streets.

A lane near the Raj Bhawan, named James Hickey Sarani, famously known as Dacres Lane, is famous for its blue-eyed boys of street food. Around two centuries ago, Philips Miner Dacres used to entertain his sailor friends, here and hence, the place named after him as “Dacres Lane”.

Generations of food lovers have halted at this place to divine the pleasure of that extra curry on the plate. Preparations such as luchi, kosha aloo dum, vegetable stew, bread toast with butter, and of course, flavored lassi are famous here. People wait for a long time here to taste these.

Credits: Ritu Saha (PG '22)

Chitto Babur Dokan is one of the most popular shops on Dacres Lane. Around 1940, Chittaranjan Roy came from Dhaka to Kolkata to start this establishment and for the next 20 years, the Chitto Babur Dokan became a name to reckon with. Here every bite of fish kabiraji, the special chicken stew with toasted bread, is a mind-blowing experience. The prices are so reasonable that anybody can enjoy a great eating experience here. When a buyer was asked what was the famous dish there, he replied with a gentle smile “better if you ask what is not famous.”

After the main course, it is time for a dessert. Gajar ka halwa, sarpuria, and the famous lassi at Sharma Milk are there right after Chitto Babur Dokan. Salted lassi, milk cake, papaya ka halwa, and kheer singara are the exclusive items here. “Whatever you have, I challenge you, you will come back to test it again,” said the owner of Sharma Milk.

A name that comes to mind immediately after Dacres Lane is Zakaria Street. It gets a brand-new look during Ramadan with a wide variety of food readily available.

For those who love to get nostalgic, Adam’s Kebab is the best place. The 100-year-old shop in Colootola Street serves the spicy and juicy Malai Kebab grilled on charcoal.

The two years of the pandemic have significantly affected the food artists of Kolkata but they have bounced back, ready to serve the food lovers of the city. And that is the culture of the City of Joy which never refuses to smile.

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