In today’s episode, we bring you our food explorations from Burrabazar, a prominent trading hub of Kolkata. On reaching there we were greeted by narrow streets lined with old, unkempt buildings, jostling crowds, a sea of porters, and endless wholesale shops selling everything from textile to pharmaceuticals. Amidst all the commotion, this place, which is also a popular shopping destination, has evolved into a popular street food hub.
The food in and around here is mostly native to the Sindhi and Marwari community that settled in the late nineteenth century after a section of them migrated to Kolkata. So come let’ see what all did we try during this evening food tour across this stretch
We began with Kandoi Sweets, an old establishment that sells a wide array of authentic Gujarati snacks and sweets that is rarely available anywhere else in the city. Here we tried Gulaab Pak, a rose flavoured burfi, and Urad dal ladoo, a wintertime special sweet whose base ingredient is Urad dal. The former one had a strong taste of rose that came from the rose petals used in the burfi.
While moving to our next destination Jain Bros, we stopped by a roadside vendor to bite into some juicy pieces of Jicama which are known as Shank Aloo in Bengali. The fruit was very refreshing. At Jain Bros, we tried some green peas kachori with potato curry. The sweetness of the peas infused a delightful flavour to the combo.
After that quick grab, we tasted some luscious carrot halwa from the adjacent shop named Pandit Ji halwa wale. The unique thing about this halwa was the slightly burnt flavour that came from the halwa that had stuck to the sides of the kadhai in which it was being cooked.
The next destination was another popular snacks shop by the name Ambika Bhujiyawala. They had a huge range of snacks and sweets. We decided to try their crisp and flaky onion kachori that had a spicy onion and besan filling. With three kinds of chutneys, it was a treat.
After that spicy stuff, it was time to try some sweet treats. Hence we stopped by Gopal Kulfiwala for some traditional kulfi. It's just a makeshift stand where Gopal bhai had set up his boxes of kulfi. This kulfi was quite decent.
Continuing the sweet trail we reached Kaligodam, an old sweet shop that is famous for its boondis and ladoos. The sight of the freshly made golden orange boondis made us salivate. So we grabbed a small helping of this traditional sweet and tried it with savoury sev. The boodis were yummy.
Next destination was Yadav Milk Supply that is known for their pure malai based products. Our pick was a classic unsweetened malai roll that was definitely a treat for a dairy product enthusiasts like me.
The stroll down this lane led to Badri Kachori wala, a favourite joint for all kachori lovers over here. Theirs one was a spicy yet hearty combination of khasta kachori topped with besan potato curry and sev.
From there we went to try Mihidana ladoos from Tiwari Sweets. The desi ghee ladoos were fresh, soft and luscious. Furthermore, we couldn't resist trying a plateful of kulfi falooda. The drizzle of rose syrup on the top just elevated the lusciousness to the next level.
A few steps ahead we beheld a snacks seller who was doling out bhujiya mix to the shopkeepers over there. These inexpensive munchies were fun.
From there we headed on to check out the thali at Gujarati Basa. It is like a mess that serves no onion garlic, homestyle meals to many locals who don't have the luxury to savour a home-cooked meal. The food here was very basic but quite wholesome.
We wrapped up the tour with a glass of hot milk from Bansilaal Sharma. It's consumed for health benefits. Since we had it quite late, the milk that we got has simmered to a thick consistency. As a result of which it had become dense and sweet.