Calcutta's Charm

.... is largely found in its cuisine. To be brutally honest, Calcutta is not one of my favourite cities to roam or wander in, but the food here certainly makes it up. A bustling city, it appears to be forever warm and humid, filled with dust and coated in grime. Don't let that put you off, of course. Let the journey be the experience, the destination a means to the journey etc etc.


It was also mango season! Oh my, I've never had mangoes as sweet and flavorful as the Alphonso mangoes. These are mostly grown in Bombay. When extracted to create something different - mango ice-cream, anyone? - what a match made in heaven! We got a bunch of different types of mangoes to try but it was an easy win. Deep, rich orange in colour, the texture and fragrance of the mangoes are unbeatable!

Another of my absolute favourite and must-have in Kolkata - biryani! I am head over heels in love with mutton biryani. Most of the time we will take away a couple of greasy versions of them at the airport, stuff our faces and crash.

This one is takeaway from Biryani Express. Spiced rice cooked in a covered pot with chicken/mutton and potatoes - it is most blissfully eaten with hands and a generous heaping of coriander yoghurt. Wallop with hands, of course. A more popular version of the biryani is at the Indian Muslim community called Arsalan - next time will head back there for a shot (and to stuff our faces, secondary).

Blissfully tantalising...


Vinnie escorts me for some Kolkatan street food. The famous Kathi Roll @ Kusum.

Likely my first street food in mainland India. One cooks at the stove, two others help to assemble the rolls and the taukeh guards the cashier.

The rolls are paratha-like (our version of roti canai). Vinnie ordered ours the special one, with egg and mutton and chicken. Some pickled onions are added, along with piping hot spiced chicken and mutton with vegetables - served on top of the paratha with a squeeze of lime. 

I definitely approve. There's something satisfying about stuffing your face in an alley with freshly made kathi roll and sipping carbonated Thums Up.

A sweet dessert prepared by Aunty.

That's pretty much all I have for Kolkata - there are more but I always neglect my camera on food excursions. Hope to fix that one of these days.

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