Durga Puja, one of the most celebrated festivals in West Bengal, marks the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. It’s a time when the entire state comes alive with vibrant decorations, cultural performances, and, of course, mouthwatering street food. Kolkata’s streets become a gastronomic paradise during this festive season, offering an array of delectable treats that are a must-try for both locals and visitors. In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary journey to explore the best street food delights you can savor during Durga Puja.
- Phuchka (Pani Puri/Golgappa): Starting our culinary adventure is the beloved Phuchka, known by various names across India. These crispy, hollow puris filled with spicy tamarind water, mashed potatoes, and a mix of tangy chutneys are a favorite among locals. The burst of flavors with each bite is a truly unforgettable experience.
- Kathi Rolls: Kolkata is renowned for its Kathi Rolls, a mouthwatering street food that consists of succulent pieces of grilled or skewered meat (often chicken or mutton) wrapped in a paratha or flatbread. The rolls are generously smeared with sauces and garnished with onions and green chilies, creating a delicious blend of flavors and textures.
- Chop and Cutlet: During Durga Puja, you’ll find stalls serving a variety of chops and cutlets, including fish, chicken, and vegetable options. These deep-fried snacks are crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, making them the perfect accompaniment to evening festivities.
- Telebhaja: Telebhaja refers to a range of deep-fried snacks, including classics like Beguni (battered eggplant slices), Mochar Chop (banana blossom cutlets), and Peyaji (onion fritters). These snacks are crispy, spicy, and irresistibly tasty.
- Ghugni: Ghugni is a popular street food made from dried yellow peas cooked with spices and garnished with chopped onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves. It’s a hearty and flavorful dish that is often enjoyed as a quick snack during the festivities.
- Misti: No celebration in Kolkata is complete without sweets. While Durga Puja is known for its elaborate dessert spreads, the streets offer delightful options like Jalebi, Rosogolla, Sandesh, and Mishti Doi (sweet yogurt). These sweets are a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Jhalmuri: Jhalmuri is a popular street snack made by mixing puffed rice with various spices, peanuts, mustard oil, and chopped vegetables. It’s a light and spicy treat that’s both flavorful and addictive.
- Biryani and Mutton Curry: Many local stalls and food vendors set up shop during Durga Puja to serve fragrant biryani and flavorful mutton curry. These dishes are rich in spices and evoke a feeling of warmth and comfort.
Durga Puja in Kolkata is not just a religious festival; it’s a celebration of culture, art, and, of course, food. The streets of the city come alive with the aroma of delicious street food during this time, and indulging in these culinary delights is an integral part of the experience. From spicy Phuchkas to savory Kathi Rolls and a variety of sweets, Durga Puja offers a treasure trove of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. So, when you visit Kolkata during this festive season, make sure to explore the streets and savor the spirit of Durga Puja through its delectable street food.