I don’t know what do you consider as Kolkata’s Street Food but I believe “Ghugni” is a top contender among others. It’s a flavor from Kolkata’s heart and not adopted from foreign tastes like Mughlai Parantha, various Rolls, Kebabs, Chowmein, momo etc. I hope all my Bengali friends are aware of Ghugni which was once a must item on the day of Bijaya Dashami (Dassehra) with Nimki (Namkin), Goja (a special though simple sweet) and Siddhi (Bengali form of Thandai with bhang).
Those who do not know about it, let me tell you it is boiled yellow peas prepared with common spices and diced coconut. However on the street you may not find coconut in it but with a little Imli juice and freshly chopped onions it becomes more delicious on the streets. But it is Kolkata and we believe in fusions. We added “Pauruti” (toasted bread) to the course to satisfy our appetite.
Chitto Da is one who has mastered it. Yes! I am talking about the famous Chitto Babur Chayer Dokan (Chitto Babu’s Tea Stall) at Decker’s Lane (James Hickey Sarani), Dalhousie. Decker’s Lane is a place where you can taste many moods at real cheap cost. From tandoori to Chinese, for spicy Indian food lovers to health conscious office goers, it’s a place for all. The place is surrounded by many Public and Private Offices and thus called the Office Para (office area) where lakhs of people gather every working day with huge appetite. I have hardly seen people working in that area carrying lunch with them. However not only Ghugni-Pauruti, nowadays food like chicken stew, vegetable stew, cutlets, fish fry and even Fried rice-Chile chicken is also available here and not to forget the famous Cha (tea) in special white ceramic cup and saucer which has been a tradition since a long time (however you may not like the strong tea if you are flavor freaked).
If you get some time around and you are in Dharmatala or Dalhousie try Chitto Da for once for a little pinch of pocket (a Rs.50 would be enough), you may love it. To find Chitto Da you have to walk towards Raj Bhavan (Governor’s Palace) starting from K.C. Das Sweets & Confectioneries at Dharmatala Crossing.
And don’t forget to taste the Gajar-Halwa or Lassi from the stall next to Chitto Da’s stall which is quite good.