Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Encyclopaedia Gastronomica

He may live without books, - what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live withhout hope,- what is hope but decieving?
He may live without love,- what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
- Owen Meredith, Lucille (I)


So there I am strolling down Gariahat , munching on a chocolate donut…it was from Monginis and delicious. And am thinking to myself, Calcutta is such a great place to be in. Those who know me have been subjected to a never-ending rant about howiwanttoleavekolkataandihatethiscitybecauseitisuseless and must be shocked out of their wits to read this. But I have realised that this city has one saving grace, the food. Its varied. Delicious. And best of all …its cheap. Very very cheap. I was told by C that a plate of biriyani in delhi was 115 bucks. and the taste left much to be desired. 115 bucks for biriyani? Damn. I am also told that the phuchka in Bombay is sweet. Sweet phuchka??? WHY? Its like adding sugar to an omlette. It just doesn’t make sense. The phuchka in Calcutta is awesome. And famous. There are entire newspaper issues devoted to the expert phuchkawalas of Calcutta…not just articles. Issues.

I would believe that the Bengalis are responsible for the food craze in Calcutta. Essentially bongs are born to eat. And eat some more. They cannot do without their breakfast. Brunch…lunch…..midday snack….evening snack…snack while goin to office..snack while comin back home…u get the general idea. They are the reason why roadside stalls make a killing. U can get an amazing plate of tarka dal and tandoori roti for 10 bucks. and I haven’t even come to the favourite snack of all calcuttans bong or no-bong…the ROLL. This heavenly creation tops the list, pursued closely by the truly delightful culinary contribution by the hill states. ...The momo.the best momo in Calcutta is found infront of avani heights…which houses Marks and Spencer and other bigshot names like Gucci. I went there to look at things I would never buy…I mean come on..a soap in body shop costs 450 bucks. Why? Because it is made with royal jelly and honey. What’s so essentially expensive about wax and bee puke? Did u know honey is made by bees pukin? Did I just ruin your day? (Ok I shall stop before this gets out of hand.)Anyhow to get back to the point…after I floated around marks and spencer and the other shops I wandered outside thinking of how I must get a job quick so that I can afford passion fruit bath gel (yeah Bodyshop again...but totally worth it, it smells awesome…) I discovered I was hungry. There was this sweet old wrinkled Tibetan lady hidden behind huge steam pots. That day I ate 5 plates of momos. There are 4 to a plate…what I was hungry…and I discovered momo heaven right there on the streets of Calcutta. U do not need to go all the way to the hills. I think Calcutta street food is defined by these two culinary delights. I can make rolls too. In the authentic fashion. No, that does not mean standing on the footpath in a lungi manning a tawa. It means that I managed to get hold of an authentic recipe. But rolls…just like phuchka, cannot be enjoyed when u make it at home.

The point of this blog? Absolutely nothing. I just felt like writing about my favourite thing, food.

7 comments:

Moo-lah Buzinezzz! said...

A little correction.Dirrrrrrrt adds to Calcutta roadside food.If Cal wasnt dirrrrrty,street food might not have been so tasty...human puke or bee puke,it all tastes the same.Its just tasty..
btw..Body shop aint that expensive,I buy most of my cosmetics from Body shop.
You know if its skin,its Body shop..;-)..thats muh motto!!
:P

AJ said...

this entry is not fair..u dnt have to drive ppl to obesity just coz u have decent metabolism!...

slothful guzzler said...

hello..i came across your blog and this post was amazing.....and it defines all the things i just LOVED about my calcutta...now leaving the city ......it just made me suffer severe bouts of nostalgia and pangs of homesickness
....good ole lake market...

ad libber said...

where is this place? At 3 in the morning I realizeI was born to have these momos. Thank you for showing me the path of enlightenment.
@aj
We are all gonna die anyway. Let's enjoy the remaining years by eating and making the trip across faster.

slothful guzzler said...

ei had it dear!!!!!

Aphrodite said...

hey dude.....what u say is so true....i love goin to calcutta just to stroll down gariahat (nostalgia lane) i could call it...and eat phutchkas...i went back a couple months back...and happeend to get afeel of delhi and mumbai phutchkas....eo were reallllly sweet....ox kolkata phutchkas....rolls r "a fruit" from paradise ne day....

Kiran Sharma said...

Really great post.Keep share.
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