Being the capital of India,New Delhi is hotpot of different cultures of India.We can find people from every part of India and when there are people from different part there are food also.We can find food from almost all parts of India in Delhi.
In this blog I will discuss and share my experience about Bengali food in CR park.
CR (Chittaranjan Park), is an neighbourhood in South Delhi and home to a large Bengali community. It was established in the early 1960s under the name EPDP Colony or East Pakistan Displaced Persons Colony and later renamed after the deshbandhu Chittranjan Das in the 1980s. Nowadays it is considered among the posh localities in New Delhi. Despite its growing cosmopolitan nature, it remains home to a large Bengali community and is home to Kolkata style street-food stalls,Bengali cuisine, fish markets,grocery shop, temples, and cultural centre.When strolling the CR park market,it doesnt feel that we are in Delhi but looks we are in Kolkata,loved that.
There are 2 market,market 1 and market 2,both have number of good food stall/restaurant and not possible to say which is better.I had visited both many times and tried almost all places.In this blog I will share my experience of my last visit last year with my mom and brother,this visit was dedicated to street food/snack and sweets,not meal.
If going by Metro then Nehru Enclave on Magenta line which is around 15 min walk from Market 1,E Riksaw available at metro station,should be preferred.
Best time to visit CR park is evening and late because there are many many stall/vendors who starts their business at evening.We also reached in evening started our food tour from market 2.The market gives perfect feeling of Kolkata,Kali Temple,grocery shops specialised in Bengali grocery,fish market,small food stalls,bengali sweet shop and tea shop where people doing ADDABazi,perfect.All this gives a sense that we are in Kolkata and no doubt the food would be excellent.
Our 1st stop was Hoi Choi Phuchka. centre,Phuchka is synonyms of Golgappa in Bengal/Bihar.Other than Phuchka they also sell Dahi Phuchka,Bhelpuri,Jhal Muri and Paapdi Chat.We had another stall for Phuchka in our bucket list so here went for Dahi Phuchka.Dahi Phuchka is another variety of Phuchka where the Phuckha is filled with mashed potato,yogurt topped with sweet and sour chutney and sprinkled with spices and garnished with sev,tomato,onion,green chilli,having all taste in one bite,sweet,sour,tangy,hot everything .It was like explosion of all taste together in the mouth,perfect to start the tour,also very economical,rs 50 per plate. In fact every item in their menu was of same range.
Next destination was Dadu Cutlet shop,its one of the oldest in CR park.Bengali people are fan of deep fried food and this place specialised in it.This place is hit for rolls, chops, cutlets and other dishes .My understanding Kolkata street food is that if anything fried with bread crumbs and flat in shape then its Cutlet,fried with coating of Besan (Gram Flour) or even with bread crumbs and round in shape then its chop and when vegetables fried without coating then its Bhaja (Baigun Bhaja is one of the most important side dish with meal).
We ordered chicken cutlet,mutton cutlet,aloo chop and egg devil.They keep raw items in their display and deep fry in front of us after order,served hot and crispy with chutney,best chutney to compliment these items are Kasundi (traditional Bengali hot mustard sauce).All items were well cooked,perfect in taste,difficult to say which was best,but as I am a mutton lover so will keep mutton cutlet little above. Reasonably priced,almost all cutlet/chop items in the range of rs 40/50.Must visit for fried food lovers.
After trying savoury and fried items it was time to taste some Bengali sweet.Annapurna sweets is just next shop from Dadu Cutlet.One of the oldest sweet shop in CR park and also famous for traditional bengali sweets.We tried Kheer Kadam and Chhena Jalebi.The first bite itself says why this place is so famous,fresh,soft and sweet.
It was time to leave Market 2 and proceed towards Market 1,less than 10 min walk,for those who dont want to walk E rishaw available.
1st stop was Raju Phuchka. Raju Phuchka Wala in Market 1 has been serving delicious puchkas for more than 2 decades. His Phuchkas are crisp and filled with a spicy mix of chana, boiled potatoes, coriander, green chillies, tomatoes and spices. The pani they use for their phuchka is equally delicious,spicy and sour,typical Kolkata style.Rates are also of Kolkata style,just for rs 20 per plate (6pc).
Next to Shyamal Barua Ghugni stall,very close to Raju Fuchka.Mr Barua is serving homemade Ghugni cooked by his mother for more than a decade .Ghugni is a spiced Bengal gram based curry which can be enjoyed by itself with masala and onion and or as a meal with hot puris. While it is essentially a vegetarian dish, some people like to mutton chunks to it.Mr Barua serves both mutton and plain Ghugni at very reasonably priced,rs 30 for plain and rs 40 for mutton one. Ghugni is cooked by his mother and he only serves at the market through his small stall.We had both mutton and veg one,taste wise both were same ,only difference was the small mutton pieces .worth trying.
No Bengali street food tour can be completed without Jhalmuri.Jhalmuri is a popular Bengali street snack equally famous in Bihar (and the vendor was from Bihar too), made of puffed rice and an assortment of spices, vegetables, chanachur and mustard oil,its just like what Bhelpuri is to Mumbai.There was a Jhalmuri vendor near to Raju Fuchka,just gave him a try and was a good option.Tangy,spicy ,good munching option,rs 20 for a portion.
Now time to proceed to last place to end the tour,how can a Kolkata street food tour ends without Kathi roll and Muglai Paratha.
A kati roll is a street-food dish originating from during British raj in Kolkata .It is a skewer roasted Kebab wrapped in a partha bread.
Mughlai paratha is a popular Bengali street food which is believed to have originated in Bengal during the time Mughal rule. The dish is believed to be prepared for the royal court of Mughal Emperor Jahangir.It can be a soft fried bread enhanced by a stuffing of Keema (minced meat), egg, onions and spices.
There are 2 place extremely famous for roll and mughlai,Roll and Rost and Kolkata hot Kati roll, both are situated side by side.Menu and rates of both place are nearly same,other than rolls and mutton muglai paratha ,they also have fried items like cutlet and chops,in short non veg snacks paradise .We decided to order from both place,double chicken egg roll from roll and rost and muglai paratha from Kolkata hot kati roll.Both were prepared (or say fried) in front of us,served hot.Both were superb.Roll was well filled with spicy chicken chunks . Muglai paratha was filling ,good amount of minced mutton was stuffed and was served with onions ,tomato sauce and aloo dum,personally I didnt liked the aloo dum,was too bland for my taste buds.
Now we were full,after having these heavy items certainly not going to have any thing more but as its customary to end any feast with dessert we visited Aristocrat sweets nearby to have some.Here we had Kachcha Gola and Misti Doi (Sweet Yogurt),another traditional Bengali speciality,sweet way to end our food tour,thick sweet yogurt served in earthen pot,loved it.Liked so much that even packed for home too.
This was end of our CR Park street food tour,in another blog in future will share my experience of Bengali meal in CR Park too.Till then good bye and thanks for reading.