We all know Kolkata is a paradise for food lovers, quite simply because we Bengalis are very serious about food. Not only do we know how to distinguish between Fish curry and Maacher Jhol, Mixed vegetable and Paanch mishali, Masala puffed rice and Jhaal Muri but our love for food also makes us prefer specific styles of foods at different times of the day. As the day wears on and the evening comes, that oh so familiar urge to have something tasty to chew on with a cup of hot tea sets in once again. So, here are few evening snacks every Bengali can relate to along with their bikel er cha (Evening Tea):
Muri Makha (Puffed rice mixture):
Puffed rice/muri being most Bengalis’ favorite anytime snack is usually a mix of muri, chanachur (personally I love it with Mukharochak jhaal chanachur), chopped chilies (especially the spicy bullet lonka) and onion, tossed in mustard oil. Almost every Bengali household usually has it along with cha/tea in the evening or sometimes also between meals. One can get some form of muri makha in probably every corner of the city of Kolkata with the jhaal muri (spicy version of muri makha) being a legend on its own. Muri makha as a roadside snack served in old newspaper cones brings out the nostalgia, doesn’t it?
Ghoti Gorom/Chanachur Makha:
Anyone who has lived in Kolkata for a little while will know exactly how it feels to hear the jingle of ghoti gorom guy entering your para (colony) lane. This snack is a brilliant mix of chanachur with chopped onion, chilies, grated carrot, nuts, masala and adding the twist to the snack is the tangy taste of chopped raw mango- kacha aam. Ghoti gorom is always served hot as the vessel in which they carry the chanachur contains a smaller pot with burning coal that keeps the chanachur warm. Mouthwatering right?
Pic Courtesy: Recipe Rendezvous http://mykitchen-dhrubaa.blogspot.in/
Do I need to say much about this snack? The name “telebhaja” itself says it all, which literally means “fired in oil”. I guess it is safe to assume that we love anything that is fried in oil, right? Telebhaja is a generic name for copped vegetables dipped in besan and deep-fried in oil. It usually consists of brinjal, onion or potatoes as the main vegetables, namely beguni, piyaji, aloo chop respectively. The deliciously oily and sinful the crispy batter fried telebhaja is a mouthwatering snack that doesn’t leave a dent in your wallet. This snack can also be made at home but then why take the trouble when it is available at every corner of any para/colony?
It is well known that fish is the most loved food of us Bengalis. Serve it to us in any form other than raw and we will literally relish it. Amongst all snacks, fish cutlet ranks amongst the most loved ones by Bengalis. It can be had during the mandatory evening adda along with special homemade kadak Darjeeling Tea and one can also have it as a starter in a mean. Fish cutlets are minced fish, wrapped in batter, egg and bread crumbs/powdered biscuit and deep-fried in oil served with chopped onions, green chilies and delicious Kasundi at the side.
Ghugni or the Bengali style chana masala is a typical evening snack or Sunday breakfast served with luchi/puri in most Bengali houses. It is made of dried yellow peas or white peas cooked with many spices including bhaja masala. This authentic dish becomes even more delicious when served with small chopped onions, green chilies and a little bit of tamarind juice (tetul jol) or a dash of lemon added at the top!