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Flavors Of A City- Exploring The Diverse Food Traditions Of Kolkata

It is a fact universally acknowledged that joy and food co-exist. For endorsers of this philosophy, the city of Kolkata (Calcutta) is the ultimate haven! Dubbed as the city of joy, this city has been host to multifarious yet excessively diverse culinary traditions that have come to form an integral part of the city’s culture. Here are four popular cuisines that are widespread in this vibrant city. These dishes also reflect the inherent cosmopolitanism the city embodies!

Biryani– This mouthwatering rendition of Awadhi biryani is said to have been invented by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh who was exiled to Calcutta and settled in Metiaburj, between 1856-1887. Shah is said to have added potatoes to the Lucknawi biryani, an innovation that has captured the hearts of locals!  For connoisseurs seeking the authentic royal experience, be sure to check out the restaurant, established by Wajid Ali Shah’s descendant which offers an array of delicious aromatic kebabs and biryani, recipes of which have been passed down from generation to generation in the royal family.

Continental food– The colonial legacy of Calcutta has remained influential in the city, resulting in the popularization of continental food everywhere. Sumptuous pork, chicken and meat items are available in the colonial clubs as well as various restaurants and pubs all over the city. For those seeking a luxurious experience, with exquisite food, and sometimes scenic views, clubs or five-star restaurants serving continental food make for the ideal choice!

Bakeries – Although Jewish bakeries at New Market have closed down, the café and bakery culture in Calcutta is still prominent. From mouth-melting pastries made of chocolate and nuts, to cakes, sandwiches, brownies, tea, and coffee, these cafes have it all! People wishing to grab a bite may drop in at any time of the day. This culinary tradition had also emerged during the colonial period.

Chinese food – Whether it is in the localities of Tangra, Tiretta Bazar, or restaurants in Park Street and Southern Avenue, Indian Chinese food in Calcutta is a must-try. Chinese food was introduced in Calcutta by Chinese immigrants during the 18th century. Digging into a plate of gobsmackingly delicious spring rolls, the famous Calcutta chilly chicken as well as pork and prawn items and pan-fried noodles are the ultimate signatures of the Calcutta experience!

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