I love the Kachoris of Kolkata. Or, call it the Kochuri. I don’t think there are many people in this city who can hate it – be it khasta, served with a sweet chutney, or large, fluffy ones, served with either daal or torkari, they form an essential part of what is called Kolkata’s Culture. I would probably give a lecture on the culture soon, but, for now, over to the food we sampled all through a trip around North Kolkata. For there is where the best is available, according to many.
Mohan Bhandar, Kolkata

I sort of had agreed to attend the Calcutta Times Passions Club Kochuri Food Trail with Mir while I was in the middle of a rather deep sleep. So, whatever AS, the person who runs Kolkata Bloggers, told me about the trail, well, went right over my head, along with the time of the meet. Luckily, I got a mail from Jit, representing the Calcutta Times Passions Club, who talked to me about a food trail to find the best Kochuri in Central and North Kolkata.

Mir

We were joined by Mir, fellow kochuri enthusiast (who kept on saying Ko-Choo-Ree in a most strange manner), actor, director, funny person, and, in general, one of the most tolerant people I have encountered (The guy almost got mobbed in the end, but he was a trouper!). As we started off, we were talking about what makes the best kochuri – and we came to a conclusion – it was a conglomeration of different ingredients – taste, ingredients used, consistency, and style. Keeping this in mind, we plodded through the different shops, and made mayhem wherever we could.

Kochuris at Jayshree. Hand Model: Manjit Singh Hoonjan

We started off at one of my old favourites – Mohan Bhandar in SN Banerjee Street. Here, I met the members of the Calcutta Times Passions Club, and well, we were soon extremely loud. Mohan Bhandar’s service was fast, but the Kochuris were not exactly impressive, so we moved over to our next stop, Jayashree.

Best Kochuri in Kolkata

At Jayashree (beside Bhim Nag), we found the all-too-familiar Bangali style kochuri served with a side of something that was somewhere between a dal and a torkari. It was sweet and spicy, and quite nice, and the kachuri itself had a thick dal filling, rather more like a dalpuri. Okay, but not what I was a fan of.

Putiraam Sweets Kochuri Chholar Dal

I was rather looking forward to the fare at Putiraam, which was the crowd favourite, and it was, thankfully, the same, perfect yellow kochuri with a rather runny chholar dal, which made me realize the quality of the dal had gone down over the years. I was thinking of getting some of their aloor dum too, because those kachuris taste the best with it, but well, ended up reminding myself of another two places we were supposed to visit.

Random Pot Shots
Of course, I did get to hang out with NM after a long time. Which made me happy. Even though he was way more interested in Kochuri than he was in hanging out with me. Evidence below. 
NM concentrating on food.

We then left for Nandalal Ghosh & Sons (Sukia St.), where we ended up not just eating the kochuris but also the thick, creamy mishti doi, and plump, golden rajbhog.  Of course, we sort of lost the way, but that is bound to happen when there are navigationally challenged people around.

Kochuri at Nandalal Ghosh

We unanimously declared the kochuri here, along with the tangy chutney, the potato curry, and the dal served here, to be excellent, and walked over to the opposite side of the road to Geetika. 

Calcutta Times Passions Club
Of course, you must see a photo of Jit, the guy who was coordinating everything. Look at those teeth.
Photo Courtesy: Manikuntala Das
And look at my own expression at the sight of hot kochuris. I swear I need to stop being so pleased when I am around food.
the man with the cam

And here is the guy who never stopped clicking our photos. Here, he reminded me of a soldier, not giving up, even though he is in the line of direct fire. I.E. kochuri. 

Kochuri at Geetika, Sukia St.

And at Geetika, we had kochuris that had a distinct Marwari flavour, with a runny potato curry, which went rather perfectly with the kochuris that smelled strongly of asafoetida (Hing). I personally loved this one the most, but, to be fair, there was not enough filling, and the kochuri reminded me more of a puri (which is never bad in my books).

surrendering to kochuri

So, after many photographs, Mir nearly getting mobbed by a mass of people, and people throwing up their hands in surrender, we managed to mostly come to a decision about the place which made us happy the most. We went back to Nandalal Ghosh & Sons, and told them we loved them a lot, and to keep up the good work. Of course, there was more mishti. 

Mir with the people at Nandalal Ghosh

 The Calcutta Times Passions Club food trail was a major success, and I enjoyed walking around, chatting, and meeting a bunch of new people, and hanging out with a few friends I knew from before. In case you want to join in the fun, check out the Calcutta Times Passions Club – Food group on Facebook, join in, and you can then sign up for the next one. They are also running a contest where you can submit your perfect Kochuri recipe, with the hashtag #‎KochuriDelights‬ and get invited to the next food trail.

Mir and Poorna Banerjee. Photo Courtesy: Manikuntala Das

Of course, there should be a photo of the blogger with the Mir, right? Here it is.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the Calcutta Times Passions Trail by the organizers. She represented Kolkata Bloggers. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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