Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Kolkata - Day 4 and Day 5

Our day 4 started early with breakfast at Putiram's. This place is iconic when it comes to Bengali breakfast in Kolkata. All kinds of mishtis, luchi aloor torkari, shingara, kochuri, .... you name it, they have it.
But you have to be real early ... we reached at around 8:00 in the morning and learnt that the rush is almost over. Lucky for us ... we got a table immediately.
The aloor torkari was fresh, hot and spicy. I saw flakes of red chilli and made a mental note to try to replicate this at home.
We also had jilipis and sor bhaja ... no photos though. We were too busy eating. The food was so good we wished we had come on the other days too.
After that filling breakfast, we walked almost the whole of College street.
The roads were empty, given the early time. No crowds, no rush. The shops were just opening. A couple of trams rambled past.
We walked down all the way to Coffee house ... a slice of history.
The place was empty too. Only a few tables here and there were occupied. The servers are old and still wear the age old white uniforms, turbans, et all.
B asked for coffee. You won't get tea there ... it is coffee house and you will get only coffee.
I looked around ... among the old and nostalgia, I could see the new creeping in.
We stepped out and walked some more. I found a book shop and finally got a slate for my kitchen.
Yes, the good, old fashioned slate. Complete with a box of chalks. Also picked up a Shibram for myself.

Returned to our room around noon and rested.

Went for a walk on Russel street in the evening. The street food that lined the side walks there is wonderful and we had planned on tasting every one of them.
Started with the wonderful singara at Russel dhaba with bharer cha. Paired it with a jhaal muri from the man next to the shop.

Then we walked down the whole street upto the start of Park street.
This is a beautiful street to walk in the evenings. There was a beautiful breeze, not too much traffic and no pollution at all.
On our way back, we started with the ghugni.
Spicy, tangy and very very hot. Served with chopped onions, green chiliies, chilli powder, bhaja masala powder and lots of tamarind water. Yummm.
The guy next to him was making moong cheelas. B asked for one. 
The cheelas were soft and had lots of onions and chillies. Good when piping hot of the tawa.
I settled for a round of phuchka.
Then we saw this!
The man next to the phuchkawala was selling kulfis.
This was an orange kulfi.
The drama of taking the kulfi out is elaborate ... it was a scene to watch. Needed a lot of expert maneuvering and tact.
First, that white layer is scraped off. Then the knife is inserted and the earthen pot or the bhaar is taken out carefully so that the kulfi does not lose shape.
And then the kulfi is cut into segments.
And this is how it looks. Orange kulfi set inside an orange. You are supposed to eat the kulfi right off the orange peel.
It tasted divine.
Then there was this man making dal vadas. But we were too full by then.
So decided to call it a day.
We could hardly walk back to our hotel.
I had to keep my eyes away from the roll shop in the corner .... I was just too full.
Maybe another day. 

The next morning we went to visit the Kali temple at Dakhshineswar.
It wasn't too crowded and we spent around an hour there.

This marks  the end of my narration of our exploring of North Kolkata.
The next couple of days was given to catching up with friends and relatives spread all over the city.

Leaving you with a few photographs.
Will catch up with you again with my narrations of another new city; another time.






Kolkata Day 1

Kolkata Day 2

Kolkata Day 3