So, the slight chilliness is in the air. Winter is settling in. But frankly, when did season decide for a Kolkattan what to eat (maybe except the sudden madness of cakes during Christmas) ?
My maternal grandfather used to live in Manicktola ….. and though they’ve moved from there a few years back, those memories from that area would stay in my mind as those wonderful cabins, the great Manicktola Bazar and good Kahori shops.
however, memories hardly ever served anyone well and let’s see what’s happening there now.
North Kolkata hardly changes, and the same is the scenario in Manicktola. But, the good part is, they still serve some of the best kachori and kachori (if you know the difference between the margarita and Bengali delicacies, you’ll understand) in town. So, let’s start with Nandalal, Sukia Street.
Nandalal Ghosh and Sons is one of the oldest shops in Sukia Street. Apart from some mouth-watering sandesh (especially the lemon flavored lebu sandesh), their Kochuri any day is a big hit throughout the day. It’s a typically Bengali styled kachori with Chhola Dal stuffed inside. They serve it with the typical sweet aloo and voila, paneer (whatever less amount you get) sabzi. The taste, trust me is brilliant. They don’t care for ambiance and naturally, it’s dirty inside. But the food makes up for it.
But remember, gluttony is a sin and don’t make the same mistake as me. Have 2 there and cross the street. The shabby shop on the other side (Gitika) serves some even amazing dal kachori. The inside is shitty, Kochuri beautiful and the heavily ginger laden aloo sabzi with jhol- priceless. The server may scratch his belly before serving you, but from my experience of having from there for the last 30 years, nobody ever fell sick. The malpoa there is good, but don’t fall for it on the first date.
Though new, few youngsters can give seniors a run for their money and same happened with the newly opened shop beside Nandalal. The kachori (and not kachori) is damn good and mostly served piping hot. Do give it a try. You’ll have to have it standing on the footpath, but that’s what Kolkattan adda probably is all about.
A good breakfast needs some walk and I’d suggest walking for around 200 meters to reach Manicktola bazar. It, itself is a place to visit, but no, I am not talking about it. Cross it and at the crossing of Vivekananda Road and Amherst Street, lies, New Gupta Sweets. The specialty of this minuscule shop is, they never behave like a miser in mixing ghee in frying medium for their Kachoris. Remember, it’s a kachori (Marwari styled- slightly plump, flattened with hand and the watery sabzi is flavored with hing and ginger). We have to fight for our rights, and you’ll also have to fight here, to get your kachori. Don’t forget to collect a few Jalebis from here….. You’ll remember this shop for a long long time and that is something I can promise.
Across the street, lies our final destination of the day, Ganguram Sweets. You can check the location on Google map here. And, though it’s a sweet shop, meticulously, they change the nature of their Kachori. till 10 am, it’s the Kachori (those small plump round balls ) and after that, it’s the Radhaballavi, that they prepare. This is for sure, one of the best among all these mentioned in this post and surely, you should keep some space for tasting here.
So, within a walking distance of 200 meters, lie these 5 shops, who are all damn good at what they do- good piping hot kachori or kochuri.
I do understand there are other damn good joints and I intend to discover them someday.
So, can Manicktola be called a kachori capital ? Question still remains.
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome
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