Today I met a friend briefly in the corridors of University. Commenting on my interests in life she wished me good bye with an exclamation Bhalo theko (Stay well) with Machh, Mishti and More (Fish, Sweets and More). She was recollecting about her latest trek to Chittaranjan Park Market from where she picked up Lal Shak ( a type of greens which we chop and cook with a tempering of garlic, ajwain and finish it off with a drizzle of poppy seeds. Please add garlic after you hear the crackling sound of dry red chilly!!!), Morola Machch/ Mola Carplet ( a finger –sized shape fish found in rivers, some varieties are also know as Gang- Morola and the explanation is its origins in the Ganges…) and much more. For Morola Recipes visit the following link
Despite our mutual allergy of people calling us “Bongs”, the affection for all things seemingly Bengali gets more attractive when you move out of the comforts of home. After I shifted to Delhi I missed the chotomachch ( small sized fish) that I hated as a kid. As I long to go back home in a week’s time I look forward to a generous sized portions of all sorts of dishes that could be prepared with Morola Machch ( from fries, to mustard curry to chutney with tamarind pulp). Slurrrpp!!!
Such cravings for Bengali food and food items have led to niche markets in every city across India and particularly Delhi. Chittaranjan Park credits with selling food items, fish, vegetables, sauces, oils, spices and everything “authentic” that should make its way for a “Bengali” kitchen at an above average price. But we don’t seem to mind. After all phish, phood and phoodball are our passion(s) and we live by it… Market No. 1 and Market No. 2 claims to house some of the popular eating joints serving Bengali food. I will dedicate a separate post on sweets and will list of must have/s of sn(e)cks in Market No. 1, 2 and 3. Spare me if I forget to add your list of favourite/s from these three Markets.
My five top picks
1. Maa Tara … (Market No.2)
Anybody who wanted their simple fare of veg and non veg thali or exotic vegetable dishes would brave waiting in the queue for a generous helping of Mochar Tarkari, Fish Curry with a generous layer of oil staring at you and some runny alu posto. Despite its flaws I continue to adore and love the food of Maa Tara. Every time you have surprise guests and you want to take a break from cooking chores “Dial Maa Tara” and they won’t disappoint you.
USP: Simple, delicious and moderately priced.
2. Kolkata Biryani House (Market No.1)
Kolkata Biryani House: For all those who love meat, potato and egg in their Biryani, please try out their Biryani. Their Chicken and Mutton Rolls are good as well. Though they have started serving south Indian breakfast I have not tried it.
USP: Best Chicken/ Mutton Biryani. Warning : Do not order via Just eat. Last time they messed up an order at a friend’s place.
3. Ashirbad Caterers and Snack Corners( Market No.3)
Are you a fan of Fish Fry and Mochar Chop? Head to this shop where both these items are sold at Rs 10 each. This shop is open from 10am -11pm and sells rolls, cutlets and fries. My favourite picks are Fish Fry, Fish Chop, and Mochar chop. A party at my house is incomplete without Fish Fry and Mochar Chop. Manipuri Friend of mine treks down at least thrice a month to savour their delicacies. Need I say more!!!!! I am quite a fan of their simple egg rolls.
USP: Tasty and moderately priced.
Time and again I have wondered about how semolina is used to prepare this item in Northern India and how atta ( wheat based flour) is used in West Bengal and Eastern parts of India to prepare this savoury dish. You will like Phucka across any C.R. Park stall if you like water prepared from tamarind pulp, green chillies, kagchi lebu ( a special variety of lemon). Best kick is the phucka with mashed potato stuffing with lots of tamarind pulp, green chillies and a squeeze of lime …. Yummmmm…
If you miss you Lemon Tea served in tiniest possible plastic cups back in West Bengal, head to a tea stall in Market No. 2 who makes the most amazing lemon tea with rocksalt and lime.
If you want all of these, you have to hit the den of Bengali food in New Delhi- Chittaranjan Park.
Nearest Metro Station : Hauz Khas and Nehru Place.
Please memorise the market no.s you have to head before stepping into your vehicle as people use Market No./s for local navigation…