For our next food quest we decided to explore the tastes of Bengal, and what better option was there to explore in Delhi than the Bengali Hub, CR Park. A big thank you to all those who braved the rains and joined us for this event – it was pouring cats and dogs but that just added an extra something to the whole experience!
We all assembled behind the Mother Dairy in CR Park Market 1 and started our journey with Mutton Ghugnee from a nameless thela. You can spot him if you walk in to the market, from the Canara Bank ATM. For those who have never heard of the dish, it’s Punjabi matar cooked with minced mutton gravy, and it’s yummy! Definitely a ‘Must Try’ if just for the uniqueness of its taste.
Our next stop, Kolkatta Hot Kathi Roll Corner. It is easily visible from the Mother Dairy. Among the rolls, we ordered Fish Tikka Roll, Chicken Kathi Roll and Mix Veg Roll. The Chicken and Veg rolls were decent, but the Fish Tikka Roll made our mouths water for more. It was perfect – juicy and filled with just the right sauces. We ordered much more of those than we had anticipated! We also ordered a couple of plates of Mutton Mughlai Parantha. The plate contains a mutton filling wrapped in a crispy parantha served with aloo ki sabzi and some salad and chutney. The mutton was soft and fresh, and we all enjoyed this dish.
There was a vendor next to Kolkatta Kathi Roll Corner who was selling some ‘Chinese Chaat’. He managed to convince us to try the Veg and Non-veg Chinese Chaat, a mixture of noodles and the some Indian- Chinese dishes. Sadly, the group didn’t like it much.
Over all we decided that the Fish Tikka Roll and the Mutton Mughlai Parantha is a’ Must Try’. Rest of the items are ‘Meh’!
By this time it had started raining heavily, but what’s rain without Paani Puri (pun intended)!
We lined up for them at the Aristocrat Sweet Shop, right next to Kolkatta Kathi roll. After debate about the pronunciation being Puchka or Fuchka, we all agreed that regardless of the name they are definitely ‘Worth It’. Some of our fellow explorers even recommended trying it with barish pani!
The evening was shaping beautifully with on and off rains and many interesting conversations as we walked towards the Second Phase of our food quest – Market 2 of CR Park. Upon arrival, we had a small photo session of the Fish Market and a discussion on how all of us had been scolded at least once by our teachers for creating one in the class rooms!
The 10 minute walk helped us all digest the food from Market 1. We started with some light bites of Jhal Moori (a Bengali version of bhel) from the dada sitting right in front of the Republic Chicken (you can spot him when you come straight into the market from the Fish section)
We headed to the famous ‘Dadu Cutlet Shop’ to hog on some ‘chops’. We ordered the Mutton Chop, Fish Chop, Aloo Chop and Veg Chop. There was a lot of confusion in differentiating between them on looks and taste! The stuffing was deep inside a layer of a potato mash, so most of us couldn’t get to the centre of it! The trick is NOT to share, you need to have the whole chop by yourself to fully enjoy the taste! The place is definitely worth a visit!
Our next and penultimate stop was Maa Tara. It is a small restaurant at the corner of the market, when you take a right from Dadu Cutlet. The name of the place represents Goddess Tara, a form of Durga or Parvati! We had to wait for about 10 minutes to get tables for the 20 of us, but the food made for a perfect last supper. We ordered Ilish (Hilsa, the King of fishes), Chicken Kasha, vegetarian Dhokar Dalna, Chicken Fried Rice, Luchi, plain dal and rice, and roti. If you are not a fan of mustard sauce, do not opt for Ilish; You ‘Must Try’ the Mutton Kasha and the ‘Dhokar Dalna’, a Bengali traditional dish made with Cholar dal. Chicken Fried Rice was just ‘Worth It’, however, the plain dal was very diluted and you might want to have it altered a bit in case you decide to order it.
Now was the time for a sweet ending! And Annapurna Sweets, named after the Goddess of Food, had just the right portfolio. We tried the traditional Mishti Doi, Lord Chamcham, Modhumita, Kheer puri, Kheer Chamcham and Paneer ki Jalebi. Besides the paneer ki jalebi, which was way too sweet, everything was absolutely delicious.
Hence we concluded this food pursuit of ours with some amazing strangers turned friends!
The Bengali cuisine has a wonderful and unique taste. Our Non Vegetarians were unanimous in their appreciation, but some of our Vegetarian explorers didn’t find its taste to their liking.
Damages per head – Around 450/- + some lovely memories over authentic Bengali dishes!
The Buzzwagon heads to Paharganj for a Street Sunday Brunch!
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