Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Street food at Lord Sinha road,

Lord Sinha Road near Exide crossing is one of my favourite streets in Calcutta. For three years, I walked from Exide to Lord Sinha Road in the morning. It houses my college and just walking through it brings back so many memories. I adore the location of my college, with a mall right opposite ( Emami market) and another 2 minutes away ( Metro plaza) and one more just 7 minutes away (Forum) we had loads of places to hang out when we bunked classes. ( ah, 2nd year!) And if you don't like shopping and ACs, there is food! So many outlets and so many hawkers. You are literally spoiled for choice. 

Calcutta ofcourse has no competition when it comes to street food. And I am not being biased. We have so many options at such pocket friendly prices. And Lord Sinha  is a thriving destination for hawkers with street food; what with a couple of schools and colleges around and a couple of malls; add to that the numerous offices! There is bound to be business.

So today I decided it's time re-discover the road and see what has changed.  

At the mouth of the street is a tea stall, a muri wala and a guy who sells  standard dal and rice at very affordable prices. Offic-goers and labourers are alike at front of this stall. I got my first shock when I tried looking out for my favourite marwari snack shop. My friends I used to depend on that shop for lunch on many occasions. Khasta, kachori, puri and alu, samosas- yum! And guess what I saw today? The shope had been replaced by a parlour. Very disappointing; I would choose food over make up any day.

Anyway, I kept walking further down, towards all  the hawkers lined up.  First the achar wala, I bought achar ( not exactly pickle but a concoction of tangy tamarind and spices) for old times sake. ( I still have half of it in my bag) The guy remembered me! That made me smile. Right next to him was the puchka wala. ( There are 3 puchka walas on this road!) I felt like having puchka but I didn't coz I was aiming for something else. I moved on and spotted a new hawker- selling chaat and corn. Well, new guy so a no. 

There is pure veg restaurant called Ridhi Sidhi at the entrance of Emami market. It's pretty good and does great business. The 2nd puchka wala is also located outside the restaurant and gets paid by the restaurant owner. Further down the street there is a outlet famous for it's pau bhaji. It's called Mayaram's and my aunts gave me rave reviews. It's not a personal favourite since my mom makes absolutely wonderful pau bhaji but it's popular, so there you have it. Outside the shop there is a guy who sells lassi, soda sikanji ( fresh lime soda, duh!) sherbbat and masala coke. I made a mental note of coming back once I had eaten something.

Next in line was a guy selling puri chane. I have had his fare during my college time and he is good. Then I saw a guy selling veg momos. Now, I 'm a big fan of momos but no veg momos for me, thanks. After him the chilla guy was standing. If you don't know what chilla is please ask a Punjabi friend ( ok since I'm Punjabi and very nice I will tell you. It's a flat pancake made of either besan or dal, sprinkled with chopped onions, tomatoes and chillis. We often make it for breakfast. It's the north version of uttapam. ) His chillas are yum but  didn't want to spend my money on something I can easily get at home. ( By now you must be thinking I'm fussy and not easily please and why the heck am I not eating already!) 

And now my current favourite- tikki chana. This snack is very common in Delhi but a rare sight here in Calcutta where streets are lined with puchkwalas and muriwalas and roll stalls. And the guy knows me. He remembers that I had to go back disappointed one day because hw had just wrapped up. Imagine, deep fried alu tikkis ( please don't tell me to explain tikkis...) topped with tangy chole, imli, spices and onions. Delicious. Mouth watering. 

I talked to the tikki wala while he was making them. He has been selling tikkis for more than 25 years he said. and so many others like him have been standing, selling their fare for years and years. When his next customer came, he asked the hawker if the price was same. He answered in the affirmative and then added- " Prices badenge iss baar, abhki baar modi sarkar ( Ok, he didn't say that but he did say that the prices may increase. ) Anyway, after I was finished I praised his food and moved towards the shikanji wala for a drink and then walked back to Exide to go back home.  I must mention that there are three more hawkers on this street- another puchka wala, another shikanji wala and another guy who sells chana. 

If you're craving Calcutta street food and want a huge variety, you must come to Lord Sinha road. It's a busy street with loads of cars and pedestrians and ofcourse street food hawkers.


  1. Oh, so you are in Shikshayatan. My sisters were also there.

    I had my first momo in Lord Sinha Road from the roadside eatery opposite Exide. :)

  2. Yes, I was in Shikshayatan. Graduated in 2012.

    The momos opposite exide are yum. A year back I doscovered a guy near my house who makes delicious momos! Oh god, I am craving momos now. I am supposed to be dieting :P

  3. Yes momos can get addictive...I especially like the sauce they serve with it...that strange watery kind of thing :P

    1. You mean the soup? I avoid the soup :P

  4. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

  5. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.