Namaskar! I am Anubhav Sapra Today we have come to North Kolkata In some time we are being joined by Pamela who will take us on a food tour here. Hello!
-Hi ! Today we are going to have a typical Bengali start to the morning that is with sweets And that too the sweet that Kolkata is known for which is Rosogolla We are going to go to one of the oldest sweet shop in the city Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar And we are in North Kolkata. And this shop has no other branches This is the only branch And they have making sweets for almost a hundred years Two Rosogollas please I like the way they serve it In earthen bowls that you call Bhand We use these Bhands for tea, Misti doi and sweets It imparts more flavours Tell us something about this shop This shop is around hundred years old It was established in 1907 And this is the only shop IT does not have any other branches in Kolkata Like for example KC Das have started coming up with lot of branches This is the only shop and it is being run by, again the family So like many other sweet shops you will see it has been passed down from one generation to other So what is there in it? Mainly there is cottage cheese Cottage cheese that is dipped in sugar syrup Hmm! Very tasty. It is pure cottage cheese The sugar syrup is not thick it is runny That is why it is not too sweet The sugar syrup is not over powering the taste of the cottage cheese. The Rosogolla here is very soft Like its warm and fresh as well And it melts in the mouth I think that is what makes it Rosogolla. Historically we did not have cheese Cheese came with the Portugese in the 1700 Prior to the cheese people from West Bengal used to make sweets from sugar, milk etc. Even in scriptures dating back to the 13-14 century you will see that whenever there was a feast there was a sweet like some or the other sweet So historically Bengal has always been a sweet region And after the Portugese came And after especially when the Rosogolla was invented by KC Das, sorry Nabin Chandra Das very famously After that there was a growth of the cottage cheese based sweets. We have Sandesh Now all of these are made with the cottage cheese that came with the Portugese And specially during the 18- 19 century A lot of Mithaiwalas came from Hooghly and other surrounding districts to Kolkata established there shops and then they started selling sweets Because it was very popular amon the upper bengali castes So that is how like kolkata I think… And over the years the Mithai walas have started innovating as well For instance they put chocolate They have tried with different coloured syrup You know they keep innovating. That is one of thin about Kolkata That you will never find only one kind of Misti. There is something for everyone. Now we are heading towards the Shovabazaar Rajbari This whole lane is owned by one family who were a famous landlord This is the palace of the eldest son of that family And Shobabazar Rajbari is also well known for the fact that the family Durga Puja in Kolkata started with this house only. Now we will go to Kumartuli which is the potter’s colony the colony of potters over there So there, whenever there is a puja all through the year So the idols primarily comes from Kumartuli So you will see All these artisans, workers, Kumhars Making giant idols of the deities From here a lot of Durga idols are sent to… like those established house holds like Shovabazar etc. Many idols are purchased from here. Now since Saraswati puja is approaching, they must be making Saraswati I have played it a lot during my childhood but I think I have forgotten it now. Let’s see I haven’t forgotten Two Radhaballabi and Misti Doi Aloo Dum Radhaballabi Misti Doi and then Cholar Dal So this is the typical Bengali Breakfast?
-Yes And this Radhaballabi is Lentil stuffed Puri It is too light.
-Very Light This is what I love about the place is that they make the lightest Radhaballabi You won’t feel heavy after eating 2 or 3 of them An it is made of all purpose flour.
-Yes And this is the Misti Doi, the sweetened curd And Chana Dal or Bengal Gram preparation.
-Yes lightly spiced Bengal Gram dish What is the process of making the Misti Doi? Is the curd set with sugar? I don’t know the exact way of making the Misti doi Because I have never seen it being prepared I think every place has its own way of making it Because if you notice This one is lighter in colour So the sugar that is added to this no jaggery has been added to this In some of the shops the Misti Doi is prepared with Jaggery so the hue is little darker. And if you eat this it is not too sweet It is not overly sweet it is still little more balanced And every place have their own recipe of making misti doi It is just plain Dal Yes and you can see the tempering of nigella seeds and cumin Salt and pepper.
-You can taste the pepper It is bit on the sweeter side Yes exactly. Bengali breakfast tends to be usually on the sweeter side And even if you are suppose having Puri and Aloo Dum We always usually have one sweet with the breakfast Be it curd or Rasogolla Bengali breakfast is known for being little on the sweeter side. This Putiram is over hundred years old And the meal for the British Railway officers used to go from here The customers here are a mix of students, professors and locals And because this is over a hundred years old, there are a lot of loyal customers over here and it is visited by generations of families And this combination of Radhaballabi, and Chana dal Is it available all throughout the day? Basically Radhaballabi is available from 11 am. Prior to it only Kachori is available After 11 am you get Radhaballabi, Dal and Aloo Dum The way we prepare Aloo Dum is almost like a meaty thing in taste and texture Is this Kachari? In Bihar we call it Kachari What is this? It is Aloo Dal And these are chillies Yes give us some chutney In BIhar, during the evening, people Have it as a snacks along with Puffed rice or beaten rice It is light and tasty It is prepared from a lentil mixture and is fried in mustard oil After having those spicy pakodas let’s drink some cool Sherbet So we are here in front of Paramount Which is again a hundred years old And here we will have the tender coconut Sherbet and the tamarind Sherbet Tamarind Sherbet Since 1918. More than hundred years old shop So this shop originally used to be down the street and its name was Paradise So during the nationalist movement there were lot of raids when the government would conduct raids as the nationalists were plotting against the British government So the nationalist came there and there and there were raids that is why that shop had to close down So they set up this shop and called it Paramount So that the government did not suspect and conduct further raids So in earlier times there name was Paradise Yes and then it moved here and was established as Paramount And that passage that you see over there there is a lane that goes from over there So the leaders when they were plotting and planning And the Britishers used to conduct raids The owner would sit here and give them warning That people are coming you run Very refreshing We have ordered two drinks. One is the Daab Sherbet They extract the coconut water and its tender flesh They mix it with some sugar syrup And some essence and mix it with ice The tamarind one has lots of other things Earlier the cabins had partitions But the boys and girls of the current times They used to spend a long time with one dish Like for an hour or so And the family customer who comes next had no place to sit That is why you did away with the partition In earlier times the women didn’t eat before strangers. Like the aristocrat women never used to eat before other men or eat in a public space Cabin allowed them a private space to eat Without like people looking at her and watching her That why the cabins were there For safety I have seen that in many old restaurants there is a family section And an open section where all can sit What fish do you use? We use the Bhetki fish The Bhetki fillet has been covered with egg mixture Why is the name of the dish fish Kabiraji It is not Kabiraji In earlier times the writers named it as chicken coverage cutlet But we all distorted it to kabiraji That is kasundi. Mustard sauce And this is fish Kabiraji as you can see Inside there is Bhetki Fish and on top there is an egg coverage Thoroughly fried and fluffy Its quite oily You went for it It is properly cooked The coverage is crispy Inside you have the soft fish and with it you have this nice and pungent mustard sauce What is your favourite fish Don’t say it is Hilsa Is it Hilsa?
-No its Bhetki There is another fish called Aar Fish which is also white fish It has got one bone its easy so that is why I like it I love Rohu I like Rohu as well. That is very good for making curries Like at my home we have Rohu Curry everyday Bhetki is something that you make once or twice a week as it is little expensive Thank you I have been to so many coffee houses From South India to North India. At many locations But have never tasted infusion anywhere It is mostly these types of coffee only I am seeing infusion for the first time It is plain Black coffee The coffee house is very old Since 1818 this building is there and it is called the Royal Albert Hall So the idea is is if you sit upstairs What ever activities is happening below like the parties and all So in 1900 the first coffee house was started by the Britishers But then the Indian or the native people were not allowed Its only when the government changed then they were permitted in He suggested that you make it into a co operative So they started a co operative in Bombay In South and the unique thing about this coffee house is that A lot of freedom fighters, filmmakers writers etc I think some of the most well known Bengali personalities have come here They have had there coffee. They have studies right here at the Presidency University So Netaji of course had come here. Everybody you know they used to come here. They sit here and they did adda. So Adda is very quintessential thing to coffee house Their menu here has been designed according to the local palate over.
-Yes Like I can see fish Kabiraji, cutlets, sandwiches, omelettes Mostly in Bengal there is tea adda but here we have coffee adda Because when the British established coffee house In India we have been cultivating Coffee since 16 century The idea of coffee houses came to England from France So that spread to Kolkata Because kolkata was the capital during the British rule right So when the coffee house started this became like the hub for the upper and upper middle class Bengali intellectuals Slowly when it became more accessible and more cheap people from all different background started coming here In Kolkata people mostly drink tea We were taking that the ratio of tea shops to people i like 1:10. At every corner there is a tea shop Lebu Cha i. e lemon tea Is this the table where Netaji used to sit? Yes here Kavi Nazrul and Netaji used to sit At this place only Here Kavi Nazrul use to sing a Bengali Song usually when it rained He used to beat this table and hum a song Which song was it? The song was, “He bideshi mon udashi…” This was started in 1918 My grandfather and his elder brother Gaur chandra Barua Both of them together started this establishment It is here since 1918 What all dishes are available here? Here you will get butter toast, cake which you just ate you will get three types of cakes like the Paan cake which you ate It is very famous here You won’t get it anywhere else in Kolkata you get it here only And you get the slice cake And packaged cake in different flavours All of them are related to our family This cabin has two timings. Morning to afternoon and afternoon to night. No actually we are three brothers So it starts from 6.30-7.00 in the morning. Till 10 o’ Clock The earning from the first part goes to your brother and The earning from the second part comes to you After that we keep something aside for development and all Is the menu in the first and the second half the same? Its the same cake, same supplier and same manufacturers Only the owner gets changed Why do we call it Paan Cake? Because it is heart shaped It is heart shaped that’s why it is called Paan shaped It resembles a betel leaf or a Paan Since it is heart shaped we call it Paan Cake People have so much attachment to these cabins Each cabin has its own story Who all used to come here. And what all did they wrote What all they have written Who used to sit at this place where I am sitting? No one. You tell others that Anubhav Sapra used to sit here He had drunk tea over here On coming here it seems that the time has ceased. For you the time seems to have ceased but for others For some people it is nostalgia.
-Right They would feel the college time.
-The memories They all sit here for an hour or so and feel how were those time. I have my own childhood food memories. Like where all I used to go. I don’t know whether those shops still exists or not. Thank You.
-Okay