Vishakha Mukherjee


Anime/Manga Lover
Born in Alabama moved to Yonkers and now India

Message from Writer

Just love to write! Write whatever your hearts wants!

A Stew Pot of Culture

June 15, 2020

I'm not joking when I say that I mainly stayed in India for the food. As much as I love the States cheesy-perfect pizza slices and mouth-watering burgers, Kolkata's food is a different league altogether. In Calcutta( which I personally like to call it), food isn't just a business or necessity-it's a warm art-form. The cooks,in the street stalls and five star hotels, twist 
Chinese,Italian, Indian, Russian, Tibetan,Thai-every cuisine you can name at the top of your tongue, it's there. 

Now if you were to tell me a must have item, it would be biryani. For those of you who don't know ( and I pity you if you sincerely don't), biryani is an authentic, Mulgudi dish consisting of sunflower-yellow rice, Chicken and potatoes, exclusive to Kolkata. The lentils slip into your mouth as the spices expose give your tongue a rollar-coaster the best of traditional Indian flavors. Not too spicy, not too bland, just 100% delicious. Tangri kebabs, red, tender charcoal-grilled chunks of chicken, literally melts in your mouth. Wraps, a crunchy paratha embezzled with fresh onions, chilies, chicken, egg, and cheese and/or potato if you're vegetarian, are Calcutta's pride and joy.  These home-grown spices don't only treat your taste-buds to an insane delight, but tell you a story. They speak of a nation, once ruled by the oppressive British empire, allowed to finally express themselves in their food and culture, after years of struggle. Dhabas, shabby stores as ancient  as my grandmother, serve these delicacies, using their secret recipe that survived the sands of time. Don't let their rickety chairs, chipped walls and tacky tableware fool you : their dishes are top-notch, sometimes even better the so called 
'seven' star restaurants.

However I'm telling you to have lunch at any sordid, shady restaurant. The more people there are, the safer it is. And I think that can be applied to whenever you're trying to find a hygienic, yet delectable eatery. 

But we can't forget continental, no can we? Risotto, the color of saffron, that could make even the master of self-control, lose his wits can be found in niche, trendy cafes. Flat-breads, dripping with mozzarella, are packed full of crunchy vegetables and any meat your tongue craves. Speaking of cheesy cravings, there are plenty of culinary professionals in Calcutta, that studied abroad, and used their teachings to conjure scrumptious delights. Paris pastries, creamy eclairs, drool-inducing pasta, delectable salads, lovely lasagna, fluff croissants -anything you can name at the tip of the of your tongue and they can whip it up. 

It would be a sin, if I didn't mention about the Chinese food. Hundreds of Chinese families migrated to Calcutta and spread the  classic recipes of their Motherland. Their mouth-watering hakka noodles, chili chicken and golden fried prawns are a beautiful result of the fusion and merging of two different culture, India and China. Their oriental flavor with an Indian twist, shows us that two countries can combine to make something worthwhile: love. 



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