Kolkata & Chinese food- an emotional journey!
When we think of Kolkata, the common things that come to our mind is Roshogolla, Mishti Doi, Durga Pujo, Howrah Bridge, Chinese food. Not many of us know about a small world of China that breathes in the womb of this massive Kolkata. You will be amazed to see how a Bengali locality transforms into a Chinese fast food joint every morning at around 6.AM and ends by 11.A.M. You will be served with authentic breakfast spread straight from the kitchen of Chinese Households, if you walk into this busy street of North Kolkata when most of the city is still getting ready for a long day ahead.
The origin of the cuisine called “Indian Chinese”
The history of this unique cuisine goes back to the late 18th century when people came from China and settled in parts of Kolkata. Eventually, they started making Chinese food with whatever was available in the local markets of Calcutta.
This was pretty much the introduction of Chinese food in the Indian Plates. The legacy that came in years ago has still managed to survive in small communities around nooks and corners of the city.
The best place to witness the pure Chinese flavors you have to come down to Senyet Sen street commonly known as Territy Bazar. This lane near the Central Metro station is like any normal dingy lanes of old Calcutta but turns into a Chinese food street every morning at around 6 A.M.
The area is filled mostly with local Chinese households selling authentic breakfast dishes in small makeshift shops on the road. This street-food trail has a lot more to offer than the so-called “Chinese Food” we are used to from childhood.
This street has some incredible breakfast dishes made by people whose origin are from Fujian and Guangdong. You may not like the aesthetics but let me assure you what every food you order is fresh, piping hot, authentic and pocket-friendly.
What Territy bazar has on offer for you
If you are up for authentic Hakka or Cantonese breakfast you should definitely try :
Khwai Choi Pan
Momo (though Tibetian influences but a very tasty addition to the plate)
Kolkata- the cultural melting pot
This city that has seen a lot of changes over the years. It has been one of the most vibrant and welcoming city since time immemorial. Every big world event has shown some impact on the city in ways more than one. Be it the influence in the city architecture and introduction of the iconic Trams during the British Raj, the construction of Bow Barracks during the 2nd World war which later on became the face of Anglo India Community or the introduction of Jewish churches, schools, and bakeries after Jews found solace in this city. But the most valuable and popular contribution, especially on our dining tables, was from China.
Kolkata has been home to the Chinese community for decades. They have become a part us yet maintained their cultural identity so intact. Be it the schools with Mandarin as their medium of instruction, or the Chinese kali temples (where noodles are offered to the deity) or including us in their elaborate Chinese New Year celebrations. But the most prominent contribution will always be the bliss of the famous Indian Chinese food.
Our Country is known for the diversity. But once you visit these places it will make you realize, how big a role these small pockets of communities settled all around the country has in making our country a global home. So on your next trip to our City of Joy, do not miss a chance to visit this amazing Chinese breakfast joint at the heart of the city. And if you are in Bengal do plan a visit to Territy Bazar for some mouth-watering delicacies.
That’s the cute little world of Indianised China for you!
To know about the culinary cultures of Bhutan click The taste of Bhutan
We also have a delicious spread for you from the beautiful city of Coorg- The Scotland of India
Do let me know if you liked this food blog and please share your experience as well. Let me know if you want me to write about any specific cuisine. It is always very exciting to hear from you.
Some exciting travel and food blog coming up real soon. Be with me on this amazing journey of travel, food and inspiring stories of life and of course have an awesome life, my lovely readers.
Lots of love!
All pictures are clicked by Raghu. Check his profile for more photos!