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One of the best part of monsoon is the unpredictability of rain gods. If it is raining in the mornings and waterlogged streets somewhere the lost child in us always looks for a rainy day. For a Bengali. Khichudi comes along with rainy day inseparably. Food lovers perhaps pray for rains for not only a relief from the scorching heat but also for pakodas, chops and various fritters, and, many other delectable snacks and finger foods. A cup of hot tea accompanied with these is what perfect monsoon setting can be. It is not only tea, but a bowl of steaming soup, some dimsums or a ramen bowl, the rainy season fav food are all across. If at home then these get prepared in the kitchen but what if you are out of home and the heart craves for these and it is heavy downpour outside? You just have to walk into these places as these places have made special monsoon menu for the guests.
The Fatty Bao, Camac Street Area, Kolkata - If not desi chai, then what about piping hot ramens and soupy noodles? What about steaming dimsums? It is named as Fatty floats your boat.
A variety of new dimsums have been added for this monsoon season. Chicken Dumpling with smoked tofu and kimchi, Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Dumpling with fresh avocado, spice sea bass with coriander and basil with burnt truffle butter sauce, Crab Meat and Lobster with Orange Miso and some more new dumplings have been introduced. If you are on for fried finger foods to lift up your spirit for a rainy day then there is Popiah or a Cigar Roll with asparagus, snow peas, shitake with five spice, soy, garlic, there is pulled Chicken Parcel with garlic marinated and braised pulled chicken and also Fried Prawn and Garlic Roll.
If even after all this the Bengali in you misses the Khichudi, then a hot bowl of noodles in a steamy broth with some chunks of meats and vegetables floating or submerged and a dash of chilli oil for flavour can be the perfect answer. There is a wide range to select from amongst which Asian chicken Noodles, Seafood Tempura Udon, Hot Katsu Pork are worth-a-try.
Date - From 15th July till 31st August
Cost - A meal for 2 will be around INR 1200 - INR1500
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The Great Indian Khichdi Festival at Khandani Rajdhani, Park Street Area, Kolkata - Who can forget Khichdi or Khichudi as the Bengalis call it when it is a monsoon. A plate of sizzling, hot freshly prepared Khichudi is all that your heart had always wanted on a rainy day. In Khandani Rajdhani, you will be spoilt with choices for khichdi.
Makai Masala Khichdi
One can get Makai Masala Khichdi, Saat Dhan Khichdi, Tarkari Khichdi, Sambhariya Khichdi, Sabudana Khichdi, Gehun Ki Bikaneri Khichdi, Hariyali Matki Khichdi and Jowari Khichdi. These khichdis are available on a rotational basis.
Date - From 15th till 31st July 2019. Price - Weekdays INR 450 AI and weekends INR 463 AI
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The FabCafe by FabIndia, Loudon Street Area, Kolkata - This newly opened cafe with a healthy yet tasty menu has a great array of comfort food for this monsoon. Who does not want to munch on some crispy fried stuff and yet all of us are health conscious now. The Fabcafe by Fab India has a perfect solution for the same.
Veggie Crisps with Moong Dal Hummus
There is Spinach, Hara Pyaz and Water Chestnut Momos, Veggie Crisps with Moong Dal Hummus for the vegetarians. For the non-vegetarians, there is Chicken Momos and the evergreen Mutton Samosa ( refer cover image ). Both the momos are wheat-free made of jackfruit flour and root starches.
Red Rice and Tri Dal Khichdi
In case, there is more hanger and its heavy downpour then opt for the Red Rice and Tri Dal Khichdi.
Cost - INR 1200 - INR 1300 for a meal for 2
Cha and Jolkhabar at The Promenade Lounge, Taj Bengal, Kolkata - Entire July walk down the promenade lounge of Taj Bengal, Kolkata and wait for a surprise.
If it is monsoon and you ask any Bengali then the top of the recall is Mudi ( Puffed Rice ) with some Tele Bhaja ( deep fried fritters ).
This is what you will get here. In the menu, there is Aloo Motorshuttir Singara, Nimkir Chaat, Mochar Chop, Beet Chinebadam Roll ( a take on the very common Bengali vegetable chop ), Pyazi ( slices of onion dipped in Bengal gram and deep fried) Chingri Machher Cutlet, Kathi Roll, Mangsher Chop and Macher Cutlet. Add on unlimited cutting chai along with this. A perfect evening is like this.
Cost - 500 plus taxes for any of the plate of fritters which comes along with Mudi or Chire Bhaja.
Bune - The Coffee Room, Desapriya Park, Kolkata - The 25 seater cafe in Southern Avenue has a special menu for this monsoon and it claims to be healthy too. The menu has soups and salads from Monsoon fruits and vegetables.
Chicken Manchow Soup
There is Vegetable Corn Soup, Chicken Sweet Corn Soup, Chicken Manchow Soup and in salads, they have Veg Roasted Lemon Mango Salad, bell pepper and Mushroom Salad, Fresh Mango Salad for vegetarians and Roasted Lemon and Mango Chicken Salad and Tuna Salad.
Cost - Ranges from INR 199 to 299
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.