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When the famous Bhaskor Banerjee played by Amitabh Bachchan goes to pick up Kochuri from his favourite shop, riding a cycle, director Shoojit Sircar had not only epitomised the love of Bengali's for Kochuri but he also confirmed that each Bengali has his own favourite Kochuri shop. While Luchi remains close to heart for Bongs, Kochuri is like all-season, all-purpose player and perhaps, that is the reason one would find so many Kochuri shops spread across the city.
Almost all sweet shops or mishtir dokan sell Kochuri. Some sell it only on Sunday and some sell every day. There are few standalone Kochuri Shops which sell Kochuri throughout the day. If you are in Kolkata and looking for some of the best Kochuris around, then you cannot give these outlets a miss.
Maharani - Situated at Sarat Bose Road, this is the top of recall for any Kochuri lover in the city, especially if you are hailing from South Kolkata. At any point of time, you would have to wait to get the freshly deep fried Kochuri, as the most authentic yet the most primitive form of the live kitchen is in action in front of you. The Kochuri comes here with a generous amount of hing (asafetida) and there are loyalists who will come here for the love of the Alur Torkari too.
Maharaja - Kolkata can get divided over which one is better - Maharani or Maharaja. In the same locality as Maharani, this place, in addition, offers some of the best jalebis, singhara and tea. It is said that Maharaja came from the same family as Maharani and they opened their Kochuri outlet across the street. However, today both the shops are on the same side of the street.
Tasty Corner - South Kolkata is home to another shop called Tasty Corner, situated in Ekdalia. It is supremely famous for its Kochuri and people living in the area as well as the neighbourhood school goers vouch for the taste. The corner shop has various flavours other than hing like koraishuti (green peas), paneer and other flavours.
Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar - As we move towards the central Kolkata, Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar at Bhowanipore, opposite to Bhawanipore police station, is a legendary sweet shop of more than 105 years old and a coveted one for its Kochuri. Instead of a Torkari (sabzee as called in Bengali), you get a Daal and for many, this is the best in Kolkata. Additionally, Sri Hari is also famous for its Langcha which comes in different sizes and a Kochuri meal would be incomplete without the Langcha in the end.
Mohan Bhandar- Moving ahead, stop at this place which is associated with Big B - Amitabh Bachchan. Situated at S.N. Banerjee Road, at the corner, this is one of the busiest roads in the vicinity and hundreds and thousands of Kochuris get made and polished off in no time. The fact that Bhaskor Banerjee had come here on a Sunday to get his dose of Kochuri has only added to the glamour of this famous shop. This place offers Alur Torkari or Potato Curry with a semi thick gravy. The chutney and the chilli pickle which comes with it is ingenious.
Putiram - This is another legendary shop in College Street area, famous for its Kochuri and other sweets. Any Kochuri trail in the city would be unqualified without a pit stop at this shop. The best part is that you can get a Kochuri here any time of the day. You don't have to travel all the way to college street for breakfast only. Even though Alur Torkari is sometimes available, the Cholar Dal accompanying the Kochuri is a hot favourite. Other than Kochuri, there is also the option for Radha Ballavi and to finish off, there is an ample choice of Bengali sweets to fulfil your heart's desire.
Geetika - Move to Maniktala, a primarily Marwari para, the Kochuris here are served with Alur torkari, albeit with some leftover skin on the potato cubes. The taste of the torkari is quite Non- Bengali - God knows how the world is divided into Bengali and Non Bengali! The Kochuri too hangs more towards a luchi; however, the taste is nothing but moreish.
Every para or locality of the city is lined with mishtir dokan and Kochuri selling shops. The above list is so not exhaustive. Sometimes a local para sweet shop springs surprisingly great Kochuri. So to actually say that which shops sell the best Kochuri would be foolish and in any case, 'best' is a relative term. Then there are other establishments like Junior Brothers, Sharma Tea Stall, Haldirams, Nandalal Ghosh and Sons and much more, which have made its name on this humble Kochuri. However, one can safely say that the above names of the Kochuri shops deserve a legendary status.
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.