Where do you get good Bihari food in Kolkata? Till last month, if this was the question asked to any food lover of the city, the answers would have come in vague. There are few roadside temporary places in Kolkata where you would get Litti Chokha, but, a dedicated food joint for Bihari cuisine? Yes, that is what has happened in Kolkata.
Litti Chokha and many more dishes will take you on a journey through Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Patna and other towns of Bihar. Litti Chokha served piping hot mixed with desi ghee from Bihar, needs to be broken into 2 pieces and had with chokha. Littii Express serve Aloo Chokha which is polka dotted with dry red chilli flakes and the Baingan Chokha has a distinct mustard oil flavour. A slight word of caution here. The innocent looking Littis will fill you up sooner than you know, so leave some space for other fares too.
The interiors are done amazingly with uneven rough white walls with Madhubani paintings, the map of famous places of Bihar and Jharkhand, and, also, an open-air sitting area outside makes a perfect place for a family outing. If you explore further, then, do not miss the most often used Bhojpuri/ Bihari terms and their uses. Simple seating arrangement and an 'Open Live Kitchen' makes the food experience even more interesting.
As a food lover, you would definitely want to explore more than Litti Chokha and that is the area where this place scores. Bihari cuisine is rich in flavours, high in spices and the special chutneys that accompany them are indulging. The starter section has Begusarai Ka Bagia Basket which is a dumpling sort of dish, made with rice flour and stuffed with Chana Dal and steamed. Bhagalpuri Ghoogni is not your usual ghoogni made of white peas. These are made of Kala chana and served with Chirwa or Chewda as we commonly know them. It is not a completely dry dish, has some spicy juices and has palate bursting flavours. Ara Burger, Sil Batta Chilla, Darbhanga Ka Dahi kabab and many more interesting dishes line the menu. Aloo Dum from Bhojpur is racy and zesty, and, a must-try with some paratha which is also available in 3 varieties - Sattu, Aloo and Dal. If you have space for more, then the Khichdi is a must-have. There are some interesting and rustic desserts too. Makhna Ka kheer and Moong Dal Ka Halwa, to name a new will complete your Bihari dining experience.
if there is one area where Kolkata has to expand the horizon of foodscape is the presence of regional cuisines and other than the new investments and overall development, this will also give a more cosmopolitan flavour to the city. Assam, Bihar and Odisha are the three neighbouring states with 2 of them sharing the borders and in most of the border areas the taste, dishes and cooking styles overlap each other. The Coastal Macha, since last one and half years have been trying to give the city a taste of the coastal food. Bati Chokha in Salt Lake gets you the flavour of Rajasthan but then that is it. This is a long-awaited step towards embracing the neighbouring states cuisine and an Assamese or an Odiya joint will be more than welcome in the city. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this place will also be a coveted destination for the vegetarian eaters of the city.
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.