From savories to desserts, try these treats in Kolkata during the winter season for a satisfying culinary experience that warms both your heart and tummy!
In Kolkata, winter ushers in a season of celebration. From picnics and parties to Christmas festivities and winter vacations, the residents of Kolkata embrace a festive spirit during this time of the year. What enhances their joy is the array of winter-special delicacies. While it’s true that the winter in Kolkata is relatively mild compared to many other states in the country, it doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the locals for savoring seasonal dishes that consistently captivate with their rich flavors, enticing aroma, and remarkable versatility.
Phulkopir Singara (Cauliflower Samosa)
Phulkopir singara, a triangular delight deep-fried to perfection and filled with a delectable mixture of cauliflower and potato, pairs exceptionally well with a cup of tea. With each bite of phulkopir singara, you’ll discover the enchanting blend of winter vegetables, stir-fried to perfection with cumin seeds, green chili, ginger, and an array of ground spices. The addition of crushed peanuts brings a delightful crunch and depth to the filling. While lazy Sunday evenings provide an ideal setting for savoring the Singara, it is a delightful treat suitable for any time of the day. For an authentic and truly satisfying experience, consider visiting renowned establishments such as Mrityunjoy Ghosh & Sons in Sarat Bose Road, Putiram Sweets in College Street, and Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick (multiple locationsin the city) to relish the exquisite flavors of phulkopir singara.
Koraishutir Kochuri (Peas Kochuri)
This Bengali-style matar kachori holds a special association with winter. The filling for this airy bread features in-season koraishuti (green peas), often mashed or coarsely ground and seasoned with a blend of ginger, green chilies, asafoetida, and nigella seeds. The dough, crafted from refined flour (maida), is meticulously kneaded to a smooth consistency, and then rolled into petite discs. These dough portions are then generously filled with the green pea mixture, sealed, and expertly rolled into flat, circular shapes. Subsequently, they are deep-fried until they achieve a golden-brown, puffed perfection. Pairing exceptionally well with winter-harvested baby potatoes bathed in a thick, spicy-sweet gravy, koraishutir kochuri finds its perfect complement in aloor dum. Should potatoes not align with your preferences, consider the alternative – cholar dal. This festive lentil dish showcases Bengal gram cooked with coconut, ghee, and raisins, creating a symphony of flavors that shouldn’t be missed. To experience the authentic charm of koraishutir kochuri, venture to renowned establishments like KC Das (multiple locations), Tasty Corner in Ballygunge Place, Putiram in College street, Balaram Mullick Radharaman Mullick (multiple locations in the city).
Also Read: 72 Hours in Kolkata – Travel and Food Guide
Nolen Gur Desserts
Arriving dark and slow-dripping, date palm jaggery emerges every winter, bringing a transformative touch to perennial favorites like sandesh and roshogolla. Sweet with a subtle smokiness, its role is to infuse and elevate the culinary experience. This holds true for jolbhora, the sandesh skillfully concealing nolen gur within its ample belly, and for nolen gurer roshogolla, adorned with silky brown syrup that clings to the sponge balls. Let’s not overlook its dalliance with kachagolla, delicate and sublime, or the decadence of a nolen gur-encased monohora. Indulge in this delightful experience at esteemed establishments like Nalin Chandra Das & Sons, Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy, Putiram, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Sen Mahasay, Banchhram’s, Mouchak, and Hindusthan Sweets.
Joynagar Er Moa
This fragrant and delicate sweet, infused with the essence of cardamom and crafted from nolen gur (date palm jaggery) and khoi (puffed rice), exclusively derived from the kanakchur rice variety, stands as a culinary treasure unique to Joynagar, situated in the South 24 Parganas. Notably, it secured a Geographical Indication (GI) tag just last year. Brimming with a generous blend of raisins and khoya (reduced milk), this special treat is available in Jaynagar Majilpur town, and also in popular sweet shops in Kolkata like Mouchak Sweets in Golpark, and Banchharam’s (multiple locations).
Pithe and Patishapta
Pithe, sweet dumplings either fried or steamed, and patishapta, thin crêpes filled with jaggery-infused coconut or cardamom-scented kheer, sometimes luxuriating in a bath of thickened, nolen gur-flavored milk, constitute a cherished winter tradition in many Bengali households, particularly during Makar Sankranti. While once confined to home kitchens, these delectable treats are now readily available in sweet shops. At Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick (multiple outlets in the city) and at Nobin Chandra Das & Sons in Shobhabazar, you can relish freshly cooked patishapta straight from the griddle or bring home an assortment of pithe, including the sesame-crusted til’er pithe, the soft moog daal’er pithe, or the perennially beloved gokul pithe with its sugary exterior.
A month prior to Christmas leading to transformation of Park Street into a festive spectacle, patisseries across the city gear up with an abundance of plum cakes. At Nahoum, the famed Jewish bakery with over a century of history, where the charm lies in nostalgic displays of chocolate rum balls and lemon tarts, the real marvel is their robust plum cake infused with a potent flavor and studded with raisins. Meanwhile, at Flurys, the legendary tearoom in the heart of Park Street that has stood the test of time since 1927, a decadent, rum-soaked version awaits, boasting a warmth derived from an abundance of cashews, almonds, and candied fruits. Flurys has multiple outlets in Kolkata.
Kolkata’s winter delicacies are a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage and the warmth of its people. From the streets to the finest dining establishments, the seasonal offerings capture the essence of the city’s culture and traditions. As you navigate the bustling streets and explore the diverse neighborhoods of Kolkata during the winter months, be prepared to embark on a culinary journey that will leave your taste buds tingling and your heart warmed by the hospitality of the City of Joy.
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