The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The new street food

Momo seems to be the new happening street food these days. This Tibetan snack is invading Kolkata gradually. Every other day I find a new momo vendor on Kolkata streets. On Exide junction I spotted no less than three vendors today. The one just beside Exide office is the most popular.

The prices are dart cheap. Generally four pieces come at Rs 10. The only hitch is quality. Well, how much of quality is possible at that price is another question. Hence it may not exactly be favoured by real momo lovers but does make for a healthy, cheap snack- four steaming momos and a bowl of clear chicken soup. Especially good in cold weather. Its a big hit with school students and collegegoers.

For vendors too, it makes a lot of business sense. Selling momos require small place and not much of a capital, and cooking it is possible on a small part of a tabletop as all you need is the steaming appliance.

Momo was pioneered in Kolkata by some Tibetan families at Suburban Hospital Road, a place near Exide. Still the best momo joints are there- Orchid, Momo Plaza, the low-profile Hamro Momo. When many people in my age group were introduced to this delicacy at that place, it wasn't available on streets. I first sampled it in 1997. Real momo lovers swear by this place still now. My personal favourite is pork steamed momo at Hamro Momo, as the price is reasonable it being a no-frills place and the taste is great.