Feasting with the Knights from East: Kolkata Knight Riders

Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo and Khaabo!

Sayoni Bhaduri

It is a little difficult to pay attention to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the presence of its promoter, actor Shah Rukh Khan, but one tries.

One of the original teams of Indian Premier League, KKR has come a long way. A decade ago, the team had quite a bumpy start, but all that changed in 2012, when they lifted the IPL cup for the first time by defeating Chennai Super Kings. They took the cup home again in 2014.

This year, the KKR team is led by two contemporary cricketing stalwarts, Dinesh Karthik as captain and Robin Uthappa as vice-captain. These two are supported by the likes of Trinidadian all-rounder Sunil Narine and spin bowler from Karnataka KC Cariappa. The team has been carefully coached by South African cricketing legend Jacques Kallis

Also Read: Get Bowled over Hyderabad's Food Offerings

The mighty Eden Garden in Kolkata is KKR’s home ground. India’s largest cricket stadium is also the world’s second largest cricket stadium after Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. Eden Garden can seat a whopping 68,000 spectators!

As a cricket crazy Indian, watching a cricket match at Eden Gardens, T20 or otherwise, should be on your bucket list. And while you’re in Kolkata here are 5 delicious treats from the City of Joy that will make your heart sing:

Jhal Muri

Head to Victoria Memorial as the sun sets and you will find hordes of hawkers with a nifty contraption, supported only by time-worn, yet well-developed neck and shoulder muscles, containing puffed rice in the centre and all the flavour additions wedged on the edges. In a flurry of movement, the hawker will mix the puffed rice with finely chopped onions, coriander, green chilies, peanuts, savoury namkeen and a dash of mustard oil. This mixture is then flawlessly transferred on to a paper baggy and et voila! You have yourself Kolkata’s beloved munchie, Jhal Muri.
The flavoured puffed rice mix has different names in different parts of the country, but Jhal Muri stands apart because of the use of mustard oil—a ubiquitous agent across the east. The snack has been at the centre of many an intellectual debate over innumerous cups of tea in Kolkata homes.

Macher Jhol

To think that any Bengali must-eat list will be complete without a pescatarian course is a folly. This maacher jhol or fish curry, served with TLC, epitomises comfort food. A simple curry made with a tempering of mustard oil and nigella seeds assimilates all the essential flavours. It is gently seasoned with green chilies and turmeric and the seared pieces of freshwater fish are then submerged and cooked to perfection. Bengali mothers tend to add seasonal veggies to add a booster shot of nutrition to the fish curry. We’d suggest tagging along with a Bengali friend to their home or give this maacher jhol recipe a shot.

Kosha Mangsho

Sunday lunches in Bengali households are incomplete without kosha mansgho or slow-cooked mutton curry. Every home makes kosha mangsho a little differently, but the basics remain the same. Whole spices are tempered in hot mustard oil till they release their aroma, then go in onions and ginger. When the spice mix reaches optimum, marinated mutton is seared on high heat and then left to slow cook in the same pot. Modern day cooking has the privilege of a pressure cooker, drastically reducing the cooking time for the meat, but according to the traditional recipe, the taste evolves only on genuine slow heat and slow cooking process. By the way, authentic kosha mangsho is incomplete without chunky pieces of potatoes.

Radha Ballabhi
A very popular breakfast dish in Kolkata, Radha Ballabhi can be compared to a stuffed luchi. Maida is kneaded with milk and the dough is stuffed with a lentil mix. The progenitor of the dish is said to be Ganguram Chaurasia who hailed from Benaras, even the construct of the bread is similar to the Benarasi Bedmi Puri and kachoris. The name Radha Ballabi refers to the divine partnership of Radha and Krishna.
Radha Ballabhi is best served with Bengali cholar dal or alu dum. Enjoy this delicious combination at the original Gaguram’s or at Puntiram, an eatery that has a very loyal fan base. If this isn’t feasible, give it a shot at home with this radha ballabhi recipe:
Feasting with the Knights from East: Kolkata Knight Riders

Rosogolla is an evergreen favourite Bengali dessert, but we’d like to divert your attention to cham cham—you can consider it the city-slicker cousin of the humble rosogolla. It is said that cham cham hails from Tangail region renowned for its exquisite handwoven sarees. Similar to rosogolla, cham cham is made from freshly-made chenna roundels boiled in sugar syrup till they double in size. Here is where cham cham’s differ, they are slit open to hold within them stuffing such as sweetened evaporated milk, and saffron and dry fruit enriched khoya.

Images: Shutterstock.com


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