Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ramazan Food Walk through Zakaria Street in Kolkata

Today's post is more of my experience of exploring the nooks and corners of Kolkata! This food walk through Zakaria Street is my first experience of any such food walk in the city. So hope you enjoy reading through this. As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome :)

If you have known me personally, you would know that I am born and brought up in the beautiful steel city of Jamshedpur. Therefore, having spent some time in Kolkata, I still have loads to discover in the city of joy. Though I have always known Kolkata as a foodie's heaven, this food walk was still a surprise for me.

 When my colleague, Anushka, suggested that we should go for this food walk, I was very skeptical as I am allergic(if you may use this word to describe my mindset in this case) to crowded places :P . But I was almost adamant to explore the city! Located in a tiny pocket of north Kolkata near Chitpur, you almost have to push your way into the narrow alley. 

Kebabs at Zakaria Street

Once you enter the place, you know you have just stumbled upon a non-vegetarian's paradise. Kebabs, haleem, biryani, desserts, sewai, biscuits - you name it and you get it in Zakaria Street. You will find countless shops selling delicious kebabs, cooked right in front of your eyes. 

Kebabs at Zakaria Street

Be it malai/ noorani/ tikka/ hariyali kebabs or chicken 65, you get all of them at extremely affordable rates. :)  After sampling almost all, I loved chicken noorani kebabs the most. It had minced chicken with spices  and almost melted in the mouth. My parents loved them too :) Chicken 65, a south Indian delicacy with loads of spices and deep fried came a close second ! Hariyali also is a winner in itself. The shopkeepers were also very generous and encouraged us to try almost all kebabs with a generous helping of green chutney and salad while patiently explaining the cooking process

Chicken Noorani kebabs in the making

A close friend suggested that one should definitely taste chicken changezi when at Zakaria street. This is chicken marinated with spices and then deep fried. They are mostly sold in kilograms. Honestly, I had so much that there was no space for chicken changezi. 

The helpful shopkeeper at Zakaria Street

The haleem too was good. The meat was soft and was served in earthern pots which gave it a nice flavour. There are several shops and makeshift stalls selling haleem and biriyani. But as everyone knows, the biriyani at Aminia and Zeeshan is legendary. 

We also tried the firni at Zeeshan. Served in an earthen pot again, you can not really miss this when on this food walk. Roohafza or red sherbet is an integral part of this walk, though we gave it a miss as we could not risk having the water they were using :P .In case you are the adventurous soul with a strong immunity, you might want to give this is a try. But I would certainly not recommend this on my blog ! Contaminated water is a strict no -no !

Firni At Zeeshan, Zakaria Street - Kolkata

Not only did we gorge on all of these delicacies, we also packed a lot of things for home :)

Overall, this was a discovery in itself. I hope they were available all around the year so that I could easily satisfy my kebab cravings at unbelievable prices. 

I would like to share some tips for first timers like me:

1. Ramazan month is usually hot and humid in Kolkata. Remember to carry a bottle of water
2. Try and sample a little bit of each variety. 
3. Remember it is a narrow lane; hence keep yourself mentally prepared
4. Talk to the shopkeepers as much as possible, they give you the best nuggets of information about the custom and the dish
5. Its a long walk so remember to dress comfortably 

I would love to hear about your experiences of Zakaria street. If you are a Kolkatan, you might have a lot of suggestions and stories to tell me. I am very excited to hear/read about all of them :)


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