Posted on


The historically rich land of Bihar has a diverse cuisine with a plethora of delicacies. The scrumptious and unique Bihari dishes are a treat for foodies hankering for local flavours. Fascinated by the enticing food stories from the state, we decided to explore its vibrant foodscape beyond the most celebrated litti chokha. So here we are all ready with an amusing food series that brings you the gastronomic details from different regions of the state. It is not just a journey of taste but an expedition to collate stories – stories that delights, stories that informs and stories that inspires.


Today we bring you an fascinating food exploration from the capital city of Bihar. It is a busy city with an amazing heritage and culture and also full of amusing people. So let’s see what the journey holds for us. We are so glad to have been joined by Mayank who is a young and passionate food blogger from the city. 


We began our journey quite early in the morning from the vicinity near the Patna station as we wanted to start with some amazing local breakfast. Before heading to the most crowded eatery in the area we went to the very famous Mahavir Mandir to pay our reverence to Lord Hanuman. We partook some prasad and set out for Bhola ji’s nashte ki dukaan. It was an insanely crowded place stuffed with people jostling to catch a quick breakfast. The affordable breakfast thali available here consisted of fresh hot puris, jalebi, potato and chana sabzi, dahi vada and raita. Just for 30 rupees the quantity of food is so good that it keeps you  going for a long time. The home styled food was quite good and filling. The place was thronged by office goers waiting to fill them up with some carbohydrate rich stuff before setting off for the daily grind.

From there we went to the iconic Puraani Litti Ki Dukan very close to the previous place for the taste of Bihar’s legendary litti and chokha. The place was abuzz with people busy eating the delicacy. We interacted with the genial owner who introduced us to the nuances of this dish. The freshly made litti and chokha tasted heavenly; especially the interplay of the flavours from mustard oil and ghee. Here we also tried crisp hot chandrakala which is a disc shaped traditional fried pastry filled with khoya and dry fruits. 

Next was the turn of another famous street side snack called sev buniya and our destination was Bhanu sweets. Before trying a delicious plate of sev dahi buniya, we made a quick visit to the facility where it was being prepared. Among the three types of combination we went for the sev, buniya and dahi combo and it was super hearty. We finished it off with a cup of tea and some light hearted conversation. 


The following destination was a fuchka stall. These crisp and hollow puris stuffed with potatoes and flavoured water are amazing flavour bombs. It is a much loved street food here in Patna and being fuchka lovers ourselves we couldn’t escape the urge of trying some. First we tried the aloo cut which was a zesty boiled potato and spice based mixture and then the ubiquitous fuchka. 

From there we arrived at a humble cart that had some neatly arranged transparent boxes full of different healthy munchies and a hot wok placed over a potable coal fire. We were there to try a pocket friendly wholesome snack called Bhunja that is a popular snack for those who are inclined towards affordable nutritious stuffs. It is a mixture made with a preferred amount of grains, cereals and legumes. You can choose your preference and witness them being dry roasted right in front of your eyes, mix them with or without onions, chillies etc. Just pop it and keep munching till your heart content. 


Next was the turn for some sweets and what could be better than spotting the famous Maner Ke Ladoos, a traditional sweet treat from the small town of Maner. These are a special variant of another popular North Indian sweet called motichoor ladoos that are adored for their deep fried super tiny chickpea flour based pearls. It was soft, luscious and they just vanished inside the mouth. It was followed by Bergami, another traditional sweet that is made up of paneer chunks that was firm and syrupy. 


We wrapped up this simple food tour with a special paan that was intended to cleanse the palate and aid digestion. The street food here is a mix of fun treats and healthy filling stuffs. The Bihar food sojourn started on an exciting note.

Posted on


As a potpourri of various traditions and cultural influences, Kolkata’s cuisine is rich, extensive and vibrant. However, that one dish which has never ceased to win the hearts of the food lovers, is the Kolkata Biryani. A close cousin of the Lucknowi Biryani, Kolkata Biryani is loved for its subtle taste and less robust yet toothsome flavours. 

Apart from the long grain fragrant rice, aromatic whole spices, good quality meat, optimum use of seasonings and the dum style of cooking, it’s the huge chunks of fried potatoes that lends a unique dimension to its flavour profile. 

The city’s deep seated love for this delicacy is clear through the presence of innumerable biryani joints, both small and big or new and old. With its quintessential characteristics, Kolkata biryani is class apart whose distinguishing feature is the use of potatoes. 

Kolkata (or Calcutta) biryani owes its origin to Lucknow. It originated in the kitchen of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last ruler of Awadh when he moved to Kolkata from Lucknow. Every biryani aficionado will agree that the best Kolkata biryani can only be found in the city and nowhere else. Our quest to taste the best biryani in Kolkata led us to the kitchen of the stalwart chef Manzilat Fatima, who belongs to the lineage Nawab Wajid Shah and to an old, popular eatery in the Northern fringe of the city named Dada Boudi Biryani. 

Come let’s walk you through the experience. It was a privilege to learn the niceties of this stellar dish from someone who has perceived it in close quarters through handed-down recipes and stories. 

Through her popup restaurant that specialises in Awadhi cuisine, Manzilat has been serving happiness to all the food lovers out there. No wonder her chicken and mutton biryani are the talk of the town. Driven by deep passion and love to play with flavours, she and her team serves magic to the discerning customers. Manzilat showed us how to make a classic Kolkata style chicken biryani that anybody can recreate at their home. 

Before stepping into the kitchen, we shared a brief conversation over a gorgeous cup of pink chai and some Ulte Tawa Ke Paranthe.  During the tete-tete, she told us about the apocryphal story of how potatoes came to be a part of the Kolkata biryani. It was soon time to start with the cooking. The irresistible, fragrant biryani was ready in just four easy looking steps. But the masterpiece was a result of passion and expertise. It was a joy to see Manzilat play with the ingredients with such effortless ease. 

The biryani was like a warm cuddle. The subtle and hearty flavours in every morsel sent us into a state of calm bliss. Those yearning for a classic Kolkata biryani must try it at Manzilat’s. The potatoes tasted great as well.  We had paired the biryani with burani raita. The meal at Manzilat ended with a brilliant sooji ka halwa.

After trying the classic, Kolkata style chicken biryani from Manzilat, the following day we set out to try it from one of the city’s hugely popular biryani joints named Dada Boudi hotel in Barrackpore. Situated in the Northern part of the city, Barrackpore had gained much relevance during the British Raj, as it formed the administrative and military base then. 

We took an electric train ride to reach the historical town of Barrackpore. On alighting from the train we straightaway headed to their biryani factory where the day’s final batch of biryani was going to be prepared. The factory was like a huge room where an army of cooks were busy preparing for the mission. The sight of the large cauldrons, some over the gas stoves and some over the wood fire was absolutely thrilling. Here we met the industrious team of cooks and associates who diligently carried out the task of preparing the biryani. Soon we realised that the whole process from beginning to the end is thoroughly structured and so for us it was like watching one step smoothly transiting into the next and so on. What really impressed us was the sheer dexterity and enthusiasm of the fellows working in tandem. We were amused by the way they were managing the huge fire and the enormous amount of heat emanating from the same without complaining. 


Soon after the biryani got ready, they were loaded into a goods carrier and dispatched to the hotel. The eatery was crowded to the brim of which half were eating in the seating area and half had queued up for the takeaway. Before digging into our plate, we spoke to Bapi da who told us about the place, it’s speciality and the reason behind it’s unwavering popularity. We couldn’t help but notice the sparkle in his eyes as he spoke about the place. Finally we settled down to eat the famous mutton biryani of Dada Boudi hotel. One morsel of this scrumptious fare just won our heart. The flavours were varied yet subtle. The generous piece of mutton was tender and succulent. The rice was flavourful and fluffy and last but not the least, the potato added a comforting touch to the whole dish. Undoubtedly this was the best we have had in Kolkata. 

So this was the story of our Biryani trail in Kolkata. There are many iconic places in the city that serve amazing biryani. We intend to try them on our future visit.