How much of uniqueness, delightfulness and deliciousness can be infused into fried savory fritters? Well if this is the question any Calcacian is asked, then assuredly the one’s reply will be ‘Limitless’. And why is that so? Because of the person’s pleasurable acquaintance with the best telebhaja town. This is a one-of-a-kind street victual palate served by food kiosks all over Kolkata. In essence, ‘Telebhaja’ is a deep-fried salty and spicy snack made by blending either different kinds of vegetables or certain kinds of non-vegan protein (fish/meat/egg) with a deep batter of corn flour and then cooking it in boiling oil until a sun-caked texture is obtained. To enrich the relish, sometimes this snack (mostly in the vegetarian pattern) is arrayed with poppy or mustard seeds as toppings on the outside fried batter.
From eggplants to onions and from mutton to Barramundi fish, the varieties offered over this Bengali fritter are authentically the widest. However, in here one thing must be acknowledged of. All the fame and favor that ‘Telebhaja’ enjoys within both the Bengali and Non-Bengali communities is cardinally due to the culinary and creative aptitudes of certain Kolkata eateries whose owners are relentlessly engaged in catering the most distinguished and highly delish variants of it to each and every customer. Some of them are the real emblems of best telebhaja town.
Photo by Basheer Olakara
A palatable picture of best telebhaja town
At the backdrop of multitude number of joints serving this distinctive piquant snack, it is factually a tough chore to depict which provide best telebhaja town. Still, depending over the aspects of footfalls, years of operation and exclusiveness offered, 5 among these are documented in here:
Lakhi Narayan Show & Sons, Bidhan Saroni—Oriented at the metropolis’s most busy zone–the Central Avenue, this domicile (launched at 1918) stands distinctive from the crowd through the kosher fact of being the eatery visited by the national hero Subhas Chandra Bose. Nicknamed as ‘Netaji-r Chop-er Dokan’ (the snack shop of Netaji), the joint retains this glory by offering fritters gratis price on the 23rd of January per year. Based upon customer preferences, their peerless ‘Telebhaja’-s include:
- Alu Chop (<Potato)
- Aam Chop (<Raw Mango)
- Dhoka Barfi (< Spicy Lentil Cakes)
- Soybean Chop (<Soy Nuggets)
- Narkel Chop (<Coconut)
- Piyaji (<Onion Rings)
- Durga Puja-Special Chowmin Chop (<Noodles)
Aponjon, Kalighat—For the real non-vegan souls, this is the haven of best telebhaja town. Its simple and miniscule demeanor is not to be believed regarding the culinary potentiality. To any food-devotee of Kolkata, this is impeccable site to cherish matchless fish fries. The cutlet made with minced red meat is also another prided serve of Aponjon. The kiosk holds the admirable track record of making first-timers return to it time and again.
Jihobar Jwal, Dhaukria—A vanity of South Kolkata, this temptation abode continues to gratify the ‘Telebhaja’ craving from the past 40 years. It is one of the handfuls of road palate spots that remain open till 11p.m of night. The fans recommend:
- Potol Chop (<Bottle Gourd)
- Alu Bom (<Potato Fried in Big Spherical Pattern)
- Echor Chop (<Raw Jackfruit)
- Capsicum Chop (<Green Bell Paper)
- Dal Bora (<Deep-Fried Flour Dough with Lentil Stuffing)
- Tomato Chop (<Ripe Ones)
Mukhoruchee, Baranagar—This humble-to-view shop is magnified with the divine history of being the great Swan Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s preferred eatery. Its inside walls are arrayed with the Avatar’s snapshot and also by token bestowed by the Baranagar branch of the Ramakrishna Mission institution. The present owners further voice out the story how the theatre veteran Girish Ghosh stopped over on his way, lured simply by the aroma of their fritters. An authentically vegan snack joint; the must-try servings here are the hot ‘Begunis’ (<eggplant) and the crispy ‘Phuluris’ (lentil fritters).
Narendar Dokan (Narendra Behra’s Joint), Harish Chatterjee Street—Sharing the same neighborhood with the honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, this 60 year old kiosk is especially mentionable because of the striking price meter that it retains even during the present days. Each and every ‘Telebhaja’ here is offered at the hard-to-believe price of RS 2.5. Having the honor of catering the CM best telebhaja town on a regular basis, the domicile suggests new customers to bite on to their offered plates of ‘Piyaji’ and ‘Dhoka’.
Photo by yoppy
Gratification quotient of kalika telebhaja
If the above-mentioned list is not much encouraging the dedicated fish and meat consumers with the mention of just one such eatery, then they need to continue the reading. For them, there is much sought-after domain of kalika telebhaja. Situated at the alcove of College Street, kalika telebhaja is renowned for its broad stock of mouth-watering non-vegetarians ‘Telebhajas’. The indispensable-to-cherish victuals of kalika telebhaja include:
- Dim-er Devil (<Bolied Egg in Fried Batter)
- Vetki Maccher Chop (<Barramundi Fish)
- Chingri Chop (<Shrimp)
- Large Prawn Chop
Luscious legacy of basanta cabin
In addition to the above mentioned one, there is another bistro at College Street which effectively upholds the concept of best telebhaja town. This is basanta cabin that is also a favorite hang-out spot for the true Calcacians. The ‘Kaviraji’ style of preparing dishes of meat and fish is the exquisiteness of basanta cabin. The Kaviraji Cutlet and those stuffed with Chicken and Barramundi remain the favorite within the regular crowd at basanta cabin.
Within the huge spread of ‘Telebhajas’, the fowl cutlet recipe has gained quite a level of international repute. Inherently, a discovery of the Bengali scullery, fowl cutlet recipe is explained in many food blogs. Nevertheless, the native shop-owners selling the palate are the true pros of fowl cutlet recipe.
Be it the hot cup of coffee at a winter evening, or the gossip time tea goblet, ‘Telebhajas’ never fail to accent the relish mood.
Featured Photo by h0lydevil