Savour on yummy tele bhaja on Durga Puja
Make your puja evenings special with these irresistible snacks from iconic joints
What’s Durga Puja without some unlimited adda? And no such informal sessions with friends and family are complete without tele bhaja (deep-fried teatime snacks) and muri (puffed rice). The Bengali romance with the deep-fried is not new — whether deep-fried or shallow-fried vegetables, fish or meat in gram flour batter or rolled in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. And while the pandemic has toned down our festivities, here are some tele bhaja dishes worth trying from these famous joints on those casual Durga Puja evenings at home.
Peyaji of Laxmi Narayan Shaw and Sons
Located in a quiet bylane of North Kolkata, Laxmi Narayan Shaw and Sons was formally established in 1918 by his grandfather Khedu Shaw. The story goes that it was during that period, Shaw first met Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who loved his deep-fried snacks. The best sellers of this shop are the light and fluffy fuluri (puffed up fried besan), paneer chop, soya chop and peyaji (onion fritters).
Prawn chop, Kalika
Puja hopping in College Street isn’t complete without a snack stop at this small roadside joint. Food connoiseurs love Kalika’s Aloor Chop, Beguni, Fuluri and Mochar (banana flowers) chop, the latter being a delicacy. Dig into their delectable Chingrir Chop (prawn chop) made without onions and garlic. For this dish, shrimps are fried and then added to spiced mashed potatoes, dipped into egg batter and coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried.
Potoler chop, Potalar Dokan
For residents of Bagbajar, in North Kolkata, Potlar Dokan ranks first in the list of the best tele bhaja shops in Kolkata. The century-old shop is known for greasy delights such as Potoler Chop (batter fried pointed gourd), Dalpuris and Dhoka (fried lentil cakes).
Brain chop of Mitra Café
Deep-fried tennis ball-sized gooey goat brain chop is the speciality of this heritage eatery in North Kolkata. The goat brain is marinated in ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, cinnamon powder, crushed black pepper, kebab masala, and dipped in egg batter, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Other popular items here include Diamond Fish Fry and Egg Devil.
Do you know of any other tele bhaja delights? Share in the comments section below.