Best Food Festivals of Kolkata to Cherish the Authentic Bengali Cuisine


Best Food Festivals of Kolkata
Image – Wikimedia

India has a diverse culture that can be uniquely experienced by trying the culinary delights of each location. Food gives us an insight into the history and character of a certain area. It helps us to realize how various states employ local products differently. Food Festivals of India are one of the most effective methods to get a crash course in our rich culinary history. The impact of social media has made events like these increasingly popular with the second and more people want a part in it. There is arguably no better way to experience one’s soul than by eating. How better than to go to a food festival of Kolkata where you can take part in hands-on cooking events, meet new chefs, mingle with friends, and sample local Bengali food?

1. Ahare Bangla

Image-Biswarup Ganguly/Wikimedia

You’re missing out on a spectacular experience if you’ve never visited Ahare Bangla before. Thousands of people come together, five days and tons of shops to celebrate food. The food festival, organized by several departments in the government of West Bengal is led by the Animal Resources Development Department. It is all about the promotion and commemoration of local products. This Festival is held annually with authentic Bengali cuisines such as Ilish bhapa, kosha mangsho, tyangrar jhol, bhetki paturi, and mishti doi with new delicacies every year. You will have an opportunity to interact with farmers — those who literally cultivate the food we consume each day. Apart from food, discussion shows, cooking sessions with well-known chefs, notable writers, poets, and other distinguished personalities are also present to keep one engaged.

2. ABP Ananda Khaibar Pass

Image – Sushmita Paul Mum/FB

ABP Ananda Khaibaar Pass is one of Kolkata’s greatest culinary festivals. It has been celebrating the sparkling culture of Bengal’s food with great joy and enthusiasm for the past six years. The particular event brings Bengalis together with local brands and eateries in the state, providing various dishes. Organizations are attempting to embrace West Bengal cultures and ethos through on-the-ground initiatives like these.

There is a vast range of Biryanis, Kebab, simple Bengali meals, seafood, and a lot of desserts and snackable items at this famed food festival. From Mughlai to Chinese and Lebanese, there is an existing variety of cuisines available. Besides the famous local culinary scenes such as Aminia, Arsalan, Nizam, India, Kolkata Restaurant, Saptapadi Restaurant, Chowman Nalini Chandra Sen, etc, it is also a pleasure to see some hidden gems in and outside Kolkata be showcased here. Delicacies from several towns in Bengal, especially Baharampur, Chandannagar, Durgapur, and Rishra are also available in these stalls.

Furthermore, you can not only enjoy the delicious food but also enjoy the cultural performances of different artists and participate in the intriguing carnival games. It has something in store for every visitor. The organizers believe that this culinary festival would rekindle the desire for some of the lost Indian dishes and give visitors a multicultural experience through food and beverages.

3. The River Water Hilsa Festival by Oh! Calcutta

Image – Sayamindu Dasgupta/Flickr

Hilsa or Illish is a prominent river water fish that runs upstream through the Bay of Bengal from the corners of the Arabian Sea. While the Bengali legacy has been maintained, it is now a delicacy sought after and is gradually cherished across the country. It has a robust and tasty characteristic flavor. Of course, without serving Ilish, no event is complete. One may enjoy a traditional preparation of the Queen Of Fish during Oh! Calcutta’s Hilsa Festival. In addition to their typical buffet lunch and dinner, you can order several of these Hilsa special items from their Hilsa menu. This consists of the chef’s special – Bengal’s famous Hilsa Broth or Ilisher Jhol with Mustard –with the simple yet vital mustard (Shorshe). The Smoked Hilsa, a native version of the dish from the British Raj and served with fries and sauteed vegetables. The Mochar Ilish, spicy banana flower, and a fried Hilsa in a unique mixture are other great favorites. And Aam Tel Ilish which is a steamed boneless Ilish which is mango pickle-flavored, wrapped in a pumpkin leaf and served in a clay jar of steamed rice.

The most pleasing thing about Oh! Calcutta is that all ingredients come straight from Bengal. It’s an excellent experience to enjoy all these delicacies. This promotional festival takes place in the monsoon period in July-August at its branches throughout the country.

Kolkata has always been associated with its distinct cuisine and these are just some of the yearly food festivals. Apart from these, the city of joy is almost a year-long food festival on its own and is always open to other local food-based carnivals(such as food stalls during Durga Pujo), or several regional ones that showcase delicacies from all over the state. This popularity inspires and promotes more festivals of the same kind on a national and international level. Keep an eye out for the various events that are always happening from time to time in this bustling city for an exceptional experience!

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