Namma Calcutta literally means My Calcutta in Kannada, the local language spoken in Bengaluru!! Its been more than a decade since Calcutta shed off its colonial hangover in the name and transitioned to the more rounded Bengali sounding name Kolkata but for the ones who have grown up in the city; much before this change it is still Calcutta!!
I am referring to this small little street food joint in Koramangala 8th Block, opposite to the Police Station in the lane next to Boca Grande. You may just miss it if you are not looking out for it. After seeing a couple of social media posts on their Sandesh Momo; I wanted to try it out.
The momos were delicate dumplings filled with sandesh specially procured from Kolkata and infused with molten Nolen Gur (palm jaggery). One bite into these delicately folded delicious mounds, the sandesh melted into my mouth. The flour cover counters and tones down the sweetness of the sandesh. This momo is a westernized cousin of the Puli Pithey a cross between the traditional puli pithey and the Nepalese dumpling serving traditional sandesh in a momo jacket. At Rs 80 per plate it is complete value for money but would prefer smaller servings since it is hard to have too many sweets in a go.
As I devoured them one by one; sepia toned old memories came flashing by. I remembered my grand mother toiling away in the kitchen in the months December/January preparing a wide variety of “pithey” and “puli” with gur and freshly ground rice flour. Puli or cocunut stuffed dumplings soaked in thickened milk flavoured with jaggery used to be my favourite and this Sandesh momo was satisfying that craving.
Dedicated to street food, you have to actually stand on the road or at most rest your back on a plastic stool in Namma Calcutta. The price point is just perfect and very light on the pocket. I happened to be there a few times and have tasted most of their stuff from jhalmuri, chops, rolls, ghugni and luchi. I vouch for all the stuff except the luchi which is more like a fried kochuri. The aloo dum fails to impress me either since it is more of a “jhol” gravy made from a mash of under fried onions.
If you are from Kolkata and missing your street food fare from your neighbouring lane to the ones from Gariahat, College Street, Esplanade, Dalhousie, Dacres Lane and more head to Namma Calcutta and you will not be disappointed. I am a difficult customer to please when it comes to street food and they have just done that.
- Jhalmuri, Ghugni, Rolls – 4.5/5 . The best part is that the chicken ghugni has chunks of chicken that you can actually feel in your mouth.
- Chops – 4/5 – The aloo is blended into fish/chicken with the right amount of masala.
- Sandesh Momo – 4/5
- Luchi – 1.5/5