Food in Jalpaiguri

Food in Jalpaiguri
Jalpaiguri Cuisine

Lying in the Himalayan foothills and sharing its proximity to the Gangetic plains, the food in Jalpaiguri is a mixture of the staple choices of Bengal and the traditional cuisine of Darjeeling, Sikkim and the North-east. Fish and rice form the staple ingredients which are usually paired with a vegetable dish. In addition to the subtle and yet spicy flavours of Bengal, Jalpaiguri cuisine is heavily indebted to regional specialties of other parts of India and outside influences including the Mughlai, South Indian, Chinese and Continental delicacies. However the most enjoyable local food comes in its street food stalls which you will find in every nook and corner of Jalpaiguri. They are usually accompanied by the quintessential Jalpaiguri tea or the bharer cha which comes with an intoxicating earthern aroma.

 Breakfast in Jalpaiguri

Food in Jalpaiguri
Breakfast in Jalpaiguri (Source: flickr)

The usual breakfast in Jalpaiguri starts with luchi which is deep fried flatbread made of flour and alur dum or potato curry. The paratha which is layered fried flatbread and koraishutir kochuri which is flatbread stuffed with peas paste are equally popular. These are taken with cholar dal or Bengal gram lentils. Kachoris and shingaras are available at the sweet shops and are a common breakfast fare.  Along with this, sometimes the momo or steamed dumplings and the fermented bamboo shoot which is an important cuisine of the Himalayan region are served in early morning food stalls.

Lunch and Dinner in Jalpaiguri

Food in Jalpaiguri
Lunch in Jalpaiguri

The inimitable rice and fish form the staple of all lunch and dinner culinary preparations in Jalpaiguri. As a district within West Bengal, Jalpaiguri households have a fair portion of the traditional Bengali cuisines in their lunch and dinner. The meal usually starts with shukto or a bitter vegetable preparation, followed by fries or bhaja like aloo bhaja, potol bhaja or parwal fries, bitter gourd fries or ucche bhaja, kumro bhaja or pumpkin fries and the begun bhaja or eggplant fries.

An assorted vegetable dish follows this taken with daal or lentil soup. Vegetable delicacies are sometimes flavoured with the exquisite and slightly addictive Posto or poppy seeds as in aloo posto and aloo-jhinge posto.

The main course is usually rice eaten with fish curry cooked in mustard oil, chicken or a meat preparation. This meal is then signed off with sweet-sour kacha aamer or mango chutney or khejurer chutney (date palm chutney) and paayesh, a milk dessert garnished with bay leaf, almond, cinnamon, cardamom, pistachios, and grated coconut.

Sweets and Snacks in Jalpaiguri

Food in Jalpaiguri
Momos in Jalpaiguri street stalls

Most street side food stalls have a delectable variety of snacks which are a gastronomical delight especially for foodies. The mouth watering phuchkas, puri bhaji, jhal muri or puffed rice with assorted vegetables mixed with raw mustard oil, ghugni which is a dried white peas curry, phulkopir singara or fried potato stuffed with cauliflower, butter toast are some of the common snacks available here. The Tibetan delicacy momos or steamed dumplings stuffed with vegetables, minced meat or cheese are a staple food item which is usually taken with soup and chilly sauce.

Chinese food including chowmein and noodle foods like the thukpa is also found in the roadside eateries. Sometimes, you may also chance upon the delicious fermented bamboo shoots mixed with vegetables or fish, a traditional food of the north-east and something you will definitely savour through your journey in Jalpaiguri.

Food in Jalpaiguri
Desserts in Jalpaiguri

The Bengali sweet-tooth finds its way into every corner of Jalpaiguri. The town as well as the district has numerous sweet shops with an array of sweet dishes to tickle your taste buds. From classic Indian sweets like the barfi, a fudgelike sweet, laddoo or sweetmeat ball and gulabjamun to the inimitable rosogollas as the specialty of Bengal, Jalpaiguri is the place to be if you crave for sweets. Homemade desserts like a variety of pithe-puli made of rice flour including the bhapa pithe, chitoi pithe are served with savouring sweet syrups of khejurer gur or date tree molasses.

The pati shapta which is a pancake shaped with rice flour and stuffed with sweetened coconut, date jiggery and milk is another appealing dessert usually served in winter.

Restaurants in Jalpaiguri

Food in Jalpaiguri
Sartaj Restaurant in Jalpaiguri District

There are a number of top restaurants in Jalpaiguri where a variety of cuisines from North Indian, South Indian, Bengali, Chinese and Continental food are available. One of the best options to dine with your friends and family in Jalpaiguri would be at Khana Khazana which has an extensive menu from South Indian, Chinese to Mumbai street snacks as well a lot of vegetarian options. Some of the other well known restaurants in Jalpaiguri are Motorist Inn on Jalpaiguri-Siliguri road, D'la Pritam in Kadamtala, Maa Annapoorna Restaurant Dhaba, Ganesh Dutta Dhaba, Club Town Family Restaurant, Sartaj Restaurant, Eminent Restaurant, Mapasand and Madira which is a bar cum restaurant and others.

So enjoy Jalpaiguri cuisine in all its flavours. Bon app├ętit!

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