Christmas Treats and Snacks In Kolkata


Christmas Treats and Snacks In Kolkata

Christmas is not always about cakes for us, it’s much more than cakes when it comes to the season’s cuisine. While most of these are influenced by the west some have evolved over the time to create its own taste. I have written enough about cakes this season thus decided to write about what else the Christian families of Calcutta or Kolkata eat or prepare during Christmas.

Kal Kal

These are traditional Christmas snacks, made with egg, sugar and finely ground wheat flour. The dough is then pressed against metal forks to create typical patterns. This always accompanies Christmas cakes as a side dish. It is to be noted that these are a bit less on the sweet side thus people who do not like sweet Christmas fruit cakes for them this is perfect.

Available at: These are mostly homemade thus not available in the open market to my knowledge.

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Kal Kal

Nimki

All things sweet can quickly kill the taste bud thus it’s a part of the tradition to give something salty along with Christmas caked just to balance or neutralise the taste. Some prepare them at home while some buy them from shops. The homemade ones are obviously much better since being fried fresh these are crunchier.

Available at: These are mostly homemade but good varieties are available at Janbazar.

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Nimki

 

Chanachur (Bombay Mix / Mixture)

These are also salty products which are served along with Cakes. Not the typical packet ones which are sometimes spicy, these are simply salted ones with lots or peanuts and curry leaves.

Available at: These are mostly homemade but good varieties are available at Janbazar.

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Chanachur (Bombay Mix / Mixture)

 

Candy

The kids love them and the parents detest them as these are pure sugar products often giving a sugar kick which obviously make the children go nuts. By the way, even adults are addicted to them and a Christmas without these are really never thought of.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at the back near the cake and paneer shops.

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Candy

 

Jelly Logence

These really bring back childhood memories, a trip to New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) would be incomplete without buying a couple of packets of these. These come in varieties of colour which we used to think to represent different flavours but in reality, all taste the same. Basically, a hard jelly coated with fine sugar.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at the back near the cake and paneer shops.

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Jelly Logence

 

Rose Cookie / Rosette

Some call them Rose Cookie and some call them Rose Cake, these are actually Rosettes. Prepared by heating an iron rosette in hot oil and then, in turn, dipping the same iron in the batter for few seconds and then dipping it back in the hot oil. This ensures that the cookie is well cooked inside out and once back in hot oil it detaches itself from the iron rosette design pattern. In India, coconut milk is added to the batter to have its own distinct taste. Some sprinkle sugar dust on the Rosette to give an additional sugary taste. It’s always recommended to try the homemade ones as the ones you get in the market in packets are just simple friend ones without the coconut flavour.

Available at: These are mostly homemade but a moderate variety is available at New Market (S. S. Hogg Market).

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Rose cookie / Rosette

 

Marzipan

These are sugary treats which are colourful and comes in different shapes and size. The ones that you get in Kolkata are sometimes wrapped around walnut or almonds. These look very attractive on a dinner table thus you would find them often being offered after a meal.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at Nahoums or at Saldanha.

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Marzipan

 

Round Cookies

These are flat cookies which are made with various consistencies. Some are crunchier than the other while some are a bit soft with lots of fillings. The traditional ones are round and flat. While most cookies are usually sweet some do make salty ones.

Available at: These are mostly homemade but a moderate variety is available at New Market (S. S. Hogg Market).

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Round Cookies


Coconut Macaroons

These are cookies made with grated coconut, coconut milk and nuts. These are my personal favourites.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at Nahoums or at Saldanha.

Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Macaroons


Peanut Cookies

As the name suggests cookies with lots of peanuts. These look brown but these are not chocolaty as such, it’s like a Sneakers bar in form of a cookie.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at the back near the cake and paneer shops.

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Peanut Cookies

 

Palmier

This has a French connection and the word Palmier means palm leaves in French. This is obvious to the shape that these cookies have which are made from layered dough. These are lightly sweet and tastes perfect with a cup of tea.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market) at the back near the cake and paneer shops.

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Palmier

 

Chocolate

Homemade chocolates can any day beat the hell out a branded packaged chocolate. Firstly the cocoa used are the best and secondly these are all made with love making them even more special. Some are filled with a blueberry jelly while some are mint based. The varieties can be as many as your mind can imagine.

Available at: These are mostly homemade.

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Assorted Chocolates
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Assorted Chocolates

 

Muffins & Cup Cakes

It’s just not Christmas fruit cakes but homemade muffins and cupcakes also steal the show. Some are choco chip filled while some come with a fresh strawberry topping. These are favourite with the kids as they often tend to not like fruit cakes.

Available at: These are mostly homemade.

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Muffins & Cup Cakes

 

Arsa

This snack is more prominent in the villages of eastern India, made with rice flour, coconut, fennel seeds etc.  these come in two varieties, one made with white sugar and the other made with jaggery. The mixed concussion is deep-fried in oil and served to the guests. My introduction to these came from my in law’s place.

Available at: These are homemade.

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Sugar Arsa
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Gur (Jaggery) Arsa

 

Sausages

When I am talking about sausages then these are made from pork. These are no ordinary breakfast or cocktail sausage but more of a Kolkata sausage. These are spicy and have their own authentic regional taste. I have written a detailed blog about it and if you wish to know more then to give it a read.

Available at: New Market (S. S. Hogg Market), Entally Market and Beckbagan Market.

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Sausages

 

Salted beef

These are a type of Jerky Beef but obviously with an Indian or should I say a Kolkata twist. The meat is kept under marinating of salt and lemon plus other ingredients for several days and then slow heated. What the end product will look like would be a solid piece of meat chunk which is extremely salty. These taste best with bread and cheese. Only very few families in the city know about it and it’s a must during the winter season.

Available at: These are homemade.

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Salted Beef

 

Vindaloo

Saving the best for the last actually. A winter without Vindaloo is just unthinkable. There are many varieties like the Goan’s, Anglo-Indian version from Calcutta and the Bengali Christian variety. All of these are basically the same product but with individual regional twists. Usually eaten with rice these are heavy on the spice/masala side and can sometimes be fiery hot.

Available at: These are homemade.

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Vindaloo

I hope you have enjoyed going through the list, not all the items mentioned in this list are readily available in the market but you do get a lot of them in the markets which I have mentioned. So what are you waiting for? Just rush…

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