Durga Puja Specials

The city of Calcutta comes alive in a very special way, every year, during Durga Puja. This is, in fact, a time of great festivity all over India, when the Mother Goddess, Durga, the Ultimate Embodiment of strength, is invoked and her varied forms of Shakti (strength) are worshipped over Nav (nine) Ratri (nights). In Calcutta – or Kolkata – exquisitely crafted life size clay idols of the Goddess Durga are set up in temples and on fabricated platforms (called Pandals) in various locations, all over the city. Durga is worshipped during these auspicious days as the Universal Mother, the Protector and the Slayer of the demon, Mahishasura. Communities vie with each other to come up with the most original theme for their pandals. People try to visit as many pandals in their town as possible, just to see all the diverse ways in which the themes are used to

Holi Fun


HOLI March 27th, 2013 Holi is my favorite celebration, or, at least, it used to be when I was growing up. After all, it is a day when all the rules seem to be relaxed, especially from a child’s point of view. Imagine being able to play with color all day, and by “play” I mean actually being granted the liberty to do some generally taboo stuff, like spraying, not just friends but grown-ups as well, with colored water and smearing “gulal” or colored powder on their faces! Wow! What would I not give to go back to playing Holi with that kind of abandon? But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let me explain what this celebration is all about and why these color-capers are permitted, even indulged, on this day. To tell the actual story behind “Holi,” the Indian festival of color, I would have to start

Chicken Roll

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name?” Juliet famously asked in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. “… A rose/ by any other name would smell as sweet’”. Would it, though? Would a Calcutta Roll, by any other name, be the same? Would it convey the authenticity of a tasty Moghlai Paratha (pan-fried bread topped with egg), filled with succulent pieces of chicken or paneer (home-made cheese), cooked with aromatic spices and bursting with all the freshness and flavor of onions, finely diced green chilies and fresh cilantro that make up a typical Calcutta garnish? We pondered the question at length. After all, anything wrapped inside a flatbread is identified as a “wrap” in America. But we were nostalgic for the chicken “rolls” we had grown up eating in Calcutta’s famous New Market where the original Calcutta Kathi Roll had been born in a restaurant called Nizam’s. Originally the roll was called a Kathi roll


ROSOGOLLA The word, literally translated, means “Juicy Rounds” (RAS=juice, GOLLA=round). Rosogollas are basically Paneer (home-made cheese) balls, steamed and floating in a light sugar syrup, mildly scented with rose water. Rosogollas have become the base for many other spinoffs like Kheer Kadam, White Sandwich, Chenna Balls (mini Rosogollas) and so on. Eat it cold, all by itself, or on Kheer (Rice Pudding) or on Mishti Doi (Sweet Yogurt) or have it warm with Poori. The Rosogolla may be a new taste to hit your palate but it is sure to become a favorite as soon as the flavor explodes in your mouth and the spongy sweetness lingers in your memory like a dream! Although Rosogollas have traditionally become the quintessential “Bengali Sweet”, history records that this delicacy may have originated in the Eastern State of Orissa, and then later popularized, in the early 20th Century, by Bengal. Three or four

Let’s delve deeper into the different types and cooking styles of DAL

Dal is one of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will ever have. This super-food is packed with protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. Come on by and give it a try! The diversity is the real character of Indian culture and as the languages vary (there are about 22 officially recognized languages), so do the cooking styles. While lentils find their way into everybody’s lunch and dinner plates, the variety of lentils and the varieties of their preparation are vast. To give you a quick example, let me tell you about how I introduced Hugo, who is my partner at Calcutta Wrap & Roll, to Indian lentils. I remember asking him to take a ride to Queens and to go to the back wall of “Patel Brothers” (one of the largest Indian grocery stores) and see for himself the colors

Yellow Dal


To talk about Dal (lentils), I will have to start at the very beginning. This is because I am often asked to explain what Lentils actually are and how they differ from Pulses. In order to understand lentils, let’s start with Legumes (plant with seedpods that split into two halves). Pulses are seed from the Legume family. Lentils are pulse. Other pulses are Peas and Beans. Now that we have clarified these terms, let me tell you how important a role lentils play in Indian cuisine. They form one of the major staples of the Indian diet. In fact, it is often said: “Lentils are to India what Meatloaf is to America.” That is to say lentils are the quintessential Indian comfort food. All Indian households, whether in the north, south, east or west, serve lentils as a part of their daily diet, accompanied with either rice or roti (Indian



Hello Friends! And welcome to Dr. B’s Blog on the Calcutta Wrap & Roll website! I am delighted you are here and I hope you drop by often. I am what is commonly known as a “foodie” and, perhaps a trifle uncommonly, proud of that title! So here is my unabashed admission: I love food and everything to do with it, especially the food that we serve here, at Calcutta Wrap & Roll. (Did I mention that I am also a medical doctor by profession and hence am always on the lookout for nutritionally sound food offerings at our restaurant?) On that note, I think I will start by introducing our popular mixed vegetable dish called “Chorchori”. Chorchori is basically a medley of vegetables and leafy greens, slow-cooked on a low flame. It is very popular in eastern India where it is eaten every day as a highly nutritious vegetarian

Mishti Doi (Sweet Yogurt)

MISHTI DOI Eastern India is traditionally known for its SWEET TOOTH and Bengal surely takes the CAKE! Yogurt is part of the final course in any Indian meal. It is supposed to remove the aftertaste of the heavier entrees, calm the digestive system and lastly aid the digestive process itself because yogurt contains the probiotic cultures that today we readily buy as tablets. The ancient system of Ayurveda (AYU= Longevity, VEDA, from the word VID= Knowledge) has studied yogurt’s beneficial properties for a very long time. This traditional Indian system of healing has always known that the probiotic bacteria in our gut needs to be replenished after every meal. In Bengal, the sweet-toothed Bengalis brought to this knowledge a local twist. They concluded that whereas they agreed they should end with the yogurt, they were not willing to abandon dessert either. So they combined the two (Mishti=sweet and Doi=yogurt) and

Chicken Sheekh Kebab

Welcome to the first installment of “Dr. B’s Blog.” I hope you will enjoy the explanations, history and my own thoughts regarding the many dishes we serve at Calcutta Wrap and Roll. I will start by talking about the “Chicken Sheekh Kebab.” Kebabs are pieces of meat cooked either in a special clay oven called the Tandoor, on a flat steel plate called a Tawa, or fried in a skillet. Kebabs are usually named after the process by which they are cooked / the section of the country they were developed in / the shape of the kebab / the portion of the meat / the texture of the meat / or the marination used in the preparation of the kebab. The Sheekh Kebab is so named because it is cooked on Sheekhs (rods or skewers).  Minced meat is wrapped around the iron skewer and cooked over an open fire

Calcutta Wrap and Roll Blog

Stay tuned for future updates and amazing background information about the people and food at Calcutta Wrap and Roll.

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