Street Food narratives

Street food




Robinda sells fries (telebhaja). He used to live in Bihar. He came to Kolkata with his father. He learnt to make telebhaja from his uncle. Two boys help him out; in his absence they make the brinjal fries and potato chops. When Robinda asks me how his food tastes, I opine that the brinjal fries are not that good, but the chops have come out very well. Robinda does not mind; he says that he has made the chops while the brinjal fries have probably been made by his helpers. He has two sons and one daughter who live in his native home in the village. His earnings are sufficient for him to run his household expenses. Robinda is willing to teach the ropes of his trade to a person who is starting out.



(Interviewee talks in the first person here)

My name is Paresh Shau. I hail from Bihar. I am running this stall for the last 4 years. Learnt how to manage this business from my dad. On coming to the city, dad had not found any other work, so he started a tea stall. After his passing away, I have inherited this. Through practice, I have gained expertise in the art of making tea. The “speciality” of the tea leaves that I use makes my tea special.

(When Tulu asked Paresh what advice he has for a person who is new in the business, Paresh probably did not get the question, since he replied with just a “thank you”).




The owner of the teashop during the interview recalled how the first time he made tea, the tea leaves were too much, making it bitter. Gradually he learnt to perfect the art. He also sells biscuits.




She interviewed Sanjoy Das who runs a chowmein shop. He has been in this business for 10 years. Started off as a cleaner in another place. After learning all that he had to, he opened his own little street food joint.




Interviewed Biswanath, a Kachori seller who sells kachoris near Sealdah station. Learnt it from his older brother. He left after marriage from when he had to do everything on his own. His speciality are kachoris made from cholar daal which have a reddish tinge and an unique flavour and customers like that.



2 thoughts on “Street Food narratives

  1. Pingback: Rising Voices » Neighbourhood Diaries: Training Citizen Journalists in Calcutta’s Marginalized Communities

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