What comes to your mind when we say the word love? If Fish is the first thing that clicks in youre head, you are definitely a Kolkattan. To say only a Bengali is an ardent fish lover is a myth. Any resident of the city falls in love with the tantalising flavours of ‘chingri’ and ‘ilish maach’ and can’t get out of that relationship. It’s a toxic love story.
Bhojohori Manna and Oh Calcutta have been serving delectable dishes for a few years now that spell out foodgasm, but have you ever wondered how your cravings for the marine delicacies are satisfied.
The sinful dishes that are put to the platter are all loved by our fellow Kolkattans and when it comes to fish, everyone is a connoisseur of food. With a ‘jhola’ in one hand and determination in the heart, every morning the regimen of fish shopping is a pleasing task for the fathers of the Kolkata household. ‘Mourala’, ‘Puti’, ‘Bele’, ‘Bata’, ‘koi’, ‘Singhi’, ‘Magur’, ‘Papda’, ‘Ilish’ are all synonyms of gaiety. Oh of course, there’s ‘Chingri’, our most beloved!
Picture: Sujoy Dhar.com
Give out a burp of joy and chant your prayers before your meal as we have curated for you the finest places that are host to the best and the freshest scaly friends that are served at the dinner table each day.
Here’s presenting the top Fish Markets in Kolkata!
Manicktala Fish Market
Opening its doors as early as 5.30 AM, the break of dawn gets the party of ‘fins’ started. Ranging from indigenous to the most common fish, the market bustles with shoppers from all over Kolkata irrespective of the fact that North Kolkata may be out of reach for some, for fish, we would sacrifice our lives, wouldn’t we? The market being one of the oldest roofs for the freshest fish, if there is a family function or a wedding in the clan; this is the one stop shop for everything ‘fillet’. Now prices may be exorbitant but that’s only because of the variety galore. This North Kolkata Bazaar is a paradigm shift from the southern part of the city but is as rich in heritage and flavours as any other market could be.
Picture : Akshtah Kumar Shetty
Digha Mohana Fish Market (Special Mention)
Located in East Mednipur, this market is not well known. Now you might wonder if we are taking you off of the map of the city, but your search for the best fish stops here. A true foodie knows the worth of a supple fish, the ones caught right from the river and sea are the ones to die for. The flavour that escapes the meat and the succulent feel with every bite is what we all live for. Located right near the sea, the vendors come in early morning strutting with their trolleys oozing with freshly caught fish. ‘Malai chingri’ on your mind? The tiger prawns and shrimps, lobsters and kingfish will leave you stunned.
Although this market is not located in Kolkata, we couldn’t help but include it in the list for its sheer grandeur!
Howrah fish market
This may be a tad too over crowded but you get what the buzz is all about the moment you set foot right into the maze like market. Giving out a pungent odour, don’t mistake that for the fish being stale. With an average output of over 1000 varieties of fish, one of the largest fish markets in the country is where you may have just arrived. With a business of over 10 crore per day, the hype is proved right when you go home and bite into the first slice of ‘Paturi’ as it takes over your olfactory and taste senses. To add another laurel to the hatchet, this market may perhaps be the only market that believes in rendering the best for a good 12 hours as it pulls up its shutters at the crack of dawn, 4 AM to be precise.
If North was reigning in the fishy affair, then the south still stands strong. The Gariahat Market is always bustling with people flocking here for a good variety of fish for their staple diet. With the freshest produce pouring in each day, each vendor here is perched atop a stone slab, finely slicing through the ‘Rui’ and scaling the ‘Pomfret’. Often a lot of haggling goes on here and the comments fired across the market add to the source of entertainment as you head hunt the finest quality of produce that ranges from both indigenous to largesse.
Now that you have an idea of where to rush for your midnight fish cravings, make sure you head down to the supreme places.
These are where the thrones are stationed and for a true Bengali, the love for fish can be satisfied even at the footpath where the ‘Kakra’ guy comes staggering in with a basket full of red crabs for the ultimate taste bud tingling dish on a lazy Sunday afternoon and after a good hearty meal there is always the afternoon ‘ghoom’ that adds the cherry on the cake. Happy feasting folks!