Bengali Food at Bhojohori Manna Restaurant in Kolkata

By Mark Wiens 15 Comments
Bengali food
Bengali food

When I visited Kolkata, one ultimate desire I had was to eat an authentic Indian Bengali meal.

So after reading a few reviews and being recommended by a friend, I set off one evening to find Bhojohori Manna, a restaurant serving strictly Bengali food.

Just a few blocks before the incredible Deckers Lane and moments before the Mango Lassi Lane in Kolkata is Bhojohori Manna.

Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata, India
Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata, India

Coming from the outrageous traffic of the Kolkata street below, the restaurant was a little stuffy enclosed compartment with no outside light and remained quite quiet from the honking insanity that was outside the thin wall.

Due to its popularity, there are now a few branches of Bhojohori Manna around Kolkata and even in a few other areas of India.

The menu was extremely extensive, probably a hundred dishes and combinations or so, and written only in English transcribed Bengali; Needless to say, I had no idea what to order other than using the good’ol and point to choose method.

They wanted a photo!
They wanted a photo!

Luckily, the wait staff were all friendly and went through the menu circling Bengali dishes they thought I would be interested in sampling.

Knowing that nothing would be bad on the menu, I took their suggestions and soon had a breathtaking spread of Bengali food delivered to our table.

My first helping of delicious Bengali food
My first helping of delicious Bengali food

I’ll admit, Bengali food is not the most attractive in appearance; Many of the colors are brown and black, meat and chicken are cut into unidentifiable pieces, and the vegetable dish I ordered looked like a blob of half digested plants.

It’s not exactly that colorful medley of gastronomy that comes with a spread of Thai food.

But I’m certainly not one to grumble at the looks of cuisine.

And as soon as the meal came, I was more than ecstatic to start digging in. Like just about all Indian food, Bengali food is traditionally eaten using your fingers.

Here are the awesome Bengali dishes I had at Bhojohori Manna.

Bhetki Kalia
Bhetki Kalia

Bhetki Kalia

Fish is a big part of Bengali cuisine, and this initial fish curry was stunning. It was lightly sweet, spicy, and I could detect a nice fragrance of mustard oil in the mix.

Mochar Ghonto
Mochar Ghonto

Mochar Ghonto

Wanting to add a little vegetables to my mix of Bengali food, I ordered the mochar ghonto. It’s a dish made mostly from banana flowers curried with spices, mustard oil, and ghee. Despite its lesser appealing looks, it was one of the most incredible dishes of the meal.

Jumbo Chingri Malaikari
Jumbo Chingri Malaikari

Jumbo Chingri Malaikari

Similar to the giant shrimp I grilled, the jumbo guy was cooked in a thin and flavorful coconut based curry sauce. It was marvelous.

Indian Bengali Food
Medium Kankrajhai

Medium Kankrajhai

At an unbelievable 90 rupees ($1.70), I couldn’t believe how cheap the crab was.

And even at that price, it was probably my favorite dish of this Begnali meal. The dark sauce was a powerful blend of spices and there was a layer of red flavorful oil sitting on top. The crab itself was sweet and spicy.

Murgir Jhol
Murgir Jhol

Murgir Jhol

The classic chicken curry with a hard boiled egg was also delightful, simmered in a Bengali curry concoction of spices. It was reminiscent to Grandmother’s Sri Lankan curry, a little sweeter and less coconut-ty.

End of the meal mouth cleanser
End of the meal mouth cleanser

Just like at the end of just about any Indian meal, we were served a type of mouth cleansing breath freshener – this time it was fennel seeds topped with sugar – very freshening!

What an incredible Bengali feast!
What an incredible Bengali feast!

Our feast at Bhojohori Manna was successful, and I came away completely stuffed, and with a newly found love affair with Bengali food.

Total bill came to just under 700 Indian rupees (about $13), and that included 5 dishes (seafood included), 4 helpings of rice, and water.

How to Get There: There are a number of Bhojohori Manna restaurants around Kolkata, but I went to the one near Esplanade. From the Esplanade Metro station, walk to the intersection (which happens to be one of the busiest and craziest intersections I’ve ever seen) and the restaurant is diagonally across. And keep looking, or ask someone, because the sign is blocked by countless street stalls.


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15 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Manoj

    6 years ago

    Hi Mark, Thanks for the nice videos from India. Expecting more videos from you…. 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Manoj, many India videos coming soon, but give me a month or so, so I can start uploading!

  • Paul

    6 years ago

    That looks amazing. I want that crab!

  • Neen

    6 years ago

    ı’m bengali! & that’s not real bengali food 🙁 you should get to Bangladesh 😀

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Neen, I hope to visit Bangladesh in the future!

    • Soutik

      6 years ago

      I am a bengali too…These items mentioned here are used in day-to-day cooking from a bengali household in India. However, I am not sure what you meant by ‘not real bengali’ dish??? Is it because it had Golda Chingri instead of Hilsha :)????

      Anyways Dish from Bangladesh varies as well in several aspect from the ones mentioned above and needs to be tasted for a lifelong memory ..I Agree

      I guess mark can probably put a disclaimer here mentioning Bengali food from India….

      P.S. Mark- I hope you met In Kolkata there are 2 different sect of people – bangal and Ghoti…bangal are people who came to West Bengal from the now Bangladesh and Ghoti are people born in West bengal (India).. They always have a turf war regarding the food 🙂

      • Mark Wiens

        5 years ago

        Hey Soutik, great to hear from you, and thanks for sharing about Bengali food. That was one of my favorite meals in all of India, I’m still dreaming around that crab and also that banana flower dish, so delicious!

        • Soutik

          5 years ago

          Hey Mark,

          Nice to hear back from you. Right now I am long way away from my beloved city, residing at Louisville. Here are some other options of great bengali foods from my childhood to Adulthood days:

          1. Kewpie’s Kitchen at Elgin Road
          2. 6 Ballygunj Place
          3. Rolls at Nizams
          4. Dahi Phuchka at Vivekananda park (Near Golpark, Rabindra Sarovar lake)
          5. Mutton Biriyani at Aminia and Arsalan (Yummmm)
          6. Golbarir Kalo Mangsho ( near Shyambazar…heard the quality has come down by large extent)
          7. Street food at Dalhousie Square
          8. Mango Lassi at Dharmatala
          9. Chhole Bature behind the Lighthouse Cinema, Esplanade and Haldirams (At Exide Crossing)
          Last but not the list endless items prepared by my mom and now my lovely wife Enakshi (which keeps my foodie tongue tickling even here at Kentucky).

          I follow your posts, not only about kolkata, but about your travels and amazing people, culture you meet. Oneday i hope to start a blog on my own.

          • Mark Wiens

            5 years ago

            Awesome, thanks a lot for sharing! Thanks a lot for follow and hope you start a travel blog too!

  • aynzan

    6 years ago

    Mmmm!! That polished plate shows how well you enjoyed the food.My family and love Indian Food and love trying out their food in Indian restaurants here in the Middle East.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Aynzan, that’s great to hear you and your family enjoy Indian food too!