A sizzle here and a splutter there; a whiff of tangy soya sauce mingled with the strong smell of ginger garlic; sliced, diced, chopped or julienned vegetables all set to be cooked in the large blackened frying pans along with the delightful meatballs and a whole lot of bewildering commotion, this is Terreti Bazaar of Kolkata for you.
Many may not know but Terreti Bazaar preserves an important section of the Chinese community of the city like a pearl in the oyster. Not divulging into the history of their arrival it can be said that like the flickering light of a lone candle gives the strongest glow in total darkness, these people have managed to uphold their ethnicity through their culture, language and most importantly cuisine, giving light to us all.
Located in one of the most constricted lanes of central Kolkata near Poddar Court this place is like a secret hidden gem for any food lover.
With vegetable and fish vendors nearly spilling out on the tiny lane there is hardly any space to walk unless you are ready to jostle your way around the early morning revellers. And seated amongst them on the footpath with large aluminium momo steamers are your hunger satisfiers or the breakfast sellers. Their cheerful smile will light you up from inside as you might by now hear your stomach grumbling. Without much ado, your gastronome senses will be automatically lured towards the snugly white or golden fried momos. No doubt it will definitely be a treat for you to be here, where your palate will be on real riot.
Your timing is of essence here. You need to be here between 6 AM to 8 AM to be able to enjoy the array of mouth-watering authentic Chinese breakfast. It is guaranteed that all your efforts of getting up early and dragging yourself out of bed will pay off once you are handed with your plate of piping hot momos, sui mei, or meatball soup.
Although the Chinese have depleted and dwindled down over the ages they are still one of the revered classes of citizens of Kolkata. And here at Terreti Bazaar, they will bring a small piece of China to you in red, blue and green plastic containers. In this cramped up market place you will find that despite lacking the lustre, decorum and even cleanliness to a certain extent, the food is served with love.
Like the colourful patchwork on a big warm quilt, Terreti Bazaar adds on to both colour and warmth of the city. They are more Indian than Chinese. They are like the pulsating end of a severed umbilical cord. Detached yet attached to this City of Joy.