For Pani Puris in authentic Kolkata style and North Indian chaats, look no further than Rakesh Kumar Pani Poori stall in Jayanagar.
A small dive in Jayanagar, close to the bustling shopping area of 4th Block, Rakesh Kumar Pani Poori might have been easily overshadowed by the neighbouring shops (and the huge tree right in front of it), if it weren’t for the constant crowd lined up near it. Started in 1994 by Rakesh Kumar (from Banaras) and currently assisted by his son, Sunil, the place is known for its Calcutta-style pani puris, which was the only item they offered initially. While it took some time for people to get used to the potato-filling typical of North Indian chaats, Rakesh’s stall soon began attracting chaat lovers in the area. And, the rest is history, as they say.
Get yourself a small paper bowl and wait in line for Rakesh (or one of his helping hands) to deftly dish out the puris one after the other. Stuffed with a generous helping of aloo (or customised as you like) and almost overflowing with the spicy tamarind water, each puri sets off a burst of flavours in your mouth. Instantly, we were taken to the thelawalas outside Vardhan Market in Kolkata.
Beyond the Pani Puri
Their Papdi Chaat, which comes with a dash of the sweet chutney and topped by coriander leaves, is another must-try here. Or go for the Churmur Chaat (a popular street food from Kolkata), made with plain besan pakoras, which makes for a filling late-evening snack. Also on offer are Sukha Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri and Aloo Chat. So, next time you’re in the area and craving for a quick and scrumptious snack, we suggest you head to Rakesh’s stall. You won’t be disappointed, for sure!
Where: 69, 8th F Main Road, Jayanagar 3rd Block, Opposite to Radel Music System
Contact: +91 9036160581
Price: INR 15 upwards
Featured image via: Devika Raman