Peeking Into The Unexplored Kolkata Marwari Cuisine

The quintessential Marwari is a trader with loads of money potted away and with an eye to make the right deal--at all times. He might not be settled in his original native land but is found around India and most possibly, has a home somewhere in the by-lanes of Kolkata. Besides umpteen properties elsewhere of course. 

While such a stereotypical image might not be free from prejudice or bias--it sure sets the map for one fact that is undeniably part of Marwari territory-- the connection with Kolkata. Every other friend from childhood was a Marwari--the awesome at numbers community that always seemed to be ready for events, sponsorships and good vegetarian food. 

Hindus, from the Marwar region of Rajasthan, the community found their way into Kolkata ages back via trade reasons and resources. That is another chapter altogether. Over the years, they are more Kolkatan than even Bengali. One aspect of Marwari culture that they still hold close to its original version is Marwari food. The much-publicized Gatte Ki Sabzi and Dal Baati Churma is almost a marketing fave but the real uniqueness of Marwari cuisine is best found at their homes.


The Marwari Kadhi is very thin—with lesser yoghurt used for thickening. It also makes ample use of saunf besides the jeera and curry leaves are used freely. The kadhi is mildly yellow and has a slightly sweet taste to it. Mostly had on its own-- minus any pakodas, the Marwari Kadhi sometimes in just has with sliced potatoes that are cooked alongwith the steaming hit kadhi.


The khaman dhokla at Marwari homes is well-garnished with mitha chutney and fresh coconut. It is served as an evening snack along with sweets or chaats on the sides. The khaman dhokla across a number of traditional Marwari homes is made from white urad dal.

Dal Kachori

An interesting sweet-savoury filling made from ground chana dal fills a tight ball of flour before being fried to be called bharwa kachori. A staple item in Marwari homes, these kachoris can be stored for weeks!

Missi Roti with Pickle

The Marwari missi roti comes sans the onion as is common with the Punjabi missi roti. It is more of besan than wheat flour is rolled slightly thicker too. It contains masala such as jeera, coriander powders as well as ajwain. This is cooked to perfection over a tawa until done on the inside. Very filling—this roti is consumed on its own or with a variety of pickles on the side. The Marwari pickles are mostly filled with savoury mixed sattu—be it stuffed into chillies or even capsicum!

Besan Ki Sabzi

The gatta sabzi is not a staple across Marwari homes as is the besan sabzi. Made like a gravy with ginger chilli paste on the tempering part, the sabzi is semi-dry and used yogurt as a garnish.  Add this to sev bhujia from Haldiram’s and you end up recreating a typical Marwari fave!