Today, there are an immense variety of chops that do not necessarily conform to the rule of being recycled snacks. Vegetarian chops are a diverse segment altogether, with a huge variety. This variety finds new connotations as every lane crisscrosses Kolkata.
The food-loving Bengali is also a slight fan of lethargy. The concept of a good Bengali thali or a Bangali item lies in the fact that it gives you more satisfaction than taste. Same goes with the Bengali habit of heavy snacking around the midday or evenings--an offshoot of picking satisfaction over even taste!
Chop As A Culture For Bengalis
The culture of chop muri is testimony to this love for munching! Chops have been a colonial hangover ever since the British left. Initially innovated as a dish to use leftovers of minced meat gravies, chops have become a starter of sorts. Today, there are an immense variety of chops that do not necessarily conform to the rule of being recycled snacks. Vegetarian chops are a diverse segment altogether, with a huge variety. This variety finds new connotations as every lane crisscrosses Kolkata. With every turn, you get a Montu Da or Babai Da who runs a humble chop shop.
Here are the top picks in chop land that are so unique that you might not find it anywhere else in the world!
Aam Chop or Mango Chop
Made from raw mango sliced and boiled to perfection, this sweet and tangy chop has traditional Bengali bhaja masala as seasoning. Of course there is the classic mashed potato present as part of the filling. Rare but found in a few quaint shops around South Kolkata and few suburbs too.
Mocha Chop or Banana Floret Chop
The banana florets have always been a dish of the royals. Part of the quintessential niramish (vegetarian) Bengali cuisines, the mocha has now made its way into the chops of Bengal. Made in a way that resembles minced meat, the mocha chop is sweet-salty and had loads of ginger mixed up well.
Echorer Chop or Jackfruit Chop
As the name says, the biggie chillies are sliced and cleaned to be filled with sugar salt chilli powder seasoned sattu. Stuffed well and coated in besan, this chop is fried in a flash.
Lonka Chop or Chilli Chop
The latest vegan craze, jackfruit, has always had had a place of honour in niramish chop territory. Mashed to a meaty likeness and spiced up with heavy spices such as ginger, asafoetida, cumin, mango powder and garam masala, echorer chop is nothing short of a delight.
Bhej (Veg) Chop or Mixed Veggie Chop
The veggie chop of Kolkata is typically pinkish-red thanks to ample use of mashed beetroot. You will find the typical potato and titbits of seasonal veggies in a wrapping of biscuit crumbs.
Bengali chops are best had sans any chutney or ketchup. They are a complete world of their own. In fact, its closest cousin, the vada (of vada pao fame) is nowhere close to the style, ingredient or taste aspects it comes with.
About Author: Satarupa B. Kaur has been writing professionally for a decade now. But, always on the go, she loves to travel, books, playtime with her toddler as she explores new places and food!