The cutlet and the kobiraji served at the city of joy’s iconic Mitra Cafe have won people’s hearts over decades.
When it comes to Kolkata’s snacking culture, it’s always an illustrious affair. No matter what age group or neighbourhood the person belongs to, everybody in the ‘city of joy’ loves to tuck into small eats that are delicious and also reflect Kolkatans’ love for food. They mostly prefer deep-fried, indulgent varieties of sweet and savoury delights that also come with an elaborate process of cooking.
Mitra Cafe is often referred to as one of the pioneers of the city’s snacking culture. Authentically labelled the ‘telebhaja culture’, you have a deep-fried option for every mood. Accompanying such dishes is muri with some chilli and onion and cucumber slices on the side. Established more than 100 years ago, this eating hub is famous for its cutlets and chops. However, its fish kobiraji and chicken cutlet have dominated the popularity charts over the years, while also being more favoured than the average chop, telebhaja and similar snacks that are available across big and small food stalls in Kolkata.
Let’s find out what makes the kobiraji and the cutlet so popular among the foodies.
Flaky Quality: The very first bite gives you flaky vibes. The fish is always fresh enough to not have that typical fishy smell. There is no aftertaste either since the fish is not marinated for too long or is left stacked away for days in the freezer.
Marinade: A simple marinade spiced with traditional Bengali spices and a rich ginger chilli paste does the trick to preserve the fresh taste of the fish.
Flash Frying: This technique ensures the perfection to which a fish kobiraji is cooked while being layered with fast-stringed egg white.
The chicken used is tender. Beaten with a chef's hammer, it is minced and marinated with ample use of ginger chilli and garlic pastes. The chicken is simply soaked for some time and refrigerated for the right results.
The breadcrumbing, too, is made from freshly ground bread but not to an immense extent. The Mitra Cabin chicken cutlet is never over-fried. This ensures a crunch that doesn't cut your gums but comes across as chewable. The egg wash too is used in limited quantities. This prevents the formation of too many crumbs.
Mitra Cafe maintains the same quality at its franchise branch in a city mall too. While the seasoning used is the typical rock salt and chaat masala genre of spices, the legendary taste remains intact because of the process of frying its cutlets right. The awesome kasundi or mustard sauce served with the fried cutlets is sharp in taste and pretty thick. As an add on, thinly sliced onions or sometimes onion rounds come along with cucumber slices. The secret chaat masala topping the cutlets makes for a perfect plate.