Kolkata Bound

Dadu Bhai with my nephew, Shaan on the left and my son, Shiv on the right in 2012

In just over a week, on the 26th of December, we are leaving for Kolkata.  Part of me feels slightly insane for attempting this trip with a four year old and one year old in tow.  The flights alone are a killer.  Fifteen hours direct to Dubai, and almost eight hour layover and then another four hours or so to Kolkata.  Yowza.  Shiv, my budding film buff, will be fine.  He will have his own personal movie marathon on the ipad and we will barely know he is there except, of course, when he has to use the bathroom.

Ishani is a whole other story.  She is at the age where she wants to move which is challenging on a really, really long flight.  The good news is, no matter how bad the flight is, it ends.  But then the toddler jet lag starts.  I’m not even going to go there because  it might cause me to never want to travel again.  Suffice to say there are many days where we will be woken up at 3 or 4am by two very chipper little people. On previous trips to India with Shiv some of our best sight seeing was done at 7am.  We also became big fans of the second breakfast.

So I am obviously already anticipating all the, er, hurdles I might have to face on this trip.  I need to switch my focus and look forward to some good stuff too.  We are primarily going to see Arjun’s 87 year old grandfather so he can meet our daughter, his great-grandaughter.  Arjun’s sister also just had a baby girl in October who we are all very excited to cuddle and coo over.  And of course, there is the food.  Kolkata is a fabulous city for food lovers.  I’m looking forward to having a meal and perhaps even snagging a recipe or two at Peshawari.  And also sampling some Bengali samosas – called singaras – and kathi rolls (flaky parathas covered in beaten egg and wrapped around kebabs with a smattering of onion and cilantro chutney.)

I’ve also got a few other spots on my list to try and hit – Oudh for biriyani and kebabs, Kewpie’s for traditional Bengali fare, either Khasturi or The Bhoj Company for Bangladeshi fare, and Flury’s to get a taste of the city’s colonial past.  Oh and Arasalan for biriyani again – did I mention that biriyani is basically the perfect food as far as my husband, Arjun is concerned?

I also wanted to ask you – any Kolkata dining recommendations?  Dishes not to be missed?  If you have kid friendly activities to suggest I am also all ears.  The pain of travel with two little ones has to be outweighed with all the fun and delicious food that we are going to have, right?  Please respond in the comments below.


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