My city of joy, Kolkata, being famous for street food, has this incredible snack called vegetable chop which I used to freak out on since my childhood!
If you are from Kolkata but stays far away from your city currently for studies or work, then I am sure you have already started feeling nostalgic seeing this quintessential Kolkata street food called vegetable chop or veg chop as we dearly call it! If you are seeing this blogpost sitting in Kolkata, then I am sure you are craving for one crispy bite of this delicious vegetable chop at this very moment! Tell me if I am wrong? I know how addictive these street foods are as I have already been there and gone through similar emotions. Since the time I have left Kolkata for my job, I craved for the city’s irresistible street food every moment, this vegetable chop being one of the many addictions! If you are not familiar with the Bengali names of street food, then you must be wondering what does this vegetable chop even mean? Let me enlighten you!
Chop can be thought of as the Bengali name of fritters or something which is dipped in some kind of batter and deep fried. Vegetable chop is loaded with many vegetables but primarily dominated by beetroot; hence it has a distinctive deep red color inside which used to attract me immensely when I was little. The veggies are cooked and mashed up to create a tasty amalgamation of various tastes & texture, then shaped in rounds and coated with a thin slurry made of gram flour a.k.a. besan. Finally, the vegetable chops are nicely coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried until brown. The deep brown color of the vegetable chop is its signature look without which it cannot be called a Kolkata style vegetable chop; it’s not even close to golden brown but deep brown, so if you wanna replicate the Kolkata style street food at home, make sure to fry your vegetable chop on medium heat until the outer coating turns deep brown in color!
Kolkata is really famous for its all type of food and not only street food. If I talk specifically about street food then the most striking fact would be that the street food there is extremely cheap in cost which really amazes me at times! Without sacrificing any taste, these vegetable chop, for example, costs so low that we never really thought of making them at home. It was only when I came away from my birth city that I started missing these delicacies and wondered if I could make these myself at home. Well thankfully, making this vegetable chop is not at all complicated or difficult. And when you make them at home, you have the flexibility to optimize it according to your taste buds.
As you can see from the pictures, these veg chops have a deep red hue, peeking through the deep brown outer coating of breadcrumbs, thanks to the beetroots which is the main veggie in this Kolkata style vegetable chop. These cuties also contain peanuts inside which add extra crunch complementing the mashed veggies. I couldn’t add nuts in mine as I didn’t have them handy and my craving for this veg chop was too strong to hold until the arrival of peanuts. So, I went ahead without peanuts and still loved my own creation of vegetable chop right inside the comfort of my kitchen. If you have never been to Kolkata but have heard your Bengali friends raving a lot about its street food, then do try making this vegetable chop and experience a slice of Kolkata at your own home! Enjoy!
- Potatoes – 3, medium to large
- Beetroot – 1, large
- Carrots – 2, medium to large
- Gram flour (besan) – ½ cup
- Breadcrumb – ½ cup
- Green chilli – 2
- Red chilli powder, ¼th tsp
- Amchoor (Dry mango) powder – ¼th tsp
- Oil for deep frying Salt to taste
- Boil the potatoes till is quite soft and can be mashed well.
- Grate the beetroot and carrots. Boil them till they retain a little crunch.
- Mix all the boiled vegetables well so they are well incorporated and make a soft dough.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, amchoor powder, red chili powder and chopped green chilies.
- Make a smooth paste with the gram flour and water, adding little water at a time so that the batter is not too thin. Whisk well so that there are no lumps. Whisking would also ensure that you get a crispy chop after frying.
- Spread the breadcrumb on a plate.
- Now divide the vegetable dough into 10-12 portions making small balls. Flatten the balls to give a patty shape.
- Heat oil in a kadhai for deep frying.
- Take each patty at a time, dip it into the gram flour batter and then coat with breadcrumbs generously.
- When the oil is very hot, tip in the coated patties and fry till golden brown over medium to high heat. It would take approximately 30-45 seconds on each side just to give you an idea.
- Serve hot with tomato ketchup!