Tamali Barman

One evening on a boring weekday as I was waiting for a Ruby bound auto rickshaw to take me home after a tiring day at the client’s office, I suddenly noticed from quite a distance a really thin man selling something from something!! I walked up to him and just as I was going to ask some stupid ‘what are you selling’ question, I noticed what… bright red tomatoes, fresh green cucumber and fresh onions, peeled potatoes, coriander leaves, green & greener chillies, awesome smelling tamarind paani and last but not the least the little brown Chholas just sprouted. All of these the man had displayed on his huge circular basket which was perched on a circular stand on the Gariahat pavement.

Believe me it was a sight so refreshing and a smell so mouth watering! Of course I had to have that, I just couldn’t walk away from such a wonderful sight! He served quite a good amount of his chholas for just Rs. 5. The first spoonful was so tasty! I don’t know what spices he added or what other technique he used but he is skilled I have to say. My Mum always insisted right from childhood to eat কল বার করা ছোলা (sprouting grams) since those were so healthy. Now I felt glad that I can have something really healthy which can be tasty as well.

I tried my favourite on the second day with a different recipe as I wasn’t feeling the usual lethargic that evening and had been quite interested in trying a different kinda chhola, so I asked him – দাদা, সবুজ লঙ্কা দু বার করে দাও আর তেঁতুল জল দু চামচ দাও।  Oh! how tremendous yummy it was! I finished it within a minute and ordered for 3 more, one more for me and the other two for Papa and Mommy. Since then it has been a regular habit to stop by the chholawala and have his wonderful chholas fondly named by me as জিভে জল আনা ছোলা or The Chakachak Chholas.

Now for the information for those who are keenly waiting to try out the chholas after reading my elaborate description. These Chholas are available at Gariahat junction which I’m sure you all must have guessed already. I don’t think the Chholawala sells in the morning. One can get only in the evening most probably 4 pm onwards. Guys you should definitely try out.

Ask him to put in lots of green chillies & tamarind paani to make it yummiest!

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"Chakachaks" by @bongbuzz



  1. During an evening walk with my good friend Chandradeep I followed your suggestion and gave the chholas a try. It is surely a captivating sight with the tomatoes and the sprouted chholas dominating the scene and the potatoes, cucumbers, chillies, etc completing the picture! The major buyers are the girls of course, we found out.

    The serving was ample as you said and it took me ages to finish it actually. And guess what we forgot to tell the chhola wala to add more tamarind and more chilli. But even with that, we were making uh uh sounds :P

  2. i wish i could have these mouth watering cholas every day…..but my house is so far from gariahat….still i will try to have it someday…

  3. Well Nipon it seems you actually invested some time to observe that majority buyers are girls ;)
    Soumi.. I know you come down to Gariahat sometimes to shop and other stuff, you can try out then!

  4. yummy as it’s said !! I really miss all kinda kolkata and bengali chatpata foods staying outstation, starting from fuchka to alu-kabli to kochuri to radha-bollovi to beguni…. :( …!! I really think food sense wise bengal rulz !!