Friday, January 14, 2011

Phuchka / Paani Puri - Tangy Delights

Hi, I am back. All you guys who had been eagerly waiting for my Bengali recipes, the wait is finally over. I'll start this sequel with the Phuchka.

What is a Phuchka? In hindi we call Phuchka, golgappa or pani puri - Phuchka in Bengali means when, the crispy small rounded fried puris, are broken in the middle there is a "phuch" like sound. From there the word comes. Its really yummy. Unlike other places in India where they pour peas or channa inside each puri, we pour a aalu mixuture. This aalu mixture is simply like a trip to heaven. Here we mix all the tikha and khatta masalas as well as channa and dhaniya. Now the details you'll find below:

For aloo mixture: The masalas for the aloo mixture are aamchur powder, jeera powder, red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, black salt, pepper, red salt and white salt. All these mixture are added to boiled smashed potatoes. Then they are mixed thoroughly. Then add chopped dhaniya, boiled channa daal (this channa daal is boiled with a dash of termeric and salt till they are soft and cooked), chopped green chillies and the last but the most important thing, tamarind paste (tamarind pulp soaked in water). Keep the mixture aside.

For the khatta water: Add tamarind pulp to water along with dhaniya, red chilli powder, salt, black salt, jeera powder. Mix well and let the water cool.

The small puris: You will get these puris at any bhuji shop. Its best to buy them instead of going through the hassle of making them. But still if you want to make them at home, here is what you'll have to do - Mix atta and sooji together in equal proportions, i.e, 1:1 ratio. Add a bit of salt and cooking soda to make the puris real crispy. Add water to make it into a dough. Make small balls and flatten them with a belan. Take a small round steel dhakkan of any container (with a diameter of maximum 2 inches) and cut out small round puris. Heat oil. Fry the puris one by one till they look like small crispy balls. Let them cool a bit.

How to serve: Take a crispy puri, make a hole in the middle with your thumb, pour in a bit of aloo mixture. Then dip the puri into the water mixture and serve it immediately.

Your yummy Phuchka is ready to eat.

Some information on Kolkata Phuchkas: The best Phuchka you will get is in Vivekananda Park (Kolkata). They are expensive but worth it. Another one is in Mudiali. But my favorite place is the Phuchka we get infront of Jadavpur University. Being a student of that place, we used to simply love it. Now I feel so nostalgic about it but still i make sure to go back to JU once in a while and get a bite or two of that marvelous mouth wateringly tasty Phuchka....

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