Another thing we love doing with phuchkas is enter into competitions. It gives a field day to the vendors and they, not surprisingly, egg us on to eat more and more! Whenever my friend T is in town, she inevitably has a phuchka competition with my dad. I remember another time when a friend back in my hostel days gulped down 50 phuchkas as part of a competition. Now he was not used to eating spicy street food and the repercussions completely freaked him out.
|No, these do not belong to any Calcutta vendor. And you should be able to guess that given these are made of sooji. You can find these colourful phuchka-lets at the Minto Road Pujo in New Delhi.|
Serves: Well, with phuchka, you never know! As the saying in my family goes "Luchi ar phuchka kokhono gune khete nei (You should never keep a count of how many luchis or phuchkas you're eating!)
Phuchkas: 40 (I used store-bought)
For the filling:
Potatoes, boiled: 4
Kala chana (Bengal gram whole), soaked overnight: 1/3 cup
Red chilli powder: 1.5 tsp
Rock salt: to taste
Chaat masala: 2-3 tsp
Bhaja Masala: 1 tsp (make it at home by first roasting and then grinding a couple of bay leaves, some coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies into a powder)
Green chillies, finely chopped: 2-3Lime juice: Of 1/2 a lime
Coriander leaves: Finely chopped: 1/2 cup
For the phuchka-r jol:
Tamarind: 1 medium handful. say 30 gm
Green chillies: 4
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Rock salt: to taste
Cumin powder: 2 tsp
Chaat masala: 2 tsp
Bhaja masala: 1 tsp
1. For the water: Soak the tamarind in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes. After this time, the flavour of the tamarind will permeate through the water. Use your fingertips to fiddle with the tamarind submerged in water so that maximum flavour is released. Now take strainer and strain the water out in a big container. Immerse the same tamarind in another cup of water. Repeat the process and strain in the same big container. Discard the tamarind.
2. Grinder 4 green chillies into a paste and put that in the tamarind water. Give a good mix and again strain out the water so that it is free of any chilli flesh or seeds.
3. Now add the rock salt, chaat masala, cumin powder, bhaja masala and chilli powder and mix well. Add more water (depending on how dilute you want it to be) and refrigerate.
4. Boil the lentils for three whistles in the pressure cooker. Mash the boiled potatoes while they are still warm with the back of a bowl. Now add to the mashed potato the boiled lentils. Crumble them as you add them. Add the rock salt, chaat masala, bhaja masala, chilli powder, green chillies and lime juice. Ladle some tamarind water and add to the potato mixture. Add the coriander. Mix everything well together.
5. For the assembly: Take one phuchka at a time, make a hole in its centre. Fill it with some potato mixture. Dunk it in the tamarind water so that the water fills up at least half of your phuchka. Pop the entire thing in your mouth. Repeat till you're so full that you can't move.
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I am sending this post to Kolkata Food Bloggers' Monsoon Special event