PUCHKA – Dada aro aktu jhal dau Puchka tate(Make it a little more spicy)

Puchka or Kolkata style paanipuri is one of the most beloved street food of the city of joy. The streets are laden with vendors and stalls which serve out these delicious puffed crisp balls filled with a spicy mix of potatoes, some lentils like black gram or “chola” and “matar”, and a tangy spicy tamarind water. “chol puchka kheye asi”( lets go ad have some puchka) is perhaps my staple mission during afternoon every other day. But I’d never regret it. I mean who can deny the delicious burst of spicy, tangy flavors in your mouth, and for us from Kolkata, puchka always meant “dada, ar ektu jhal dao” ( please add more hotness to the puchka). Like you know? Kolkata does not like bland food!

Puchka is the best! And its not up for debate. Its our personal opinion that golgappa is too bland for my taste.  Puchka in Kolkata gets its unique taste from a special spice blend call the muri masala. Although I do not remember the exact contents of this spice mix, but it does contain a healthy dose of roasted cumin, red chilli, dried mango powder and black salt. The mix of potatoes, lentils, onions, muri masala, coriander and good dash of lime and tamarind is pure ecstasy. No joke, but you can substitute your meals for puchka.

We guess all Bengalis can relate to this but our biyebarir stall ( food stalls in our marriage ceremonies) should have puchka. For me skipping the chicken pakora to stuff myself with more of the spicy deliciousness was a ritual. Us friends would be in a competition on who could have the most fuchkas. For my defence I must say, I was quite good at packing my stomach with the crispy balls ( I had a maximum of 65) but ended up not being able to have lots of mutton or chicken in the menu ( sad life!).

The puchka stalls in Kolkata also serve out some of the most delicious chaats and churmur. Chaat is savoury, spicy, tangy and flavorful snack which has a balance of cruncy textures, boiled potatoes and onion, lentials and a generous topping of sweet spicy chutney ( includes tamarind chutney, red garlic chutney, mint chutney,) with a dusting of chaat masala ( primarily make of black salt). The crispy toppings of friend potato bits, sev ( deep fried noodles made from chickpea flour) make the dish complete. The most important varieties of chaat that you must are aloo chaat, tikki chaat, bhelpuri, fuchka chaat, papdi chaat, sev puri, samosa chaat, kachori chaat and raj kachori chaat

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