Due to hygiene issues I cannot have phuchka on the street as per clinical advice. I haven't had it for long despite a weakness for it. So after I spotted it being served in the ISKCON temple premises at Albert Road, a much unlikely place for it, after we shifted our office to Camac Street, I went for the phuchka one evening as I was feeling like a snack break from work.
The phuchkas were finger-licking good and the tamarind water was perfectly strong! They were more or less uniformly sized, crisp, with adequate filling and the tamarind water with chopped coriander leaves was served in a full glass. So, you pour the water in the phuchka just as you like it before putting it inside the mouth. The filling had boiled potato, boiled chickpea, boiled moong mixed with spices. The man at the counter asks how hot the customer would like it- normal (moderate) or very hot. He uses chilli powder/ green chilli/ both accordingly in the filling. Thankfully, like it happens in central Kolkata and with phuchka-sellers having mostly non-Bengali customers, the tamarind water did not have a strong taste of cumin powder. It was pure tamarind water like they serve it in north Kolkata and actually a better version of that. Also, considering tamarind water is the most sought after ingredient of phuchka and customers often ask for a free refill after their serving, a glassful of this just for you is tempting!
The phuchkas are made in-house and are better than roadside ones which are not of uniform size, are sometimes overfried and invariably fried in cheap cooking medium which gets burnt in the process. These phuchkas untick all these points. At Rs 38 for eight pieces, it is definitely at a premium than its roadside cousin but worth it because of the hygiene, overall quality and taste.
There are iron benches and tables to have your food in a serene setting on Albert Road, with the Victoria Square park opposite it.
I am definitely going back for the dahi phuchka, papdi chaat and dahi vada. Watch this space for the series to continue.
#Phuchka #KolkataFood #StreetFood #IndianStreetFood
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