Puchka / Paani Poori from Kolkatta


BM # 70 
Week 3 ,Day 3 

Theme:Cooking for One 

Kolkatta is a dream destination on my travel list. People say it is not a very clean city, but it is the food of the city that is inviting me. I have been longing to eat the authentic Jhal Muri and the Puchkas there. Next month I am traveling to Sikkim and we have a about 4 hours halt in Kolkatta, hopingly I can go to the city and enjoy these two street foods that have been on my wish list. 


Puchkas are same as our golgappas or pani poori or batashas. Every state has a different name , but basically these are puffed crisp balls, which are filled with a spicy mix of potatoes , some lentil, and a nice tangy spicy water. The flavor of the water varies in each state. The water here in Gujarat is made by using citric acid, though the water which is made at home lemon is used. The water at the Delhi vendors has dry mango . ( I still have to post that one ! ). The water in Kolkatta is made with tamarind. Since the main ingredient changes , the flavor of the water changes drastically. Paani Poori has always been my weak point and given a chance I would eat it everyday. ( no jokes, I am serious ). 

One of the days while I was all by myself and my evening hunger pangs came up I made one portion of puchka water from Kolkatta. The recipe source naturally was from Sandeepa's blog. I always have paani poori pooris in stock. Boiled potatoes too are a must in the frig , so I was sorted with my evening snack. I loved the tangy tamarind water which is so simple and quick to make. In fact it reminded me of my MIL who used to make tamarind based water. Now that is another version ! Will post that too sometime , but for now let's check these Puchkas , which is my Day 3 post under the theme Cooking for One.




Puchkas
Ingredients
Ready made Poori or home made pooris

Stuffing 
Puchka water

Puchka water
To make 500 ml water
What you need
A small ball of tamarind 
Paste of 2 green chilly
Kala namak
Roasted cumin seed powder
Red chilly powder
Lemon juice
Pinch sugar
Finely chopped mint and coriander leaves

Method
Soak the tamarind and extract pulp.
Add more water and dilute the water to get the watery consistency.
Add green chilly paste, all spices and a pinch of sugar.
Sugar will cut down the sharp tanginess, but it should be just a pinch.
Add lemon juice and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
You can use the water right away but it is always best to let the flavors infuse for a couple of hours to get a better taste.
Chill the water, do not use ice .

Stuffing

Boiled mashed potatoes
Boiled white peas ( vatana ) ( I used desi channa instead )
Kala namak
Paani poori masala
Red chilly powder
Roasted cumin seed powder
Chopped mint leaves
Mix everything and use as stuffing.

Assembling and enjoying the Puchkas
Take a puffed Poori.
Tap it in the centre to make a whole.
Stuff about half a teaspoon of stuffing.
Fill the Poori with the tangy water.

Enjoy the puchka.

Note
You have to taste the water to adjust the spices, you could make the water more spicy or more tangy.
It is totally a personal taste , so adjust according to your taste.
The white peas stuffing is authentic when we talk of Puchkas, but you could also used black Desi Chana, or Moong sprouts or just potatoes is also fine.




I have a couple of versions of this paani poori . Check out !

Flavored Paani Poori
Pani Poori Shots
Paani Poori with Ragda




Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70



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