Phuchka – Kolkata’s Fav Road Side Snacks

An Indian Street Food that no one can resist and also the King of Street Foods.

Image Credit: Various Sources
Image Credit: Various Souces

Phuchka always, reminds me of my childhood days, when I was in school. I was deprived of pocket money, since my mom used to prepare delicious lunch-box for me daily. There are many memories related to Phuchka. I would love to share them with you all. Nowadays, I have come across different flavors, but the originality lies in the spicy tamarind water. Some places around Kolkata offers a new variant of phuchka with sweet water preferably with “Rasna”.

The main ingredients are flour, spice tamarind water, onion, potatoes peas and kabli chana.

 Sometimes, I used to take away coins from my father’s purse silently and feed on road side phuchkas during the recess period. That was so fun. Miss my school days!!!

Image Credit: Various Sources
Image Credit: Various Sources

Phuchka, is a popular road side snacks (food) and is in great demand by the people of Kolkata. It is also found across many cities in India as well as in India’s neighboring countries like; Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Puchka has many alternative names like; Gol Gappa in Delhi and Punjab, Pani Puri in Mumbai, Fuska in Syllhet and Chittagong. Phuchka walas defines the locality in which we live in.

They are popular like that of celebrity. And, when talking of them, you will find, at least 1 in every locality and some even the junction of the streets, no matter how narrow it is.

It is a very common scenario to witness mothers dropping their kids at school gates and making their way to phuchka vendors standing nearby. Or, students hanging out around phuchka stalls near colleges and coaching centers. 

Phuchka is interlinked with every small and minor achievement or failures in my life. I celebrate my success with phuchka because we should spend according to our capacity.

Whether it is learning a new skill or failing in exams, phuchka had been my best friend always.

Image Credit: various Sources
Image Credit: various Sources

Phuchka is also an integral part of every teenage love story. And, you can find them in front of Victoria Memorial and in the narrow streets and lanes.

You won’t believe your ears that it has its origin in India, but the surprise is that the history of phuchka has its roots deeply rooted way back during the Magadhan period.  Even, Mahabharata has the mentions of Pani-Puri and people believe that the cuisine has been blessed with immorality.

There is no definite reason for eating phuchkas. Had a fight with your partner? No issues!! Just go and cheer yourself up with a plate of phuchka.

You won’t believe that I even got scolded from my parents just for eating phuchkas on road. Even at times, after I grew up and even now I bring the packet phuchka from the market and prepare the masala stuffing at home. Or, instead of eating out, standing beside the phuchka seller and eating, I prefer to purchase the phuchka, bring home and share with my parents. 

Phuchka is that one dish that brings the poorest of the poor who lives in the streets of the city and top class businessman sit on the same bench.

In Kolkata, there are many popular phuchka vendors; some of them reside forever in the hearts of the people. One such vendor puts out his stall in front of Dakshinapan near Dhakuria Bridge. He is popular because he sells a special Aalo Dum with Pani Puri (phuchka).

There is also a popular phuchka outlet in South Kolkata. It is called “The Phuchka Parlour”. Located at 8/7, Bijoygarh, Golf Green, Kolkata – 700053.

Image Credit: Various Sources
Image Credit: Various Sources

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