Prepare Phuchka (Golgappa) at home

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“When people wore hats and gloves, nobody would dream of eating on the street. Then white gloves went out of style and, suddenly, eating just about anything in the street became OK.”

–          Jane Addison, quoted in the Great Food Almanac by Irena Chalmers

Street food in Kolkata epitomizes the pada (neighborhood) culture. Having something at the nearest roadside vendor is not only about eating and fulfilling ones gastronomic urges, but it is also a means of having food with family, friends and sometimes even strangers. Street foods that are in vogue are phuchka, jhal muri, papri chat, muri makha, vegetable chop, and beguni, but phuchka ranks above all. Someone from South Calcutta won’t find it a pain to travel all the way to Bowbazar (for the uninitiated in Calcutta’s geography, Bowbazar is almost an hour drive from South Calcutta) just to confront his friends that the phuchka wala at his pada is better than theirs.

Now, by “street food”, I don’t mean what one can get in the big or even the small restaurants, roadside food is that what you get from the makeshift stalls on the foot path of whole of Bengal. There are also other names for it in the different states of India. Some call it Pani Puri, some golgappa. But if you ask any Calcuttan he/she will say phuchka is definitely different from golgappa or panipuri. The difference may be obscure, probably it’s only the colloquial term that varies, but there is a little difference in one of the ingredients that significantly differentiates phuchka from all its synonyms. The vendors in Bengal use gandhoraj lebu (a typical lemon produced in suburbs of Bengal) to flavor the filling and the tamarind water of phuchka. And this is where all the difference is.


Kolkata street food is such a rage, that there are places in different part of India and even abroad holding “Calcutta street food festival”. When I started having phuchka, as far as I remember it was 5 for a rupee and the last time I had it back in Kolkata I got three for two rupees. Though here in Bangalore there are places where you get pani puri that almost tastes like those back in Kolkata, but are highly priced. Talking about phuchka, I can’t leave the phuckhwalas, people who sell the phuchka. They are mostly from Bihar/Jharkhand, and you just can’t beat them with their style of the phuchka preparation.

Cooking time: 8-10min

Preparation time: 12min

Makes 20 phuchka


  • Phuchka balls: 20
  • Potato(Alu): 2 large
  • Whole Bengal gram (Chola): 2 tablespoon, soaked
  • Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 4, chopped finely
  • Cumin (Jeera): 1 teaspoon, roasted and then grinded
  • Lemon juice (Pati lebu ras): 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro (Dhane pata): Chopped to 2 tablespoon
  • Tamarind pulp (Tetul): 4 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the potatoes with the skin on, peel off after boiling and mash properly so that no lumps remain
  • Add soaked bengal gram green chili, cumin powder, lemon juice, one tablespoon of cilantro to the mashed potato and mix well
  • Take the tamarind pulp in a big bowl and add 2 cups of water to it with salt and the rest of the cilantro, mix well
  • Add 2 tablespoon of the tamarind water to the mashed potatoes and keep the rest aside
  • Break just the upper part of one phuchka ball and put in one teaspoon of the filling, fill the other balls also similarly
  • Serve with the rest of the tamarind water
Phuchka with tamarind water

Phuchka with tamarind water

Hot Tips – Though not the basic component, you may also like to add some chopped onions to the filling to make it spicier.

Further Reading – Rasta Nasta, Sasta way, Crazy Street Food of Kolkata

Phuchka is the ideal recipe to send for the “Family Recipe” event at The Life and Loves of Grumpy Honey Bunch co-hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life.

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Egg Roll

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“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” – Bernard Meltzer

The final recipe for the “Breakfast with eggs” series is Egg roll. I’ve posted six different easy to cook and quick egg recipes for the morning meal. Previous posts in the series:

  1. Mughlai Paratha
  2. French Toast
  3. Scrambled Eggs
  4. Banana Pancake
  5. Boiled Egg Sandwich

But I just couldn’t finish the series without a little flavor from the street food of Calcutta (Kolkata). Though many different Asian countries claim for the origin of this dish and among them southern China has the most number of votes, but this particular preparation very well known to everybody who hails from Kolkata or even those who had a visit to the city is typically from the make shift stalls on Kolkata foot paths.

Egg roll

Egg rol

There was one such stall near my dance school called Iceberg (quite contradictory for a joint that sold everything hot), and every month it was a ritual for our gang of friends to have an egg roll from there. I still remember it cost just seven rupees then, but still that was quite expensive for a school-going girl like me. At home, outside food was a taboo and so I always had to cook some stories to have those egg rolls. But alas, eventually mom found out my secret and instead of scolding me I was offered with two egg rolls the next day at tiffin, of course prepared by my mom in her kitchen. School days have passed a long time ago, but I still can’t forget the taste of those road side egg rolls, though my mom’s were quite similar but not that good. My father suggested that the dirt from the road made it taste better.

The egg roll in Kolkata is similar to Frankie of Mumbai and resembles the kathi rolls prepared in many roadside stalls throughout India. Egg roll in Kolkata was probably first introduced by Nizam’s, a very popular restaurant in Kolkata serving Mughlai dishes. Another famous joint serving egg roll in Kolkata is Haji Saheb in Behala (Hazi Saheb for some), it’s my personal request, don’t miss it if you ever visit this place.

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time: 8mins

Serves: 2


  • Whole wheat flour (Maida): 1 cup
  • Eggs (Dim): 2
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium, chopped finely
  • Cucumber (Sasha): one-half of a medium sized, julienned
  • Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2, chopped
  • Sunflower oil (Sada tel) for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Tomato sauce for seasoning


  • Knead the flour well and make two round paratha with it
  • Beat the eggs with little salt
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add one beaten egg to it, spread it so as to have almost the same diameter as the parantha
  • Carefully place the parantha over the half fried omelet and allow it to cook for two more minutes, turn around the paratha and cook the other side for one minute and take out from the frying pan
  • Place the egg covered paratha on a flat surface with the egg side up
  • Add chopped cucumber, chilies and onion at the centre of the paratha to make the filling and pour the tomato sauce over the vegetables
  • Roll the paratha and cover half of it with an aluminum foil or kitchen paper and tuck the paper well so that the roll doesn’t open up
  • Serve hot with little lemon juice over the filling

Hot tips – You can put in a filling of mashed potatoes seasoned with chili powder and salt or even a filling with chicken or mutton kebab tastes great.

What variety of Egg Roll do you prefer?

Further reading – Nizam’s Kathi Roll, When in Kolkata, Egg Paratha

Nutrition calculator – 1 egg roll

Calories 580
Total Carbohydrate 46gms
Dietary fiber 3.9gms
Protein 35gm
Total fat 28gms
Cholesterol 365mg
Sugar 2gms
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 0%
Iron 10%
Calcium 8%

Sending this to NTTC#5 event hosted by Sneh of Gel’s Kitchen.

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