When it comes to street food in Kolkata, phuchka is the indisputable leader. Golgappe, pani puri, gupchup or phuchka - call it what you may, when these little flavourful bombs explode in your mouth, all that remain is pure bliss. Here’s our lowdown on where you can stuff your mouths with the best phuchkas in town.
Places Where You Can Stuff Your Mouth With The Best Phuchkas In Town
Enter Woodland Road (lane right next to the HP petrol pump) in Alipore to meet Pravesh panipuri wala. This guy is uber popular, sells 17 varieties of phuchkas (read schezwan, chocolate, dahi, ghugni, dhokla, pakori and more), uses only mineral water, offers a year’s supply of free phuchkas to school toppers and has sold phuchkas in Australia too! Need we say more?
Although you will be spoilt for choice with the variety of street food on display outside Vardaan Market, you must resist all temptations and head straight to Krishnakant Sharma’s phuchka stall. The aroma of homemade spices such as methi, kasuri, dhaniya, ajwain, saunf and jeera will invade your senses well before you take your first bite.
Max Mueller Bhavan
Another favourite haunt of phuchka-lovers in the city is right outside Max Muller Bhavan in Park Street. This guy opens his shop everyday around 4pm. The hard-hitting tanginess of the pickled water (a combo of pudina, lime and tamarind) served along with the phuchkas here is unmistakable.
If you are really apprehensive about the hygiene and quality of the street vendors selling phuchkas, head to Puckalacious in City Centre (New Town). Choose your pick from choices like Cheese Phuchka, Corn Mayo, Dahi Phuchka, etc. They even have Tutti Fruity and Nutella Phuchkas! Fancy a pan phuchka? You get that as well.
You might have to nudge your way in to get noticed by the phuchkawala who sits near Bara Bazaar police station as there is a crowd of customers, with a leaf plate in hand, vying for his attention. The guy adds hing (asafoetida) to the phuchka water, which further adds to the flavour.
Talk about phuchka in Kolkata and chances are many will point you towards the direction of Maharaja Chat Centre in Vivekananda Park. This destination is perfect for an evening of snacks and shikanjis with your gang. Dilipda’s phuchkas are full of flavours and spicy filling. Do grab a mouthful of dahi phuchka, garnished with a sweet chutney made from dates, mango pulp and pudina.
Not a fan of mashed potatoes in your phuchka? Well, Upinder’s phuchka stall near Triangular Park in Chakraberia offers an alternative. He uses mashed green bananas instead of the potatoes to cater to the large Jain community that resides there.
Ram Gupta’s stall outside Victoria Memorial is popular for its distinct khatta-meetha flavour achieved by mixing homemade tamarind paste and powder in the phuchka stuffing. The sweet and sour flavour lingers in your mouth long after the phuchkas have made their way into your tummies.