Back home nobody made phuchkas like Panchu did. This guy would stand outside our junior college from morning till late afternoon .... almost always surrounded by a bunch of giggling and jostling girls .... each one shouting out her preference through mouthfuls .... all demanding at the sametime to make it a little more spicy / mild / more water etc. etc.
And my visits home were never complete till I have had Panchu's phuchkas at least a couple of times ... accompanied by my bemused hubby.
For that matter I have a hobby .... I always try out phuchkas at any new place I visit. :-)
After coming to live in this city I had given up eating phuchkas outside ..... for the simple reason that I do not like the taste here. And I hate mint. So the pudina flavoured water is a big no no.
So I make them at home most of the times .... at least the filling and the water. Then buy a packet of the puris and gobble away to glory.
I had been wanting to make the puris at home for sometime ... but somehow was too lazy for that. I finally did try my hand at them last weekend .... and found it surprisingly easy and not at all time taking.
I prefer to half mash the potatoes to cutting them .... the mashed version soaks up the flavours better. And I use chopped onion.
Chopped fresh coriander leaves give a beautiful flavour too .... but since I am raw leafy vegetables intolerant ... you won't find any in my recipe.
For the puris : 1 cup fine sooji/rawa, less than 1/4 cup maida / refined flour , salt, cooking oil, a little water.
Updated .... Remember, the quantity of the (very fine ) rawa/sooji should be more. The maida is just to bind it. If you use more maida your puris will fall flat.
For the filling : Boiled potatoes, boiled white peas, chopped onions, red chilli powder, roasted jeera/cumin powder, salt, chaat masala.
For the water : Tamarind soaked in water and strained, salt, red chilli powder, roasted jeera/cumin powder, chaat masala.
How to :
The puris : Knead everything with a little oil into a hard dough. Take a medium sized ball from the dough and roll out a roti as thin as possible. With a very small round cookie cutter cut out small puris. Heat oil and deep fry the puris.
The filling : Mash the poatatoes and peas with everything else.
The water : Add enough water to the strained tamarind pulp. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Dip into the water and immediately put it into your mouth.
Enjoy the burst of spicy & sour water with the crispiness of the puri and the softness of the filling .... all in one mouthful. :-)