Monday, March 30, 2020

ChurMur from Calcutta's Phuchkawala

Churmur | Kolkata Churmur
ChurMur from Calcutta's Phuchkawala

Churmur | Kolkata Phuchkawala

Churmur is a very popular road side snack in Bengal, served by the Phuchkawalas

We have been in official quarantine now for just over a week. The schools have been shut down for two weeks.

Online classes are going fine. For the high-schooler, it is more regimented with defined periods from 8AM to 1PM every weekday. She has online quizzes and loads of assignments to complete, keeping her busy during the day. Major plus for her is she doesn't have to wake up and catch the school bus at 6:30 in the morning. She gets a good nights sleep finally.

For the 6th grader, online classes are from 9AM to 1PM but it's bit flex and most days she finishes her assignments by noon. Every other day from 4pm to 5PM she joins her gymnastics team. On Sundays an hour long dance with the group.

In all, I see that they are getting little more time to relax and that is helping them. Hope the schools learn something from this and reduce the work load for the kids after the quarantine.

Food has not been a major issue at home yet. We are low on meat and fish but the girls are okay with that. For dinner, I am trying my hand at Rotis and Parathas these days. I am not good at making them but since evenings are no longer rushed, I am learning. Also I see that with Roti, it is easy to have a meal with just one more dish, which is a great advantage.

Lunch for me on a work day is usually light and quick. Of all the groceries I did before lockdown, there were 3 boxes of Golgappas I bought. Yes, what foresight :-D

So some days my lunch can be just this. This tangy, spicy, lip-smacking ChurMur!! For all others it doubles up as snack.

Churmur is a very popular road side snack in Bengal, served by the Phuchkawalas. For us, standing around our favorite Phuchkawala outside the College gates, it was usually the last stage of the Phuchka rounds, when we have had enough of phuchka and now wanted the phau phuckas (the free ones) crumbled into a ChurMur.

Chur-Mur if you say it aloud, rolling around your tongue is the sound of crunching of crispy golgappas. A plate of spiced and boiled potatoes, some boiled kala chana, raw onions, green chilies, green coriander leaves, spicy sweet and sour tamarind water and topping that some crumbled crispy Phuchkas. That's ChurMur for you. An explosion of tastes and flavors in your mouth.

I haven't had a street side Phuchka for years now, but I do pray that those favorite Phuchkawalas get back into business soon and serve their unique Churmur, dirt and grime be darned.

ChurMur from Calcutta's Phuchkawala

Boiled Potato -- 1
Boiled kala Chana - 1/2 Cup (I used frozen kala chana)

Onion -- 1/2 of medium sized onion finely chopped
Green Chili -- 4 finely chopped
Coriander -- 2 Tbsp finely chopped
Lime -- 1/2 of a lime

8-10 Phucka or Golgappa


Bhaja Moshla -- 1 tsp (roast whole 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds, 1 Tbsp coriander seeds and 1 Dry Red chili till you get a beautiful roasted aroma. Cool and grind to a powder. Use 1 teapsoon of this. Store rest)
Chat Masala - 1 tsp
red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Rock Salt/Kala Namak or Pink salt -- 1/2 tsp
Sugar -- 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt -- to taste

Tamarind Water

Tamarind -- 1 small ball of Tamarind
To make the tamarind water, soak a small ball of seedless tamarind in 1/2 Cup of warm water for 15 minutes. After the tamarind softens, rub with your fingers to extract the tamarind pulp and mix it with the water.
Now strain this mixture into another bowl to get the tamarind water without any pulp.

If you don't have ball of ripe Tamarind, add 1 Tbsp of Tamarind pulp to 1/2 Cup of warm water to make the Tamarind water

To the strained Tamarind water add
Rock Salt/Kala Namak or Pink Salt
Bhaja Masla
Chat masala
Red Chili powder
little sugar
little lime juice
Mix well to make your Teul er Jol. Taste and adjust the seasonings

Mix the Chur Mur

In a bowl slice the boiled potatoes
Add the boiled kala chana
Add the onion, green chili, coriander and mix well.
Add the Tamarind water mix or tetul Jol.
Mix well. Taste and add any seasoning you feel is missing.

Now crumble some Phuchkas or Golgappas by hand and add it to the above before serving. Top with some sev if you want

ChurMur should be hot and tangy!

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