It doesn’t matter which part of India you belong to or what language you speak. It doesn’t matter if you are in a fancy establishment or at a roadside cart. It doesn’t matter if it is a summer afternoon or a rainy evening – All that matters is you are with someone you want to be with and you are eating pani puri. You are feeling the exhilarating rush of spice through your head, trying to keep up the mad pace with which you are being served the said pani puri by whoever is your “fixer”. I would not be exaggerating as many of my Indian friends would agree with me – it is like an addiction and everyone has a guy who supplies them with the stuff. You generally visit your regular place, but when the craving strikes – you need the fix. There is no other way 🙂
Pani puri – literally means water bread. The other name golgappa – means a sphere filled with water. A very popular indian street food. Very popular with young people in general , but enjoyed by almost everyone. Every region has its own version – I think every person who sells golgappa has their own version. The basic ingredients however are the crispy fried airy bread called the puri, the spicy flavored water called the pani and a starchy spicy filling generally made of potatoes or chickpeas and topped with any number of condiments from raw red onions and cilantro to savory crispy chickpea flour noodles called Sev. One could say that the permutations and combinations of ingredients for the filling are limited only by one’s imagination.
I think the most amazing thing about this snack is the “fun factor”. The pani puri vendor has one goal – to serve you the prescribed number of puris in the fastest possible time. And your objective is to place the entire puri in your mouth and squish it – releasing the spicy water and savory filling and crunchy puri all at once. A kaleidoscope of flavors, spices and textures hits you and blows your mind. And thus one begins the life long addiction to this amazing snack.
Pani ( Flavored water)
30 oz (900 ml) of Water
1/2 cup Mint leaves
1/4 cup Cilantro (Coriander)
1 tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp Green chilli paste
1 tsp Jaggery
1 tsp Peanut oil
1 tsp Tamarind paste
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
Chickpea & Potato Filling
2 Medium size Potatoes
8 oz (28gm) Garbanzo beans (Chickpea)
1/4 cup Cilantro (Coriander) leaves
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Amchur (Dried mango) powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
3 tbsp Tamarind paste
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Chopped Onions
1/4 cup Sev
I have used the ready made puris bought from my local Indian grocery store. But if you prefer making it on your own , I would suggest this blog post.
Prep time 40 min
Cook time 5-8 min
Passive time 0 min
- Blend mint leaves, cilantro (Coriander), lime juice, green chilli paste, jaggery, peanut oil, tamarind paste, ginger, vinegar and salt.
- In a medium size bowl, add water and the blended mixture and set it aside in the refrigerator.
- Begin by boiling the potatoes.
- If you are using the canned garbanzo beans, roughly mash them. If you prefer the dried beans, soak them overnight and boil them before using.
- In a bowl add mashed potatoes, garbanzo beans, coriander powder, amchur powder, paprika, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and mix.
- Soak tamarind in a small bowl with some hot water. If you prefer the store bought tamarind paste , you can use it.
- Squeeze the tamarind pulp and add sugar and salt to it , mix well.
The step by step process of pani puri consumption :
Step one : Make a hole in the puri with your thumb by pressing it lightly to avoid crushing the puri.
Step two : Fill the puri with as much filling and condiments as desired. Top it with extra spice if desired.
Step three : Hold the puri between thumb and index finger as shown in the figure below and scoop up the flavored water until the pani puri is full. The sweet version of the pani puri can be prepared by adding the sweet tamarind filling.
Step four : Very Important – Place the entire puri inside your mouth and squish it 🙂 .
Step five : As the spice hits you and the flavors and textures take you on a roller coaster ride, sit back and Enjoy 🙂 !!!
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Have a wonderful summer !! Try out some of the recipes on my blog and tell me what recipes you would like to be featured. I would love to hear comments and suggestions from you 🙂