Pani Puri – This is something that everyone in India, young or old, thoroughly enjoys! While pani puri (or gol gappa for North Indians) is ubiquitous in India sold by street vendors to five-star hotels, the best pani-puri needless to say is found on the street!

It consists of “puris”: made from semolia. The puris are made round like a ball, hollow and deep fried until crisp.

“Pani” literally means water. The puris are filled with some “masala” and then dipped in the “pani” and then consumed! The “pani” consists of mint. cilantro and green chillies.

A couple of weekends ago was Raksha bandhan, which we celebrated at my aunts’ house. Like most Indian festivals, we had a ceremony followed for lots and lots and lots of food! For starters, we had pani-puri and sev-puri (another snack).

The puri’s are usually available at any Indian grocery store.

Preperation time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients (for the stuffing)

  • 2 medium boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup chana (black chickpea) soaked and boiled (canned chickpeas can also be used)
  • Finely chopped cilantro to sprinkle
  • 1/2 tea spoon of roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon red chilly powder (optional)

Directions:

  • Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and keep it aside.

Ingredients (for the “pani”):

  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 4-5 green chillies (adjust as per spice tolerance)
  • 5-6 sticks of cilantro
  • 1 thin slice of ginger
  • 1/2 tea spoon black salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1lemon juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 tea spoon salt(adjust as required)
  • 1 table spoon boondi’s (optional)

Directions

  • Add mint leaves, green chillies, cilantro, ginger, lemon juice, salt and few sprinkles of water in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste.
  • Put the paste in a large bowl and add the three cups of water, black salt, roasted cumin powder and stir well. Add salt and lemon as per your taste.

Consumption

To eat the pani puri, pour the “pani” in a largish bowl, then make a small opening in the puri and put some stuffing in it. Finally, dip the entire puri in the bowl with the “pani” until the liquid fills the “puri”. Open the mouth wide and consume!

Warning: Once you start, its hard to stop eating!

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