How do I eat pani puri

Pani Puri.

Pani Puri, Golgappa, Phuchka or Gupchup - all regionally different names for a snack (Hindi "Chaat"), which is as fun as it is tasty. Everyone loves Pani Puri! I have not yet met an Indian who does not at least like Pani Puri very much. Most of them, including myself, love it and could eat it every day. My Indian friend P. loves it so much that he once took part in a Pani Puri eating contest and managed over 70 in a row and still didn't want to stop. I also ate pani puri every day during my time on campus. You get really addicted to it.

But what is Pani Puri anyway? Pani is Hindi for water and puri are the names of the crackers, which (in the case of Pani Puri) are deep-fried into small hollow balls. These are pressed in at one point with the thumb, so that a hole is created through which the puri with “masala” (a spicy mud puff made from potatoes and legumes), tamarind chutney, onions and the “pani”, a seasoning water made from spices, mint and and coriander leaves is stuffed. Since the water should not soak the puri, you stuff the whole filled ball into your mouth at once. When you bite on it, all the flavors come into their own at once: salty, sweet, sour. Add to this the different textures of the filling - the crispy puri, the spicy water, the mushy masala and the delicious fresh onion - for me Pani Puri is really the epitome of food porn and at least one violent taste explosion.

The real Pani Puri Experience

... can only be experienced in India. There you can find them at street stalls, where there is sometimes only the classic wort water, but sometimes also different water pots with different flavors. You order a round and you get a small bowl, which you hold out to the "Pani Puri Wala". He then fills the dough ball and puts it in the bowl. This then lands in the mouth. But all of this at a mad pace 5-10 times so that you eat almost automatically under eating competition conditions. It is an adventure in itself to eat some at a Pani Puri stand in India.

However, you can also prepare the pani puri at home. When I discovered a relatively easy way to do this, I jumped for joy, because it was what I missed most after traveling to India when I was back in Germany. And for some reason Pani Puri is only available in very few restaurants in this country, although I'm sure it would be very popular. All you need is the Puri blanks. These are dried wheat dough flatbreads that just have to be fried. There are also a lot of recipes for completely homemade Puris (e.g. at Dassana Amit or Hebbar’s Kitchen), but I have not yet been able to gain any experience. In some Asian supermarkets there are also pani puri sets with ready-made deep-fried puris. But I cannot recommend this.

Pani Puri

Pani Puri (also Golgappa, Phuchka or Gupchup) are balls of dough filled with masala (potato and bean mash), tamarind chutney and coriander and mint water, which is a very popular and popular street snack in India. They are a perfect starter.

ingredients

  • 20 Puri blanks (wheat dough flatbread)
  • 180g potatoes (floury)
  • 90g mung beans or chickpeas
  • 3 tsp Chaat Masala (alternatively 2 tsp Garam Masala)
  • Chili powder
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander (for the masala)
  • Tamarind Chutney (see blog post)
  • 2 hands full of mint leaves
  • 2 hands full of coriander leaves (for the tikka pani)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (freshly ground or powder)
  • 1 teaspoon black salt (Kala Namak)
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • water
  • 1 onion
  • Sev (optional)

1. Deep-fry the Puri blanks into hollow balls. Put them aside
2. Cook the potatoes and legumes, mash the potatoes a little and mix both together with the Chaat Masala (or Garam Masala), some chili powder and the hooked coriander. Set this masala aside
3. Prepare the seasoning water (tikka pani) by pureing the herbs with the remaining ingredients (except for the tamarind chutney, the onion and the sev) and about 500ml water. Is there a lack of heat or salt? Taste and season if necessary (yes, the water should taste so strange - it only tastes really good when combined with the rest;)). If you use a high-performance mixer like a Vitamix, the water is already ready. Otherwise, strain out the coarse solids if the herbs haven't turned out fine enough. Set the water aside
5. Cut the onion into cubes. Set these aside as well
4. Serve the Pani Puri: Use your thumb to press a hole in a part of a Puri and fill it with the masala, the chutney and a few onion cubes, fill the rest with the seasoning water, sprinkle a little Sev on top if necessary. Now it has to be done quickly, it should be eaten straight away.