What is Pani Puri and Why is it Popular in Nepal and India?
Pani Puri, also known as Golgappa in some regions, is a popular street food delicacy in India and Nepal. It consists of a round, hollow puri filled with a spicy and tangy water mixture, often accompanied by other fillings like chickpeas, potatoes, and tamarind chutney. The name “Pani Puri” literally translates to “water-filled bread” in Hindi. The burst of flavours when one bites into a Pani Puri is a culinary experience cherished by many. Its popularity can be attributed to its unique taste, the fun of eating it, and its widespread availability as a street food item. Whether it’s a bustling city in India or the serene valleys of Nepal, the love for Pani Puri is universal in the subcontinent.
Ingredients for Making Pani Puri:
- 200 grams of all-purpose flour
- An equal amount of semolina (as the flour)
- Salt to taste
- A pinch of baking powder
- Water for kneading
- Oil for frying
Procedure to Make Pani Puri:
- Preparing the Dough:
- In a mixing bowl, combine 200 grams of all-purpose flour with an equal amount of semolina.
- Add salt to taste and a pinch of baking powder. Mix the ingredients well.
- Begin kneading the dough by gradually adding water. The dough should be a bit harder than the usual dough used for making roti.
- Once the dough is prepared, let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Rolling and Cutting the Puri:
- After the resting period, take a portion of the dough and start rolling it. Ensure that you roll the dough until it is very thin. Avoid using oil or flour during this process as it might prevent the puris from puffing up when fried.
- Once rolled out thinly, use a medium-sized glass jar cap or a cutter to cut out small puris from the dough.
- Remove the excess dough around the cut puris.
- Frying the Puri:
- Heat oil in a pan. Ensure that the oil is very hot before you start frying.
- Carefully slide the puris into the hot oil. To help them puff up, gently press each puri with a spoon.
- Fry the puris until they achieve an even brown color on both sides. Remember, they can brown quickly, so keep an eye on them.
- Once fried, remove the puris and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
How to Make Water and Filling for Pani Puri
Pani Puri, a beloved street food, is not just about the crispy puris but also about the tangy water and the flavorful filling that goes inside it. Here’s how you can prepare the water (Pani) and filling for Pani Puri:
Ingredients for Pani (Water):
- Fresh mint leaves
- Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Tamarind sauce (You can make this by cooking tamarind with water)
- Roasted cumin seed powder
- Coriander powder
- Black salt
- Red chilli powder or flakes
- Black pepper powder
- Lemon juice
- Green chillies
Procedure to Make Pani:
- In a blender, combine coriander, mint leaves, and green chillies with some water. Blend until smooth.
- Strain the blended mixture using a strainer to get the flavoured water. Use a spoon to press and extract as much water as possible.
- Keep the remaining paste aside as it will be used for the Pani Puri filling.
- To the strained water, add 1 litre of water.
- Mix in the tamarind sauce, but keep a small amount aside for later use.
- Add chilli powder or flakes, black salt, black pepper powder, coriander powder, and roasted cumin seed powder.
- Finish by adding lemon juice and mix well. Your Pani for Pani Puri is now ready!
Ingredients for Pani Puri Filling:
- Boiled potatoes
- Boiled chickpeas
- Chopped onions
- Red chilli powder
- Freshly chopped green chilli
- Roasted cumin powder
- Coriander powder
- The coriander and mint paste (from the Pani preparation)
Procedure to Make Pani Puri Filling:
- In a bowl, mash the boiled potatoes.
- Add chickpeas, chopped onions, red chilli powder, chopped green chilli, roasted cumin powder, and coriander powder.
- Mix in the coriander and mint paste that was set aside during the Pani preparation.
- Combine all the ingredients well until the filling is uniform.
- Take a crispy Pani Puri and make a hole in its centre.
- Fill it with the prepared filling.
- Add a bit of yoghurt and tamarind sauce for added flavour.
- If you prefer a spicier taste, sprinkle some chili flakes.
- Add a bit of the green paste that was set aside.
- Pour the prepared Pani into the Puri.
- Enjoy the Pani Puri in a single bite for a burst of flavours!
This delightful snack is a symphony of flavours and textures, with the crispy puri, tangy water, and flavorful filling coming together in perfect harmony. Enjoy your homemade Pani Puri and relish the authentic taste of this popular street food!