Spicy Panipuri or Water Bread is a personal favourite.Foodie Nirvana for me is at least 25 Pani Puri (English meaning of Pani Puri is “water bread “) at one time. We all like to binge on something crispy and most of us these days reach out for a convenient bag of potato chips. I too like them but I know they are sinful and I cannot remember when I reached out for a bag of chips. Pani puri is also called golgappa and puchka and is a street snack found in many regions of India.
Until a few years ago it was not available in South India, except in some fast food restaurants but now the Pani Puri carts are ubiquitous. I used to wait for my trips to Delhi so that I could have these yummy balls of spicy water. Delhi street food is a foodie’s paradise; anything and everything are available and it is fresh, wholesome and delicious. My niece took me to this place called “Pachranga” (Five flavours) where we were served 5 Pani puris with five different flavours; I gulp down so many that I lose count. I do not know how anybody can stop after having one or two Pani Puri; it is an affront to the potent Pani puri! I have seen that most women ask for teekha pani (spicy water) while the men opt for meetha (sweet). We, women, are SPICY, don’t u agree? The flavoured water is fiery, sour, tangy and spicy and it blasts the taste buds if eaten only with the spicy water but most people eat with a mix of sweet and sour. The tangy taste lasts for quite some time in the mouth.
I like to eat a light dinner and I find Pani Puri very light. The puris have a shelf life of about a week. Making puris is a bit tiresome and I find an easy way out by getting the puris from the vendor and make the filling and flavored water at home. I do not like the sweet water and only make the sour one but I am giving you the recipe for the sweet water too.
Pani puri consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp dough ball (made from semolina or wheat flour), and filled with a mixture of flavored water (pani), tamarind chutney, mashed potato, moong sprouts, white peas or chickpeas.
Recipe for Sweet and Sour Panipuri or Water Bread
Spicy water or teekha pani:
1 small bunch mint leaves (pudina)
½ bunch coriander leaves (dhaniya)
2 tsp lime juice (nimbu)
3 green chilies (you could use more if you like spicier)
2 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
2 cups of water or as consistency required
1 tbsp panipuri masala
1 tsp black salt
Salt to taste
Grind mint leaves, coriander and green chillies with a little water to form a smooth paste. Then add rest of ingredients and blend well. Add 2 cups of water and sieve the mixture. Place in the fridge to chill or add some ice cubes for instant cooling.
Sweet Chutney or Meethi chutney:
2 tbsp tamarind pulp (imli)
¼ tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp jaggery powder
1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
½ tsp black salt (kala namak)
Salt to taste
2 cup water
Take tamarind pulp, add water and bring it to a boil. It should not be very thick or runny. Add the jaggery or sugar, salt, red chilli powder, black rock salt if you so desire and cumin or jeera powder. Keep aside to cool.
For the stuffing:
3 boiled potatoes (peeled and mashed)
Salt to taste
1tsp red chilli powder
Chat masala optional
Ash the potatoes nicely and add the salt, chilli powder, chat masala and coriander leaves. Mix and blend well to make a homogenous mixture.
Now how to eat:
Take a puri and punch a hole in the centre of the puri with your finger. ( you can do it with a spoon too but, believe me, it’s no fun!)
Put a little potato mixture in the puri. Now dunk it in the spicy water and eat it immediately.
Serve the pani puris with chilled spicy water and eat immediately else they will become soggy and Pani puri without the crunch is no pani puri. Put the whole puri in your mouth and feel the crunch of the puri blend with the chilled, sour, tangy, tasty water exploding.People have it as a snack but I have it for dinner too.I don’t count the number and stop only when I am satiated 🙂
In our family or friend circle, I am a kind of expert and I land up dunking and serving the puris to everyone. This is my recipe for Sweet and Sour Panipuri or Water Bread, what is yours?