Pani Puri (Gol Gappe or Phuchka) Recipe:
Favourite Indian snack that’s almost worth dying for !!
Pani puri or
Pani batasha or
They are like lyrical note to my foodie ears. Explosions of delight in each bite.
We just love pani puri, period.
But alas, issues ranging from hygiene, health to even the absence of our personal favourite flavours, often leave us helplessly salivating from a distance. But you know how the rule works, more you restrict the more you crave. The rains, ironically the most prohibited season for street-food, just simply bumps up the craving for Pani Puris or Gol Gappe by many fold.
So, the only good solution is to do it yourself and trust me it’s not as difficult as one may think but just a little elaborate for sure. The added benefit of doing it yourself is that the flavours can be customised to our liking. For instance what I always miss in the regular pani puris served across Delhi is the tang of tamarind or Imli in the Pani and potatoes, boiled chickpeas & onion in the stuffing. Having grown up in the eastern India what I’ve loved eating was called ‘Puchka’, a variation that is served with a stuffing of mashed potatoes and boiled chickpeas and the Pani is not Pudina(mint) but a tangy Imli (tamarind) pani, also no sweet chutney or what is commonly called ‘saunth’. But then that’s the benefit of having lived and experienced food across cultures, I can take cues from different preparations and create a new balance of flavours.
The recipe below has a pani that’s got a generous amount of tamarind along with a hint of mint (this variation is highly recommended for those who haven’t tried it) and the stuffing obviously is spicy mashed potato, onion & chickpeas. Frankly if you are not too convinced with me romanticizing with the East Indian flavours, you may feel free to make adjustments to the ingredients to suit your taste and that’s the beauty of the recipe. The puris however are quite easily available at stores but I am still sharing it’s recipe for those who believe in doing it yourself.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4):
For the Puris:
- 1/2 cup fine semolina (rava or suji)
- 1/2 cup plain flour (maida)
- 1 tbsp Urad dal (split balck gram) pwd
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt to taste
For the Pani:
- 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves (pudina)
- 2 tbsp cup tamarind (Imli) pulp
- 1 inch ginger knot
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1-2 green chilli
- 1 & 1/2 tsp roasted cumin (jeera) powder
- ½ tsp Chaat masala, optional
- 1 tsp black salt (kala namak)
- 2 tbsp boondi
- ½ tsp red chilli pwd, optional
- 750 ml chilled water
- salt to taste
For the stuffing:
- 2 large boiled potato
- 1/3 cup chickpeas, soft boiled with salt
- ½ tsp roasted cumin pwd, or more adjust to taste
- ¼ tsp red chilli pwd
- 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp boondi, optional
- Salt to taste
Optional : Imli (tamarind) Chutney
For the Puris:
- Combine the semolina, plain flour, salt, oil together by rubbing between the palm. Gradually add water to knead into soft dough. Cover with a moist muslin and set aside for ½ – 1 hr.
- Knead the dough again. Divide the dough into 4-5 balls. Roll out each into small thin rotis and using the rim of a container cut out small round shapes. I made about 30 puris.
- Now, deep fry in a wok filled with enough hot oil on a medium flame, slightly press each puri using a slotted spoon around the corners and centre till they puff up in the oil. Flip and fry till they are golden, on low flame.
- Drain on kitchen tissue and store in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
For the Pani:
- Make a paste of mint leaves, coriander, ginger, green chilli in a blender.
- Soak the tamarind in 750 ml of chilled water and mix well using a hand beater or a fork until combined.
- Then add the remaining ingredients along with the mint paste and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and chillies to taste.
- Keep it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.
For the Stuffing:
- Mix all the ingredients except onions with 2 tbsp of the above Pani. Mash well to mix the chickpeas well with the potatoes.
- While onions can also be mixed at this stage but adding we prefer adding it separately. Taste and adjust salt and spices.
Arranging the Pani Puris:
- Tap and make a small hole in the centre of each puri. Stuff with a little (approx ½ to 1 tsp) of potato filling, a little chopped onion, and then add a little Imli chutney if you like.
- Then immerse completely into a bowl full of pani or alternatively fill up two tbsp of the Pani and immediately pop in the mouth, Savour the Flavour!!