Pani Puri

Pani Puri is the oddest little snack. Puffed puris that you fill with potato, chick peas, sweet chutney and spicy mint water (pani means water). You put whole thing into your mouth where it all bursts. It is a delight and it is addictive! In India, pani puri vendors pass out pani puri to all the customers in front of them, making each person one pani puri then going on to next person and so on. Around here, you really can’t get good pani puri, and what do I do when we can’t get something out? I try and make it! Since my husband’s sister loves pani puri from Calcutta, I decided to look up a recipe for a Calcutta style pani puri. Voila! I found this one on Archana’s Kitchen blog and I really like it.

All the components of pani puri should be on the table and everyone makes their own. Sorry my picture is not the best. I always forgot to take a picture and then try and get one together while eating! This dish is much more flavorful than it looks in my picture!

3 cups water
1-2 cups mint
1-2 cups coriander
5 green chilis
1 teaspoon of chili powder
lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in hot water using the strained water
Squeezes of lemon or lime
1 tablespoon black salt
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chaat masala
2 cups more water

  1. Toast and grind the cumin.
  2. Put all ingredients except the more water into a blender and blend.
  3. Pour into a pitcher or bowl, top with more water, then put in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld.
  4. Strain so that you have only liquid left.

3-4 potatoes
1 can chick peas (depending on the can, you may need to cook these to get them soft, I found that the Indo-European brand has the best ready to use garbanzo bean, you can also soak and pressure cook dried chick peas)
1 teaspoons jhal moodi masala
1 teaspoon black salt
Chopped cilantro
Squeeze of lemon or lime

  1. Boil and mash the potatoes.
  2. Drain and rinse the chick peas.
  3. Mix both with jhal moodi masala and black salt.

Putting it Altogether
Store bought puris
Finely diced onions (optional-I’m an onion nut)
Tamarind data chutney thinned down with water

  1. Punch a hole in the top of a puri.
  2. Add a little filling.
  3. Add a little onion if you like it that way.
  4. Add a little chutney if you like it a little sweet (you can add this individually to your spicy water bowl too).
  5. Add the water.
  6. Eat!

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