Pani puri Recipe - Indian Chaat Recipe

This pani puri recipe is a favorite of my family. Pani poori is the most sought after chaat item, Indian street food.

This Indian chaat food also has other names such as, golgappa in North India and poochakas in west bengal and gup chup in Orisa. It is also spelt as pani poori.

What is pani poori

Pani poori has become such a popular dish that it needs to be given more importance among all chaat items.

The literal meaning of Pani puri is 'water in fried bread'. The pani(water) is spicy, digestive liquid which can be made in advance and kept and used for a few days.

Pani puri is a Indian chaat item. Just a mention of pani puri is enough to make one's mouth water in anticipation. It is such a lip smacking dish.

Though it is a street food similar to masala puri, dahi puri etc, making it at home is easy and more hygienic too.

Pani puri is an item where you make the preparation earlier and just assemble the dish just before serving. So it is a very convenient dish for anytime or every time.

Pani poori is a popular item for kid's parties as well as any other parties.

Though pani poori is a part of Indian street foods, you can make it healthy when you make it at home.

The items used to make pani puri recipe are:

  1. Puri - poori for pani poori
  2. Stuffing for panipuri
  3. Spicy Pani
  4. Sweet date chutney.
  5. chopped onions and coriander leaves.

All these items need some advance preparation as they should be ready before you start assembling the dish. 

1. Semolina Puri - Poori

The semolina puris used for pani puri are small about 1.5 inch diameter. They are crisp, a little hard, compared to the other pooris made for snack or breakfast.

You can make these small pooris at home or buy them ready made. They are available in packets of 50 or 100. As they are not very expensive, it is convenient to buy them.

Generally in restaurants, 5-6 puris are served per plate. While making pani poori at home, you will need more, about 8-10 puris per person. Keep that in mind when you buy them or make them at home.

If you want to make them at home, here is how you make them.

Ingredients to make puri-poori at home

  • Rava (sooji-semolina) - 1 cup
  • Maida (plain flour) - 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder - 1/2 tsp or a pinch of baking soda.
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Salt 1/4 tsp.

Method to make crisp puris:

  1. Mix sooji, maida, baking powder or baking soda, salt and enough water to knead a dough.
  2. Cover with wet cloth and leave aside for about 30 minutes.
  3. Make small sized balls. The puris are to be eaten whole, literally stuffed in your mouth. So keep that in mind while deciding poori size.
  4. Roll into thin rounds using a little dry flour if necessary.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and place each round in the hot oil.
  6. Press it with a slotted spoon so that it puffs up.
  7. Fry each puri till it is crisp. Do not let it become dark brown. It should be just very light brown.
  8. Drain on a paper towel for some time. Cool completely.

Store in an airtight container when cool.These puris will keep for 3-4 weeks or even longer.

Tips

If some of the poories do not puff up, do not worry. You can use them for other chaats such as masala poori, bhel puri etc.

2 - Making stuffing for panipuri

For stuffing panipuris generally lentils or potatoes are used.

The lentils used are chana dal (chickpeas), green beans(mung beans), dried green peas etc.

Boiled Potatoes are also used by themselves or are mixed with the lentils.

Fried boondi is also used sometimes as a stuffing.

The pani poori street vendors mostly use a mixture of grated carrots, onions. Some vendors also add boiled peas.

You may try different stuffings to see what your family likes.

Ingredients to make stuffing:

  • You will need 1 cup lentils for 2-3 persons.

Making stuffing for pooris

  1. Soak lentils for about 6 hours.
  2. Boil in water till done.
  3. Add salt and a little turmeric powder while it cooks.

3 - Making Pani - Spicy water

The most important part of pani puri Recipe is the spicy water - pani, the highlight in the pani pori setup. Because the final taste of your panipuri will depend on the pani.

Pani literally means water. But here we use spicy water to dip or fill our tiny pooris.

If your pani is right, you have got it. If your pani does not have the necessary tangy flavor and taste, nobody is going to enjoy it.

This pani is a very good digestive as it contains a combination of herbs and spices that help digestion.

Apart from serving it with panipuri, It is also good to serve as a digestive drink. You can dilute it by adding a little water.

You may have come across other pani puri recipes. You may notice that my pani puri recipe has more ingredients.

Just make it once using my pani recipe and you will find the difference in taste. And you will want to use this recipe all the time.

The Bangarpete panipoori vendors started serving different colors and flavored pani along with their poori. It is full of hot green chilis and is flavored with watermelon, pine apple etc. But the hotness of chilies in pani is not for the light or medium chili eaters like me. Be prepared to cry buckets if and when you think of trying it.

Ingredients For making about 2 litres pani:
  • coriander seeds(dhania) - 1 tbsp
  • cumin seeds(jeera) - 1 tbsp
  • black pepper seeds(kali mirch) - 1/4 tsp
  • ajwain(carom seeds) - 1/4 tsp
  • ginger(adrak) - 1/2 inch piece
  • green chili - 1 no.
  • fresh mint leaves(pudina leaves) - 1 cup
  • coriander leaves(dhania leaves) - 1/2 cup
  • tamarind(imli) - lime sized ball
  • water - 2 liters
  • rock salt - 1/2tsp
  • black salt(kala namak) - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • red chili powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • jaggery (gur) - 1 tsp or to taste.

Step by step instructions for making spicy pani

  1. Soak tamarind in warm water for 10-15 minutes and extract pulp by using more water.
  2. Roast coriander, cumin, black pepper seeds lightly.
  3. Add ajwain and grind to fine powder.
  4. Add chili, coriander and mint leaves, ginger and grind to a fine paste using a little water.
  5. Add this paste, tamarind pulp, rock salt, jaggery to 2 liters water.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Strain through a plastic mesh or pour out the top liquid. The residue can be used to add to bhel puri, dahi puri, sev puri or for making potato curry.
  8. Pani is ready to use. You may chill it in the fridge or use it at room temperature, as you like.

4. Making sweet chutney:

Ingredients to Make sweet chutney:

  • Dates(khajur) - 10 nos.
  • Tamarind pulp - 1 tbsp,
  • Jaggery(gur) - 1 tbsp,
  • Salt(namak) - 1/4 tsp or to taste,
  • Red chili powder(lal mirch powder) - 1/4 tsp or to taste.
  • Roasted cumin powder(jeera powder) - 1 tsp.

Step by step instructions to make sweet chutney

  1. Grind together all the ingredients with a little water to a thick fine paste.
  2. This chutney will keep in the fridge for a week so make it in advance.
  3. You can dilute it if you wish at the time of serving.

5. Chopped onions and coriander leaves

Ingredients

  • Onions -  4-5 medium sized, more or less as needed
  • Fresh Cilantro (coriander - dhania) leaves - 1 or 2 bunches
  1. Chop onions and coriander leaves finely. You may use food processor or any other chopper for this.
  2. Mix chopped  fresh coriander leaves and onions. The mixed aroma of onions and coriander leaves is very inviting and appetizing.

Keep aside in a container with a lid.

Final assembling and serving pani poori

Assembling pani puri before serving:

  1. Place 5-6 puris on a plate. Tap each puri on the thinner side to make a hole. You may use a back of a spoon to make a hole.
  2. Add a spoonful of stuffing in each puri.
  3. Add 1/4 tsp green chutney and sweet chutney in the puri.
  4. Add chopped onion coriander mixture to top the poori.
  5. Take a cup or a small glass and fill some spicy pani in it.
  6. Place a cup with the pani on the plate. And serve. This is how it is served in the restaurants too.
  7. Before eating, a few spoonfuls of pani should be filled in the puri and the whole puri should be put in the mouth immediately otherwise the pani will make the puri soggy. It will be still tasty though.

How is panipuri served on the street:

When you have panipuri on the street, the vendor gives you a plate, a stainless steel plate or a special bowl made with dry leaves(which is disposable and eco-friendly).

He fills each puri with the stuffing and onion, dips the puri in a big pot containing spicy pani, and places that pani filled puri on your plate one after another till you ask him to stop.

You pick up each puri as the vendor puts on the plate in your hand and stuff the filled poori into your mouth and enjoy each one of them.

Caution : Do not try to talk while eating pani puri.

This way the panipoorivala (the vendor) serves 2-3 customers at a time.The vendor remembers your personal choice of more sweetness, more onions etc.

He also remembers how many puris you ate even though he is serving puris to many customers at the same time.

Most customers are regulars. Some people swear that you should eat panipuri only that way on the street and it is the tastiest. But there are some like my husband, who do not like to eat on the street.

But as I said, I prefer to make it at home. Just try my pani puri recipe and then tell me how it came out.

I have to go and have a plate of panipuri after writing this recipe. I have the ingredients ready and My mouth is watering.



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