I had gone missing from blogsphere for a week simply coz I had a home full of loved ones n' was happy being busy. My mom n' my sister n' family were here with me for a vacation n' I had a great time with them....the best part about moving back to India is the amount of time I get to spend with my family. Coming back to this post. I can easily call Pani Puri my all time favourite snack....when I say all time, I really mean it....I can have it all the time/ anytime of the day n' relish it. For those who have never had it, Pani Puri is a popular street snack in India. It comprises a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. It is small enough to fit completely in one's mouth. The first time I had them was when I moved to Bangalore for my studies 10yrs back. I couldn't hold the whole puri in my mouth the first time around n' I remember thinking to myself 'how did I live to be 20 without ever tasting this?' I hunt for the best Pani Puri joint everywhere I go. In Bahrain, I had a Biharikaka who made such divine pani puri....n' he wud give me 2 extra sukka puri just to see how happy it made me, I think. ;)
I could have pani puri off the street vendor n' not think too much about it, but gone are those days....i'm more concerned about hygiene of the food n' the environment now. I don't eat pani puri or anything which uses water or fresh fruits n' veggies from a street vendor anymore. My youngest cousin,Indhu, who I love more than I can say, recently got typhoid n' was in really bad state. She was admitted in the hospital for 2weeks n' she has a small baby gal aged just over 1yr...everyone was so so worried about her. But now she is feeling better, the once healthy gal has become less than half her size, with really bad intestinal problems. I'm mentioning this in detail just so I can give out a word of caution to all who likes to eat from the streets. She caught it eating chat n' drinking some masala drink from one of the street vendors in Delhi. I also have to mention that her sis in law who ate/drank from the same place is ok. But really, the moral of the story is just that one needs to be cautious of where and what you are eating.
Koshy's Calcutta Chat on Brigade Road dishes out the best chat in town for me, including a good pani puri. But that being a little far off n' me not frequenting Brigade Road anymore meant I have to find a new source...My mom n' my sister loves pani puri too, so I decided to make it for them. My mom found it hilarious that she has to wait for me to finish taking some snaps before they could dig in....lol..;). I used ready to use small puris n' pani puri masala for the water. So here you go.
For the Filling:
2.Potato – 3 nos (medium-sized, boiled with salt, peeled and mashed)
3.Garlic – 2 to 3 pods (finely chopped)
4.Ginger – 1/2″ long piece (crushed/minced)
5.Coriander/Cilantro – 2tbsp (finely chopped)
6.Green Chili (optional) – 1 no (finely chopped)
7.Chili powder – 1 tsp
8.Garam Masala – 1 tsp
9.Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
10.Coriander Powder – 1/4 tsp
11.Amchur Powder/ Dry Mango Powder (optional) – 1/2 tsp
12.Salt – to taste
(add some fresh moong sprouts to get some extra flavour, I didn't have any with me so I didn't add it this time.)
For the Water:*
13. Everest Pani Puri Masala: 2tbsp
14. Lemon Juice: of half a lemon (medium size)
15. Mint Leaves: a palm full (crushed)
16. Salt: as per taste (keeping in mind that the masala already has some salt in it)
17. Green Chilli Paste: 2tsp
18. Tamarind Pulp: 2tsp
19. Dry Mango Powder: a pinch or 2
20. Water: as required (i used roughly 2cups)
22. Chopped Onion
*all the ingredients mentioned under pani puri water, can be adjusted according to taste. I have mentioned how much I have used, but change it according to your taste.
Step 1: Mix all the ingredients required for the Pani Puri water n' keep it aside. If you like the water chilled, keep this mixture in the refrigerator at this point. (I don't like mine chilled so I didn't do this). Do not mix the boondi n' chopped onions at this point. You can add that on top while serving.
Step 2: Mash the boiled potatoes n' mix all the ingredients. Keep it aside.
You are actually ready to serve. Even though the list of ingredients seems long, it requires hardly any prep time. Also, if you want to serve it to guests, you can do all the preparation in advance n' make the holes in the puri n' stuff the filling in, dip it in the pani puri water n' there you have it....;) mouthful, eyeful n' wonderful....lol