Friday, 30 November 2012

Pani Puri/Gol Gappa/ Puchka - India's Most Popular Street Food

Pani Puri or Gol Gappa or Puchka is my favorite Chaat or Indian Street Food. It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water ("pani"), and some filling of chaat masala mixed with potato or onion and chickpeas. It is small enough to fit completely into one's mouth.
You can find Pani Puri vendors on every other street in India. However due to reasons of hygiene, I have almost stopped eating chaat on the streets especially after I have become a Mother.
I not only make the chutneys at home but also make the "Puris" at home itself.
Half a cup of semolina will make around 40-50 puris or papdis and this is sufficient for me and my daughter for 2-4 rounds of chaat.
Another reason for making "Puri" at home, is that they are crispier and stay crispy fresh in an airtight container for more than a week.
Also the shop sold puris are so big that my lil one could barely put the whole puri in her mouth in one shot...
all these reasons were enough to continue making puris at home.
However the earliest memories of making "Puri" for chaat is of my granny during my college days while we lived in Hassan.
We loved chaat and there was no good place in Hassan to eat chaat, so my granny found out this recipe of making Puris through some cookery books and a few attempts.
My brother an I would try to help her in rolling the puris and make a mess of the kitchen, but that was really good fun..
And we would make hundred+ puris.... on a sunday afternoon and gobble them all up in no time..
The work of cleaning up the kitchen would be on my sweet Mom...
But those childhood memories are so amazing that they motivate me to actually spend some time and effort to make puris at home.
But try making this once at home from scratch, am sure you will make it again and again and stop eating chaat outside.

Makes 40-50
Ingredients required for "Puri":
Semolina - fine variety also known as Chiroti rava - 1/2 cup
Maida or plain flour or all purpose flour - 1/2 tbsp
Soda water or Aerated water - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Jeera or Cumin - 1 tsp (only for Papdi)
Oil for deep frying

Method to make "Puri":
Knead the semolina along with maida, salt and soda water into a smooth dough.
Do not add any water while kneading.
Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Now make 40-50 equal portioned balls.

Now roll into puris and keep under a damp cloth for about 5 minutes.
If you want to make puri for panipuri then deep fry them as it is.
They will puff up.
If you are making papdi, then just make few lines on each with a knife, so that they do not puff up.

Ingredients required for "Pani" ( This "Pani" will be spicy):
Fresh Mint leaves - chopped - 1 1/2 cups
Fresh Coriander leaves chopped - 1 tbsp
Tamarind juice- 1/4 cup
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Green chillies - 5
Roasted Cumin seeds powder 1 tsp
Black salt - 1 tsp
salt to taste
Water - 1 litre
Method to make "Pani":
Grind the mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger and green chillies to a smooth paste. Take a large bowl, add the paste 1 litre water and then mix in the black salt, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.
Chill for 2 hrs in the refrigerator before serving.

Method to make "Sweet water or Meeta Pani" :

Take a large bowl, mix 1 cup of  Khajur Imli Chutney/Dates and Tamarind Chutney into 1 cup water and a little black salt and regular salt.

Ingredients required for the "filling":
Potatoes - boiled mashed and mixed with salt, chilly powder and chaat masala.
You could also use sprouts or boiled chickpeas if you do not want to eat potatoes.

Other Ingredients required:
Boondi - Soaked and drained

Serving/Eating "Pani Puri":
Crack a small hole in the centre of each puri.
Fill with a little mashed potato or sprouts or boondi, immerse it in the chilled pani and eat immediately.
For kids you could dip the puri first in Pani and then "Meetha Pani" or Sweet water and pop in the mouth.

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