Pani Puri, An Indian Streetfood Favorite

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

Puja and I got married three years ago, on June 4th, in a mostly Indian-style wedding. For the ceremony we dressed in Indian garb. Puja had mendhi (henna) on her hands and feet and I rode in on a horse with a baraat– a groom’s procession led by a dhol drummer. It was so much fun.

And two years ago in June, we started Indiaphile. To celebrate our blog anniversary, we’ve decided to give away one of the most indispensable tools for the Indian cook, a Presto 01341 4-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker. We use them for making everything from beans and lentils to shaaks such as undhiyu. A pressure cooker turns an all day cooking job into thirty minutes or so.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

To be honest, after two years of hard work, I still want so much more from this blog. We have learned so much in the process of creating it. It has given us so much practice that everything has improved, from the photography, to the site design and writing. But we have so many more ideas that just haven’t made it to the page yet.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

The biggest challenge for us is finding the time. I’m sure other bloggers will identify with that! Every post takes several hours, from coming up with a recipe idea, to preparing it, correcting it if need be, then photographing it which usually takes an hour if not more to get things just right, then editing the photos on the computer and doing the write-up and editing that. So often, Puja is tired from work, or I’m tired from work, and it can be such a challenge to come together and get to work on the ideas we’ve been hashing out.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

When we conceived of Indiaphile, it wasn’t even really a food blog. The food was just going to be a part of it. But Puja’s passion quickly steered us in that direction. Our original mission was to share our experience with her culture, and our observations and discussions. Puja and I often get into these long talks about what Indian culture is like. It always starts with her explaining some small thing to me, and then at some point I make an observation that is new to her because I’m looking at it as an outsider from the culture or I am relating it to something in my experience.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

Indiaphile has opened up opportunities that weren’t on our minds when we started. We never expected Puja to appear on the radio, or TV or San Diego’s top regional magazines. But it happened. We’ve met so many cool people along the way, people who are interested in what we are doing, and people with their own interesting blogs in the area.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

After two years, there are so many ideas we’ve been floating out there that still get us excited. For our anniversary post this year we decided to do Pani Puri. Pani Puri is one of Puja’s favorite street foods. And that’s saying a lot, because she loves street food.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

Pani Puri makes a great presentation and is just plain fun to eat. It is made from some very basic ingredients, garbanzo beans (chana), moong beans and potato. You can substitute other beans that you have on hand as well. You place these in a puri (a crunchy shell) and add chutney and “pani.” Pani means water, but in this case, it is a flavored water.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

When you eat it, you stick the whole puri in your mouth. What you get is a wonderful assortment of flavors and textures. The puri crunches and collapses in your mouth, releasing the pani as you bite into the soft potato and beans. What you taste is an explosion of sweet, tart, spicy and cool mint flavors.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

This version of pani puri is what my mother-in-law makes. It’s a little different from the Bombay street version that uses a hot pea stew instead of chana and moong.

Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

Pani Puri

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Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 81kcal

Ingredients

  • 24 pani puri shells
  • 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans brown
  • 1/2 cup cooked moong beans
  • 1/2 cup boiled potato skinned and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp sweet and sour tamarind chutney
  • 1/2 cup pani puri pani recipe below

Instructions

  • Break the shells by crushing the tops with your finger or tapping it with a knife or spoon. Be careful not to crack the side or bottom of the shell as you do this.
  • Add an equal amount of garbanzo beans, moong beans and potato to each one to fill.
  • Top with a few drops of tamarind chutney.
  • Fill the shell completely with pani puri pani and consume immediately. You can prepare each shell ahead of time, but don’t add the pani until the last second before eating.

Notes

Pani puri shells are easily available at Indian stores.

Nutrition

Serving: 3g | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Pani Puri recipe by Indiaphile.info

Pani Puri Pani

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 110kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mint packed
  • 1 serrano chili
  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 cups water

Instructions

  • Put 1/2 cup water with mint leaves, chili and tamarind concentrate into a blender, and blend thoroughly.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to combine.

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9414mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 1977IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 193mg | Iron: 3mg

16 comments

  1. I have been enjoying your recipe posts on Facebook. I have always appreciated Indian cooking and over the last several years have been able to acquire the most impressive collection of spices. I have even planted a mint patch in my yard! I love all the flavors, and am no shrinking violet when it comes to HOT spices and heat. I love everything about it.
    The best part of all this is my husband who is as white as white can be LOVES this food, too. He can even take the heat! I am fortunate to have a partner who appreciates food and food culture as much as I do. I gave him his first fruit lassi last night with dinner. 🙂
    Keep up the great work with the blog and recipe sharing.! Thank you for giving us a chance to win a pressure cooker.

  2. Signed up for email subscription. Was already a fan of yours on Facebook. Belated Anniversary wishes to both of you. Love the way Panipuri looks.

  3. What an interesting and delicious looking recipe! Congrats on your blogiversary! I’ve been following along on all avenues. You are one of my favorite local blogs 🙂

  4. Congrats on your two year blogiversary! The photos look awesome – it looks like a little crunchy pocket of love. I like your Facebook page already.

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