India's culinary heritage is more than just a blend of spices, condiments and nutrition. With each region offering its own unique cuisine, one can indulge in numerous gastronomic adventures. And that experience is incomplete without relishing the flavours at one of the uncountable street stalls that dot the country. From Mumbai's vada pav to Delhi's nagori halwa and bedmi puri, from Kolkata's Kathi rolls or ghugni to Punjab's chhole bhature, there's an abundance of street food delights available across the country. In this delectable line-up, if there's one street food that has been part of the simple pleasures of everyday life across the country, it's the humble paani puri.
Watching the vendor pick one of those small, round-shaped crispy puris, poke a hole in it, fill the cavity with spiced chickpeas or potatoes and dunk it into a pot of water flavoured with tamarind, mint, cilantro among other things — it's an experience we all can relive time and again. As we stand next to the vendor and begin to pop those puris into our mouth, the flavours — sour-sweet, cool and hot at once — burst, and it feels like an antidepressant. Needless to say, we don't stop eating till we don't approach a state of satiety.
In a new Instagram video, chef Saransh Goila pays an ode to the most famous Indian street food, but with a twist of his own. He has added pomegranate (yes, you read that right!) to the tangy tamarind water mix, in which you dunk the puris. He went on to tell his followers to “try it and eat it chilled”.
Watch the video here:
Paani puris are known by various names across the country — phuchka in West Bengal, gol gappa in north India, fulki in Madhya Pradesh and gupchup in Odisha. Though the dish has so many names, its recipe is more or less the same across the country. There are just a few slight variations in the way it's made in different parts of India.
Here are a few ways in which you can make this dish at home within minutes:
1. Paani Puri
This is the most basic paani puri recipe and very easy to make at home. It requires the puris, boiled and mashed potatoes or chickpeas and tamarind for that a tongue-tickling experience. Savour as many as you can with the spicy water.
If you're in the mood for some shots minus the alcohol, this quirky recipe is for you. It requires apple, orange and guava juice, and is flavoured with mint, black salt, lime and other ingredients. This is then poured into shot glasses. Stuff your crispy puris with plums, mangoes and watermelon, and enjoy it with the fruity water.
This is another variation of the recipe, in which you use boondi and boiled channa instead of chickpeas. You can make it in just about 25 minutes.
Whichever version you choose, remember that the pooris must be eaten right away. One bite, and they must be gone — that's how you take a deep dive into this tangy delight.