Pani puri is one of the popular street snacks all over northern part of India. Its popularity in southern India is limited to metro cities. It is a crispy semolina ball filled with potato/chick pea filling with sweet and tangy chutney along onions dipped in spicy water made of coriander and mint leaves. It needs to be eaten at one stretch, don’t worry you can do it. Semolina balls/puris are small and bite sized one. According to Wikipedia, this snack originated in Bihar, as migration took place, it spread to other parts of India. My first tasting of pani puri happened in Mumbai when I visited India after my marriage. It was tasty, still I was worried about hygiene conditions in which it served.
Srivalli selected gol gappe/pani puri after discussing with fellow challengers to try this month. I was not that happy. It is not that I don’t like pani puri but because I failed making Puri for pani puri miserably not once but twice. So when I told my better half, he told not to try if you want try buy store bought one and makes accompaniments to it here at home. I always tell him I am not trying this month, after some time I develop intense itch to make it. So I decided to make it yesterday, started in afternoon so that I can finish by evening. Then hubby will see only finished product not the preparation. However operation of pani puri was long and extend until 9.00 P.M in the night. When I made first batch some of them did not want to puff up, meaning no space for putting filling and chutneys. So I end up making a second batch, this time I reduce the dough resting time and learned the trick to make them puffs. My baby was crying in between, she needed mommy time. Further my hubby was asking did you finish it. What you need to make more?
After a long struggle and in between taking photographs by my hubby (He is photographer when he is available) I finished my pani puri making project successfully. We had it as our dinner. It was tasty. I had to change the Srivalli’s recipe for gol gappe as some challengers find difficulty in puffing the puri when Baking soda is used as ingredients. So I used Baking powder along with 1 teaspoon of olive oil with semolina and all purpose flour. I used her recipe for spicy pani/spicy water and mashed potato filling. I however ended up using my own recipe for chick pea filling and sweet tangy chutney. In her recipe, one cup of jaggery is used to make sweet chutney along with tamarind. I don’t want to use that much sugar. I made a healthy version of it by using apricot and tamarind with 2 tablespoon of Jaggery. Here go the recipes.
What you need
Semolina: 1/2 cup
All purpose flour: 1/2 tablespoon
Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Oil: 1 teaspoon
Baking powder: 1/8 teaspoon
Water: 1/4 cup
Canola oil: 4 cup ( for frying the puris)
For potato Filling
Potato: 1 no
Chili powder: 1/8 teaspoon
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Water: 4 cups
For Chick pea filling
Chickpeas: 1 can( Washed and cooked)
Mustard seeds: ¼ teaspoon
Coconut: 1/5 cup (I used desiccated coconut)
Red chili: 2 no (halved into two)
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
For spicy water
Chopped Coriander leaves: 1 tablespoon
Tamarind: Ping pong size
Ginger: 1" piece
Green Chilies: 1(I used Serrano pepper)
Ground Cumin Seed (roasted): ½ teaspoon
Kala Namak (Black Salt):1/2 tsp.
Salt : ¼ teaspoon
Water: 3 cup
For Apricot tamarind chutney
Apricot: 5 no (I used dried one)
Tamarind: a golf size ball
Cumin powder: ½ teaspoon( roasted)
Clove: 1/8 teaspoon
Pepper: 1/8 teaspoon
Chili powder: ¼ teaspoon
Black salt: ½ teaspoon
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Jaggery: 2 tablespoon
Water : 2 cups
For Chopped onions
Onion: ¼ cup finely chopped.
How I made
Pulse the semolina in coffee grinder/ mixer for 1 minute. Keep aside
In small bowl mix semolina, all purpose flour, baking powder salt, oil and gradually add water to form dough. Knead 3 minutes to form smooth not sticky dough.
Keep aside semolina dough to rest in a slightly oil bowl for 20 minutes covered with damp cloth.
Spread the semolina ball into a thin sheet. Using biscuit cutter/cookie cutter of 2 1/ 8 inch diameter cut into thin rounds.
Spread these rounds into slightly damp cloth and cover with another damp cloth to prevent drying.
In the mean time heat 4 cup of oil in a thick bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add each round into the oil don’t touch them with slotted spoon until they starts popping to top. Once they starts pop slightly press with slotted spoon to help them in puffing. Fry them until they become golden brown filliping them in between. It took about 4 minutes to get golden brown in 7 mark electric stove.
Remove them using a slotted spoon and drain excess oil using kitchen towels.Continue to fry rest until you finish entire dough.
For extra crispiness bake the puris/gol gappe at 200 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
For Potato filling
Boil the potato in medium sauce pan until they cooked very well. You can check them whether they cooked or not by piercing them with knife. If they slide through the knife then they are well cooked.
Remove the skin and mash with potato masher and add salt and chili powder and mix everything.
For chickpea filling
In a medium sauce pan heat oil and add mustard seeds and halved red chilies once mustard seeds starts popping add chick peas, coconut and salt. Let them cook for another 3 minutes and switch of flame and use.
For spicy pani
I didn’t made extract of tamarind or chopped the mint and coriander leaves.
Add mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, chilies and dry roasted cumin seed and tamarind into the blender along with 1 cup of water and blend into a smooth paste.
To this add salt and black rock salt to taste.
Put it in the fridge to cool down. (I haven’t done) As we are ready to eat I mixed with another 2 cup of water and used.
For apricot tamarind chutney
In small bowl add ½ cup water and tamarind and warm it in microwave for 20 seconds at high. Tamarind becomes soft and easy to extract the pulp. Strain and keep aside.
In small pot add ½ cup water and jaggery and let it boil for 5 minutes or until jaggery melts. Remove from the fire and using a strainer strain jaggery to remove any impurities.
In another medium sized pan add tamarind pulp, jaggery, ½ cup water and apricot and cook for 6 minutes or until apricot become soft and mushy.
To this add salt, black salt, pepper, clove, cumin powder and chili powder and boil it for another 3 minutes. Switch off the flame and keep aside.
Transfer entire things into a food processor bowl or mixer and pulse or blend for a minute to form a smooth paste.
Add rest of ½ cup warm water to the paste and keep aside.
Assembling the Pani Puri / Gol Gappa
Poke a small hole in the center of the Gole Gappa/ Puri
Add a tsp of mashed boiled potato / Channa in the middle of the puri. Add a little of the red tamarind Chutney. Add few chopped onions. Dip it in the spicy water / pour some spicy water in it
Gulp it down.
Notes: Alternatively you can mix small quantity of Tamarind Chutney, Spicy water and pour this on stuffed puris and gulp down too.
For gol gappe/panipuri: 5 minutes to prepare the dough
20 minutes dough resting time
20 minutes cooking time.
Yield: 25 no
For mashed potato, chick pea filling, Apricot tamarind chutney, spicy chutney: 45 minutes
Will you make it again: I will