You can’t say you’ve had great Pani Puri until you’re standing on the streets, with a paper cup in your hand, the vendor (pani puri waala) serving you pooris one after the other until you can eat no more, and you’re just there with your nose and eyes watering from the heat of each puri you gobble up…
Ask any Indian, and he or she would tell you that one of the greatest pleasures in life is going for a quick pani puri snack. It is one of the most popular street foods. Every region has its own variation of the dish. Pani Puris are known as “Gol gappas” in Northern India and as “Poochkas” in West Bengal.
I spent 4 years of college + grad life stuffing myself with these sweet and spicy delights. Literally. I ate this every single day. In fact, I was such a regular customer that I had become friends with many street vendors who recognized me and gave me extra pooris.. just because!
Now, (this is my opinion and you are welcome to disagree) the Pani Puri you eat from a street vendor is better than a homemade version or from proper restaurants. There is something joyful about eating from these little carts on the streets that you just cannot replicate in a hotel setting. If you’re ever in India, I do urge you to find a street vendor to enjoy these delicacies.
But for those who do not have the luxury of stepping out of their homes to find a street vendor selling pani puris or for those who would rather have hygienic homemade pani puri, I present to you a detailed recipe for t he same. It isn’t a quick recipe. But if you’re organized and prep ahead of time, you can enjoy these at home. (more…)