Pani Puri

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…

Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

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.   Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Elements of the dish –

  1. Poori – Crisp ball-shaped puri made with a mix of all purpose flour and semolina. This is deep fried. I do not suggest making these at home. They are quite labor intensive and the chances of the pooris not puffing up are also there. Find any grocery store that sells local Indian groceries. Ask the vendor for “Pani puri” or “Gol gappa” pooris. However, if you cannot find these anywhere, you can attempt to make them at home. HERE is a good recipe.
  2. Ragda or a Potato filling – Pani puri is usually filled with hot ragda in the Mumbai area and with potato or sprouts in other places. I personally love hot ragda with the cold water. You can choose to do any one.
  3. Mint Coriander Water (“Khatta Paani“) – This is the spiced liquid in which you dip each poori. Depending on how thick or thin you want, adjust amount of water you add. Keep it chilled at all times. Pani puri tastes best when this water is very cold. You can also add ice to it.
  4. Sweet Dates Tamarind Chutney (“Meetha Paani“) – Some people choose to skip the sweet chutney altogether. If you can brave the spicy water, go ahead! But I do believe having both sweet and spicy chutneys is what makes this dish tastier!

In the printable recipe below, I have written the ingredients and instructions for every element of the dish in detail. You can make most of the elements ahead of time. This will make it easier for you to assemble the dish. Typically, I suggest the following timelines (if I may) to keep things prepped –

  • Poori – If you’re making this, you can make it 1 week or 10 days before. Store it in air tight containers. If you’re buying it from a store, then I do suggest buying fresh ones a day or two before.
  • Pani Puri spice mix – This spice mix adds a typical flavor to the mint water. This stores well in an air tight jar for 2-3 months in the refrigerator
  • Ragda or Potato filling – You can make it a day or two in advance.
  • Mint Coriander Water – You can make it a day or two in advance.
  • Sweet Chutney – This stores well in an air tight jar for 2-3 months in the refrigerator

Pani Puri Recipe – Gol Gappa Recipe – Printable Recipe

Pani Puri
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pani Puri / Paani Puri / Pani Poori / Gol Gappa
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 30-40 pani puri pieces
Ingredients
For the Pani Puri Spice Mix
  • ¼ cup Cumin Seeds (jeera)
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds (dhania)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Black peppercorns (kaali mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry Mango Powder (aamchur)
  • ½ inch dry Ginger
  • 2-3 Cardamom pods (elaichi)
  • 1 teaspoon Black salt or regular salt
For the spiced Mint Coriander Water ("Khatta" Paani component)
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped Mint leaves (pudina)
  • ¼ cup chopped Coriander leaves(dhania)
  • ¼ cup Tamarind (imli)
  • 1 inch Ginger (adrak)
  • 1 Tablespoon Jaggery or Raw Sugar
  • 4 to 5 green Chillies (adjust as per spice required)
  • 1 Tablespoon Pani Puri Mix (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1-2 Lemon (use if you need additional sourness)
  • 1 liter (4 cups) Water (adjust)
  • Boondi (optional) - {deep fried tiny balls made with chickpea flour}
For the sweet Dates Tamarind Chutney ("Meetha Paani component)
  • ½ cup Tamarind (Imli)
  • ½ cup Deseeded Dates finely chopped (Khajur)
  • ½ cup Jaggery, grated (Gud) – 1 cup (if you don’t have jaggery, you can use raw sugar too)
  • 1 cup Water (or as required)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tablepsoon Chaat Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
For the Ragda - filling Opton 1
  • ½ cup White Peas
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1-2 Green Chilli, split in middle
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons Chaat Masala Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Black Salt (or use regular salt) {adjust for taste}
  • a pinch of Sugar
  • 2 cups Water (add enough water to cover the entire mixture plus ½ cup more)
For the spiced Potato & Sprouts mixture - filling Opton 2
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, boiled, peeled & mashed
  • 1 cup Mixed sprouts (mung, red, bean etc), soaked in water overnight
  • 1 small Onion, chopped very finely
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry Mango Powder (aamchur)
30-40 Pooris (you'll find in any local Indian grocery stores. Ask for "pani puri" or "gol gappa" pooris)
Instructions
For the Pani Puri Spice Mix
  1. Add everything to a spice grinder and grind to a smooth powder
  2. Store in air tight jar in the refrigerator. shIt stays well for a couple of months
For the spiced Mint Coriander Water ("Khatta" Paani component)
  1. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of water for approximately 1 hour or in warm water for 15 minutes
  2. Add all ingredients except the salt, lemon in a blender and grind to a fine paste using a little water.
  3. Transfer the paste into a large bowl and combine with 1 litre of water, the black salt and salt and mix well.
  4. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve to get smooth liquid. Taste and adjust for seasoning, if required. You can adjust the amount of water based on how thick or thin you want the liquid t be.
  5. Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours after making so that all the flavors have blended properly.
  6. Before serving, add the "Boondi" to the water and mix well.
For the sweet Dates Tamarind Chutney ("Meetha Paani component)
  1. Immerse dates and tamarind together in about half a cup of warm water for 10 minutes.
  2. Put them into a blender/ mixer and grind them to a somewhat smooth paste.
  3. Add in the broken/grated jaggery and again grind it until you get a fine paste.
  4. In a pan, head about 1 teaspoon of Veg. oil
  5. Add in the cumin powder, chilli powder, Chaat Masala, Salt and sauté for about half a minute.
  6. Add the Tamarind-Dates paste to it & keep boiling the mixture. If it is too thick, add another half a cup of water & keep stirring it until it forms a thick paste.
  7. Remove from the flame, let it cool completely & store it in an air tight jar the refrigerator.
  8. When you want to use the chutney, add ¼ cup water for 1 Tablespoon of the chutney and mix to form a watery sweet mixture
For the Ragda - filling Opton 1
  1. Soak the white pas in water overnight for it to sprout. This helps in cooking the peas easily. Wash and drain the peas.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add cumin, chilli, garlic & ginger. Fry for a few seconds and add onions. Fry until lightly golden brown.
  3. Add chaat powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt & sugar. Add the peas immediately and mix well with the spices.
  4. Add the water and let it come to a boil. Taste and adjust for seasonings.
  5. Close the pressure cooker lid and put the whistle on. Let it cook on for 10-12 whistles. Switch off flame. Let pressure release completely.
  6. Open the lid and smash some of the peas with the back of your ladle. The peas should be extremely well cooked. If not, cook again for a few more whistles.
  7. Remove the Ragda for use as required. Make sure the ragda is hot while adding into the poori
If you don't have a pressure cooker...
  1. Follow the same procedure as above. But instead of pressure cooker, do it on a pan with high sides. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce flame to medium low, close with a lid and let it cook for 20 minutes. Open lid, stir everything well and cook again for 10 minutes. If mixture dries up, add more water. Keep cooking till you have well cooked peas.
For the spiced Potato & Sprouts mixture - filling Opton 2
  1. Mix everything mentioned under "spiced Potato & Sprouts mixture". Taste and adjust for seasoning. Keep it chilled until use.
Making the Pani Puri
  1. Crack a small hole in the centre of each puri using the back of a spoon or a finger. Be gentle of the poori will break.
  2. Fill the hole with a little sprouts-potato mixture OR hot Ragda mixture
  3. Top it off with little khajur imli ki chutney (sweet chutney).
  4. Dip the poori in the chilled paani (mint coriander water)
  5. Serve / Eat immediately.
Note 1 - You can make ALL components of the recipe before hand.
  1. Sweet Chutney & Pani Puri Mix - stays well for 2-3 months
  2. Mint Coriander Water, Ragda or the Potato Mixture - 1 or 2 days in advance
Note 2
  1. The sweet and spicy components of the dish can vary based on individual preferences. You can assemble and serve. Or arrange the elements of the dish on a platter and let the individual make his or her own pani puri pieces as per taste

Pani Puri Recipe – Gol Gappa Recipe – Step by step pictures

To make the spice mix, just add all ingredients to a spice grinder and grind to a powder. You can store this in an air tight container for a couple of months.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

To make the spicy component, add the mint and coriander leaves along with tamarind to a blender / food processor and grind to a smooth paste.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Add some jaggery and the pani puri spice mix and grind to a smooth liquid.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Add some cold water. Keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Meanwhile, make the Ragda for the filling. (Refer this post for step by step pictorial & detailed recipe)
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

To assemble, use a finger or the back of a spoon to break a small hole in the center of each puri. Fill with some Ragda. Then add the sweet chutney. Then dip the Puri into the spicy mint-coriander water.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

Serve / Eat immediately.
Pani Puri Recipe | How to make Gol Gappa step by step | Learn how to make pani puri at home | written by Kavitha Ramaswamy of Foodomania.com

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1 Comment

  1. HI!
    These foods looks so yumm…
    every dish is unique and classy.
    So food packed with these recipes for next some days..!
    happy foodie
    Higly inspirational food bloggers… ignites my tastes buds !
    even i am working to become a food blogger.

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