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risp semolina puris filled with mixture of seasoned chhana and boiled potato and

chilled mint flavored water make a great snack for a hot summer afternoon or
anytime. These are known as ‘Golgappas’ in Northern India and as ‘Poochkas’ in
West Bengal. Pani puri is an Indian chaat item. Just a mention of pani puri is enough to
make one’s mouth water in anticipation. It is such a lip smacking dish. Though it is a
street food similar to masala puri, dahi puri etc, making it at home is easy and more
hygienic too.

Pani puri is an item where you make the preparation earlier and assemble the dish just
before serving. So it is a very convenient dish for anytime or every time. It is a popular
item for kid’s parties as well as any other parties.

When my favorite ‘panipuriwallah’ is serving me these delightful little puris one after
the other, I just go on eating till I can eat no more! Blow is the picture of Pani Puri
vendor thronged by the persons enjoying the savory pani puri.

Making the puris takes some time to master and although they can be bought from an
Indian store, in the West or from the vendor in India the extra effort put in to make
them at home is well worth the trouble. Do remember to store the puris in an air-tight
container. You can always refresh them by baking them in a slow oven for 4 to 5

This pani puri recipe is a favorite of my family. It also has other names such as, golgappa
in North India and poochakas in west bengal and gup chup in Orisa. It is also spelt as
pani poori.

The literal meaning of Pani puri is ‘water in fried bread’. The pani (water) is spicy,
digestive liquid which can be made in advance and kept and used for a few days. In the
West we do not get the privilege of Pani Puri vendor. The only option that remains is
buying the packaged pani puri from Indian Groceries. Or go to the restaurants that serve
this item, or go to the Chaat Café, Or make it yourself. Making perfect one takes some
practice. Whenever I make at home I always enjoy the dish B-L-D meaning Breakfast –
Lunches – and Dinner

The semolina puris used for pani puri are small about 1 ½ inch diameter. They are crisp,
a little hard, compared to the other pooris made for snack or breakfast. You can make
these small pooris at home or buy them ready made. They are available in packets of 50
or 100. As they are not very expensive, it is convenient to buy them. Generally in
restaurants, 5-6 puris are served per plate. You will need more, about 8-10 puris per

How is panipuri served on the street:

When you have panipuri on the street, the vendor gives you a plate, a stainless steel
plate or a special bowl made with dry leaves(which is disposable and eco-friendly). He
fills each puri with the stuffing and onion, dips the puri in a big pot containing spicy
pani, and places that pani filled puri on your plate one after another till you ask him to
stop. You pick up each puri and stuff it into your mouth and enjoy each one of them. Do
not try to talk while eating pani puri.

The vendor remembers your personal choice of more sweetness, more onions etc. He
also remembers how many puris you ate even though he is serving puris to many
customers at the same time. Most customers are regulars. Some people swear that you
should eat panipuri only that way on the street and it is the tastiest.

But as I said, I prefer to make it at home. Just try my pani puri recipe and then tell me
how it came out. I have to go and have a plate of panipuri after writing this recipe. I have
the ingredients ready and my mouth is watering.

Pani is the most important of pani puri Recipe. Pani literally means water. But here we
use spicy water to dip or fill our tiny pooris. Pani is the most important item in the pani
pori setup. Because the final taste of your panipuri will depend on the pani. If your pani
is right, you have got it.

This pani is a very good digestive as it contains a combination of herbs and spices that
help digestion. Apart from serving it with panipuri, it is also good to serve as a digestive
drink. You can dilute it by adding a little water.

For Golgappa dough:

1. Whole wheat flour or atta or white flour 1

2. Suji or cream of wheat 1
3. Salt Optional ½
4. Oil 2
5. Baking Soda ¼
6. Oil for frying


1. Paani puri masala

2. Boiled chana ½
3. Jeera
4. Oil 1 tbs
5. Boiled Potato diced 1½



1. Mix all the dough ingredients and make hard dough. Leave it covered for about 5
to 6 hours because suji takes time to swell up.
2. Take a small ball of the dough; roll it out not as thin as paper and not as thick as a
3. Cut into small rounds with the help of a cookie cutter.
4. Place these on damp cloth covered also with damp cloth until all Puris are rolled
5. Fry these rounds, four five at a time, on slow fire.
6. Do not remove as soon as it fluffs up. Wait for it to become crisp. Keep the heat
low as we do not want a golden color.

Golgappa paani:

Use any Pani Puri or Jal Jeera mixture. Following the instructions at the pack make the
water. You can blend cilantro and mint leaves and mix with the water. Use the cold
water and keep chilled.


1. Heat oil in a pan

2. Crackle jeera and ginger
3. Add lightly mashed chick peas and Cook for a few minutes
4. Add Potato and continue cooking mixing well on medium heat
5. You can add water if that be necessary
6. Sprinkle pani puri mixture and salt to taste
7. Remove from the heat and set aside
8. Garnish with cilentro


1. Make a hole in the golgappa from the centre on the thin side. Stuff chana and
potato mixture in it, fill with water and relish.
I make two chutneys along with it. One is hot and the other is sweet & sour. You can use
them in varying quantities depending on the individual’s preference. We like it hot with
a tinge of sweet and sour taste.

Hot Chutney:


1. Split Dhania seeds

2. Green Chillies (number depends on how hot you want it and of course, the
quantity of masala)
3. Mint leaves (pudina) amount depends on how flavorful you want the masala to
be. I use a fairly generous amount of mint
4. Salt
5. Fresh lemon juice (not lime)
6. Cilantro


1. Blend the ingredients in a mixer into a soft paste. Mix a large amount of the
chutney with the potatoes and add some to the spiced water. Note, this is in
addition to the Pani Poori masala you use for the ‘pani’. The chutney adds a fresh
and flavorful taste to the ‘water’.

Sweet & Sour chutney:

1. Soak 7 or 8 Khajur (Dates) for an hour or two. Basically, the softer it gets the
better. Once they soften, blend in a mixer into a fine paste. Keep aside.
2. Soak ½ cup of tamarind water in a pan for an hour, but the concentrate works
well too.
3. Keep the pan on slow fire. Add a teaspoon of jeera (cumin seeds), a pinch of
turmeric and salt, and lots of jaggery or brown sugar.
4. Stir continuously. Once the mixture thickens, add the Khajur paste.
5. Stir for couple more minutes to ensure the Khajur paste has released its flavor
and taste. And simmer until the color changes.

These two chutneys are used as accompaniment with pakoras, samosa, cutlets and dahi
puris, sev puris etc.