‘Puchka’ in Kolkata, ‘pani puri’ in Mumbai and ‘gol gappe’ in Delhi; this delicious street food is known by different names across the country but the essence of the dish remains the same: crispy dough balls stuffed with potato or chickpeas, dipped in spicy but sweet and tangy sauce.
Ingredients for the pani:
1/2 cup tamarind pulp, 2 cups water, 2 tbsp roasted cumin seed powder, 2 tbsp un-roasted cumin seed, 1/2 cup coriander leaves, 3 green chillies, 1 cup mint leaves, 1 tbsp black salt, 2 tbsp crushed jaggery.
Ingredients for the stuffing:
2 medium boiled potatoes, 1/2 cup boiled dried yellow peas / small chickpeas, salt to taste.
Ingredients for the puri:
1 cup semolina, 3 tbsp fine wheat flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, oil to deep fry.
To make the puri: Mix the semolina, flour, baking soda and salt in a wide mouth vessel. Now add warm water little by little to knead a stiff dough. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and keep it aside for 30 mins. Now make small equal lemon sized balls of the dough. Do remember to keep them covered with a damp muslin cloth while making more balls. Now with the help of some dry maida flour, roll out thin rotis. Make them round with the help of a circular cookie cutter or lid of any container. Heat oil in a deep bottom pan and put 3 or 4 puris in the pan, frying them with the help of a slotted spoon. Make sure the oil is hot enough for frying. While frying, press them in the centre and allow and them to puff up. We want a pocket in each and every puri. Now flip them over and let them cook. Remove from the pan and place on a kitchen towel when they are light brown and crisp. Let them cool. Later store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
To make the pani: Grind the coriander, mint leaves and green chillies to make a fine paste in a hand blender. Mix all the ingredients of the pani along with the green paste. Dissolve the jaggery. Adjust the spices and tanginess according to taste. Strain through a wire strainer to remove any rough bits. Stir the pani before using to mix all the masalas. Keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 hours before serving.
To make the stuffing: In a bowl, mix the yellow peas, roughly mashed potatoes and salt, and keep aside.
To serve: Make a small hole in a puri by tapping slowly on the crisp side. Fill some stuffing in the centre along with some green chutney, tamarind chutney and some chilled pani prepared earlier.