Monday, February 2, 2009
Pani Poori/Poochka/Gol Gappa doesn't need an introduction. It is the favorite chaat item of many including me. I can never say NO to a pani puri. Initially I used to eat chaat and other fast foods only at restaurants but after studying Microbiology in college and gaining knowledge about food contamination, to my surprise I found myself eating more of street foods. I have eaten Pani Poori innumerable times while coming back from office even when my tummy was full, all thanks to one of my train friends P who would drag us to the Pani poori wala and treat us with Pani puris without any occasion. One place in Ghatkopar serves Pooris with chilled Pani which have small pieces of ice also. I love that version also.
During my initial months in US I used to have cravings for chaat and especially Pani Puri. On the contrary my hubby is not a great fan of chaat items. While in India I used to make Pani Puri, Sev Puri, etc many a times at home using the readymade puris. But after coming here I never made it as we get huge packs of puris here which is too much for the two of us.
Once I was chatting with my friend S and I informed her about my food blog. She was very excited and told me to include chaat recipes in my blog. She also gave me the recipe to make puris at home. Few days later we went to visit the Indian Street in New Jersey. There I ordered Pani Poori but was quite dissapointed with its taste. I challenged hubby that I can make better ones than them. All these years I always followed a particular recipe from a paper clipping to make the pani. But I lost the recipe or maybe its lying somewhere in India. This is how I made it with whatever I could remember.
For the Puri
Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Rava - 1/4 cup
Mix Maida and Rava. Add a little salt and water and make a stiff dough. Apply a little amount of oil and rest it for half an hour. Roll it into a chapati (I did this on a wax paper) as thin as possible using OIL. Cut out small roundels using a cookie cutter (or a small lid).
Deep fry in hot oil till crisp and golden.
Mint - 1 small bunch fresh (I used 2 tbsp of dried leaves)
Ginger - 1 inch
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 2-3
Pepper - 2
Green Chilli - 1-2 depending upon its spicyness
Jeera - 1 tsp
Rock Salt- 1/2 tsp (I used Chaat Masala)
Blend all together with water. Add more water and strain it to obtain Pani.
For Meetha Chutney
Seedless Dates - 7-8
Tamarind - small ball (1 inch diameter)
Jaggery - 2-inch piece
Pinch of Salt
Soak the dates and Tamarind seperately in little warm water. Strain the tamarind water. Blend together dates, tamarind water and jaggery to a fine puree. Add a pinch of salt.
For Filling use any or all of the items below.
Yellow Peas - soaked and boiled with salt and turmeric till soft
Boiled and Mashed Potatoes - add a pinch of salt and red chilli powder
For making a Pani Poori.- Make a hole in the poori, add filling of your choice and top it with Meetha Chutney. Dip in/top it with the pani and enjoy your poori in one go.
Clockwise from top: Boiled Potatoes, Boiled Peas, Tikha Paani, Meetha Chutney, Soaked Boondi and the final poori in the centre.
Hubby loved it much more than me and also commented that my Pani Pooris were indeed much better than the restaurant ones.