Monday, April 19, 2010

Paani-Puri - Indian Fast food

This Indian Fast food is called by different names in different regions of India. In Mumbai it is called Paani Puri, in Delhi, “gol guppas” and in Kolkotta it is known as “puchkas”. This was not very popular in the south a decade or so ago. But now you find them in every street corner. No matter what name you call it – the taste is awesome and having grown up eating these since childhood in Mumbai, I have learnt the art of making it from my mother who was an expert in preparing these “chaats” (general term used for bhel-puri, paani-puri, sev –puri, alu puri or dahi-batata-puri etc.)

Can you believe it, as I am writing this, I am salivating just by thinking of the word “Paani Puri” ! Such is the effect this item has on the person who has tasted it !

In fact, during our picnics (three families would generally go) each family would be asked to bring some food items. Believe it or not, my mom would invariably be asked to bring any one/two of the chaats and she would ofcourse lovingly prepare it with a little help from us.

The preparations for “Paani Puri “ need to be done in advance since it involves a lot of items namely : puri, the Paani (masala water), boiled potatoes and green gram sprouted and boiled.

Preparing puri is a little laborious (my mom used to do it and I have the recipe for preparing it). Since these puris are readily available in the market, I prefer to buy them. Even the masala water is available in the powder form but according to me it lacks the “zing” and hence I prepare this myself. Next comes boiling of potatoes. And lastly sprouting the green gram and steaming them. Once these items are ready, then come the best part …..eating !

Paani Puri
Puries stuffed and ready to be dunked and eaten

Ingredients for the Paani or Masala Water


About 100 gms


About 1 litre


1 tsp

Kala namak/rock salt

To taste

Dry red chilies


Green chilies


Black pepper corns


Fresh ginger

1” piece

Dry ginger powder

1 tsp

Corriander seeds

1 tsp


1 tsp

Ajwain/caraway seeds

1 tsp


1 tsp

Mustard seeds

1 tsp


To taste


As per taste


A small bunch

Corriander leaves

One small bunch

Method :

  1. Boil the water with tamarind, kalanamak and hing. Let it to cool and using your hands, mash the tamarind well and then filter it.
  2. Clean and wash coriander and mint leaves.
  3. Grind rest of the ingredients along with the washed mint & coriander leaves to a fine paste by adding a little water.
  4. Add the ground mixture to the boiled, cooled and filtered tamarind water. Mix it well and keep it in the refrigerator.

For stuffing the puries (advisable to buy Puries from the market), you need the following:

  1. Boiled potatoes (2-3) Mash them add a little salt and keep aside.
  2. Green gram sprouted and boiled with salt.

How to eat :

  • Take each puri in your hand and with your thumb gently crush the top portion to create an opening for stuffing.
  • Next stuff the filling of your choice (boiled potatoes or boiled green gram or a combination of both) into the readied puri from the previous step.
  • Now fill each stuffed puri with the paani/masala water to the brim and put the whole thing in your mouth and just relish the taste.
  • OR - Dunk the whole stuffed puri in the paani/masala water and then right into your mouth

    which is the general way of eating this item though appears less polished!!


A packet of puris (available in the market ) is sufficient for 4-5 persons.

Instead of boiled green gram, you can also use boiled white peas (Indian name vataana )

For the masala water, you can also use half tamarind and half kokum which gives the same result.

Watch out for another “Chaat” item in my next post.


  1. I had them and they were divine.

    I make more short cuts than you ofcourse... Panipuri masala ( just add water ). Aloo mash ( just add water - recent discovery). Puri is store bought, ofcourse. Imli chutney from FunFoods.
    The boiling green gram is the only thing I have not found a way to expedite.

    I think sprouted green gram is the way to go - healthier, easier. Its almost an oxymoron.

    The real thing ofcourse cannot be beaten anyday.. Ah, the curse of the discerning palate

  2. Don't worry Rohini in a few years time sombody lazier than you or me and with the discerning palate will come up with more short-cut methods and then it will truly be called as "Fast food":D

  3. As food inspires you, hence thought to share the story of Plattershare. is a food networking platform which aims to bring the food enthusiast (home chef, professional chefs, food bloggers) and food business (restaurants, food start-up and food and beverages companies) together to share their passion for food and grow their business.
    So join us and show your passion for food.
    See you soon on Plattershare.
    Plattershare Mascot.


  4. Good post! I am also going to write a blog post about this... thanks

    amazon coupon