Paani puris, Golgappas, Puchkas, going by several names all mean the same. These crunchy wholewheat puris, filled with some delicious concoctions, usually customized as per individual taste, but basically reels of three flavours, the sweetness , the fiery red chilli chutney and the soothing minty cool chutney, all exploding together literally as the puris break into your mouth.
These are most sought after near the paanpuriwaala as they are called by the local populace. The same is serve daintily in restaurants too, where you get to prepare the puris, how ever it is the paani puri waala who has some magic, dipping in and out of mysterious pots with some liquids and hands it a safast as yuo can pop them into your mouth and it is this way you should enjoy this unusually simple but heavenly chaat.
Basically the puris are crisp semolina puris filled with sprouts and chilled mint flavoured water and make a great snack for a hot summer afternoon. Sprouts can be replaced by hot ragda to complement the chilled mint water.
For The Puris
1/2 cup fine semolina (rava)
1/2 tbsp plain flour (maida)
3 tbsp soda water (bottled)
salt to taste
For The Pani
1 1/2 cups chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/3 cup tamarind
2tbsp ginger grated.
4 to 5 green chillies
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
1 1/2 tsp black salt ( Kala Namak )
salt to taste
1 / cup Date chutney
1/2 cup mixed sprouts , boiled
1/2 cup boondi , soaked and drained
1 cup sev ( optional )
For the puris
Combine the semolina, plain flour, soda water and salt to make a semi-stiff dough and knead well. Allow it to rest under a wet muslin cloth for 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 40 equal portions and roll each portion into (1½") circles.
Place these circles under a damp cloth for about 5 minutes.
Deep fry in a kadhai in hot oil on a medium flame till they puff up and are golden brown (press each puri using a slotted spoon till they puff up in the oil).
Remove, drain on absorbent paper and store in an air-tight container.
For the pani
Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of water for approximately 1 hour. Strain out all the pulp through a sieve.
Combine this pulp with the remaining ingredients except the black salt in a blender and grind to a fine paste using a little water.
Transfer the paste into a large bowl and combine with 1 litre of water, the black salt and salt and mix well.
Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours after making so that all the flavours have blended well.
How to proceed
Crack a small hole in the centre of each puri.
Fill with a little sprouts or boondi, then top a little sweet, date chutney, immerse it in the chilled pani and eat immediately.
I also used some green chutney made of mint, coriander leaves green chillis, ginger, salt and a dash of lime juice as a filling.