Pani puris are a great snack, served as chat and found on roadside food carts all over India. They are served filled with spicy water, chickpeas and potatoes.
Makes about 60 puris.
- Pani (Spicy Water):
- 1 cup mint leaves (Pudina)
- 2 to 4 green chilies (adjust to taste)
- 3 tablespoons tamarind paste (Imli)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon black salt
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (Hing)
- 1 tablespoon roasted cumin seed powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups water (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 cup All Purpose flour (Maida or Plain Flour)
- 3/4 cup fine Sooji (Semolina Flour)
- 1/2 cup water (as needed)
- Pani (Spicy Water):
Blend everything except the water together to make a fine paste. While blending, add water as needed to blend.
- Taste to adjust the green chilies as they can be mild or hot. Add more lemon juice, sugar, and salt as needed to your desired taste. Remember you will be adding more water to dilute so paste should be spicier. Strain the paste using water as needed.
- After straining mix the paste with remaining water or adjusting to the taste.
- The pani (water) will taste best if refrigerated for a day.
- Mix the flour and sooji. Add water as needed to make firm dough. Knead the dough until it is pliable. Cover the dough with a damp cloth for about ten minutes.
- Damp two kitchen towels, spread one damp towel over a cookie sheet or plain surface, close to where you are going to fry the puris.
- Divide the dough into about 60 small balls. Keep them under a damp cloth.
- Start rolling each ball to about a 2-inch diameter circle. Place over a damp towel and cover with another damp towel. Do this for all 60 puris. TIP: Placing the puris between damp cloths helps the puris to puff evenly on all sides.
- Heat the oil on medium high heat. Oil should be about 1 1/2 inch high in frying pan. To test the oil, put a little piece of dough in the oil. The oil is ready if the dough comes up right away and does not change color.
- Start frying the puris, starting first with the puri you first rolled.
- Put one puri in the oil and press lightly. When it puffs turn over and put another puri in the oil. Keep adding six to eight puris at a time. Fry the puris until they are golden-brown all around by turning a few times. You may adjust the heat as needed while frying.
- Take the puris out and place over paper towel, so the excess oil is absorbed. TIP: When taking the puris out of the frying pan, make sure to tilt the skimmer so that the excess oil is drained before placing on the paper towel.
- Fry all the puris. They should be crisp and puff like a ball.
How to Serve:
Pani puris are served by making a small hole in each puri. Fill the puris with boiled and chopped potatoes, or boiled chickpeas. Finish by filling each puri with the spicy pani (water). Enjoy!