I love sugar and spice and all things nice..but I happen to love the spice just a tad bit more.
The snack that I am bringing to you today is something that every Indian worth his salt, would have had, and loved.
There's no running away from it in India..these little hollowed out spheres of delight as I think of them..
Spicy. Hot. Tangy. Crunchy. Sweet. Cool. Salty..and Oh My God so so so much more..I don't have words to describe these or my love for these.
Puchkas are a quintessential street food in India. You can see vendors by the roadside in their tiny stalls..and throngs of crowd all around it, eagerly awaiting their turn for that tiny little sphere of all things nice!!
It was almost a morning ritual of me and my friends. After we finished our classes, we would go and gather up around the "puchka wala bhaiya" or the vendor and gobble away 30 of these balls amidst a lot of chatting, giggling and I don't know what else!! Now thats a memory thats forever etched in my mind with puchkas..Fun and Masti (Frolic) with friends..A special carefree moment of my past..and whenever I go by these stalls, my mouth starts salivating as I remember those moments of sheer joy and the unburdened laughter of youth perfectly accompanied by these utterly delicious snack.
I have been making these at home ever since I got pregnant. Yes, I was the atypical expectant mom..Craved everything tangy, salty and spicy...and inexplicably only wanted KFC Chicken. LOL.
Its a very very easy snack that can be served up in number of ways...
People like me have it in its most raw form..with just the aloo (potato) and the spicy tangy water.
Others like couple of my friends love theirs with a sweet chutney to balance out the sourness.
And some like high maintenance Mr.P love theirs in the form of a chaat...with the entire works.
They eat theirs with the filling, add a topping of sev and boondi,,some yoghurt, onions, coriander..meethi (sweet) chutney and finally some spicy water!!
But its really easy peasy... So technically, not high maintenance. No.
Here's how you eat these ... and eat them you must, at high speed!
Beware: Your eyes will water. Your throat might burn up a little. You might choke slightly as you try to eat one big sphere all at once(as you must) and you will do so repeatedly, eagerly , greedily till the vendor asks "aur" (more)??? And finally a slightly embarrassed and breathless you might reply "bhaiya sukha de do"!! ;) ;)
Oh for the life of me how I love these...!!!
Ingredients for the Pani:
Ingredients for the filling:
- A small bunch of finely chopped mint leaves (about 1/2 cup)
- A small bunch of finely chopped coriander leaves (ditto)
- 3 green chilli ground to paste, I use a motor and pestle to make this paste
- 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder
- 5 Tbsp of tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon of rock salt/ kala namak
- 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of chaat masala powder
- Salt to season
- 4 potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon rock salt / kala namak
- 2 teaspoon moodi masala.
- Salt to taste
- Crumbled pooris 5-6
- A few dashes (1/4cup) of the spicy tangy pani.
- Optional additions to the filling : 1/2 cup boiled black chick peas / kala channa /green moong
Roast the cumin and coriander seeds until browned well. Roast on low heat, so it does not burn and turn black.Roast the bay leaves until crisp. When you crumble with hands it will crush immediately.
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup coriander seeds
- 1/8 cup rock salt/kala namak
- 1/8 cup white pepper
- 1/8 cup dry mango powder/amchur powder
- 1/8 cup red chilli powder
- 10 bay leaves
- Method for the masala:
Combine all the roasted ingredients with the rest and blend into a fine powder. The Muri/Moodi Masala is readyMethod for Pani:Combine all the ingredients together adding 2 cups of water. Adjust the salt and seasoning to suit your palate.Keep aside or refrigerate until you are ready to serve.Method for Filling of the Pani Puri / Puchka: Combine all the ingredients well in a large bowl. Transfer to a serving dish and keep aside. Add some of the pani to it and crumble in a few of the pooris..Mix and mash. Adjust and keep aside.Serving the Puchka’s/ Pani Puri’s / Gol Gappa:
Tap the Puri at the center lightly to make a half inch hole in it.
Add about 1 teaspoon of the filling into the puri.
Dip the filled puri into the spicy tamarind water and serve. You can optionally add 1/2 a teaspoon of date tamarind chutney and finely chopped onion into each puri before dipping into the spicy tamarind water. Add sev and boondi and some yoghurt,chopped onions and coriander leaf to it to turn it into a plate of puchka chaat.