Pani Puri Recipe | Indian Chaat | Street Food

To me, a trip to India is incomplete without Pani Puri, Pav Bhaji, and Paan.

Every time I visited India I ate my heart out – especially from the stalls, the roadside food, the chaat.  LOVEEEEEE it.  I don’t think there is any single person who does not like pani puri.  Please tell me if there is, I would like them to come see me.  I am serious.
Spusht | Pani Puri Recipe | Gol Gappe Indian Chaat
Pani Puri Recipe - Gol Gappe Indian Chaat
For those who do not know what pani puri is (and are missing something big): Pani Puri is a snack with puffed crispy hollow fried balls made from a combination of either wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and/or semolina flour.  The puffed balls (puri) are stuffed with a variety of vegetable/lentil/sprout mixture, dipped into a spicy-tangy minty water (pani) and popped into the mouth.

Spusht | How to prepare Pani Puri
How to prepare Pani Puri
Pani Puri is known by several names around India, the ones I know are gol gappa (plural: gol gappe), puchka, and gup chup.  Puchka is my favorite!  Do not confuse this “puri” with the kadhai ki puri – this puri is small and crunchy that breaks into pieces, whereas the kadhai ki puri is big and soft and tears into pieces.

In the photos you see: I have used the ready-made packet of puri, store-bought pani masala box mixed with water, home-made stuffing, and assembled it all together.  But in this post, I am sharing with you both homemade and readymade methods.

What you Need to Make Pani Puri
1. Pani
    A.  Homemade
Adapted from Shobha Indani’s Recipe for making Masala Pani (for Pani Puri):

1 cup cilantro
1 cup mint leaves
3-4 green chilies
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp black pepper powder
2 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchoor)
OR 1 Tbsp raw mango
½ tsp black salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt, sugar, and chaat masala to taste

Remember that there will be some salt in the crispy puri as well as the filling – so start with very little salt.  More salt can always be mixed in later.
Combine all ingredients in a blender along with ¼ cup water and grind it into a fine paste.  Empty paste into a medium bowl, add about ½ liter water, mix.  Taste to adjust the spicy, salty, and tangy levels according to your taste, and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours.

Some people prefer their water a little sweet whereas some don’t – so you can make this basic masala pani, and drip a little tamarind-date chutney into the puri before dunking the puri into this spicy and tangy pani for the ones who like sweet pani puri.  I do.
Spusht | Spicy Tangy Minty Masala Pani for Pani Puri
Spicy Tangy Minty Masala Pani for Pani Puri
    B.  Readymade
Pani Puri Masala is available in Indian stores in a pouch that may come along with the box of crispy puffed puri, or a Pani Puri Masala box that can be used over a period of time.  Follow instructions on the packet or box, add mint leaves, green chilies, lemon juice, and adjust spices according to your taste.  Keep tasting the water until you are happy with it.

Spusht | Yummy Indian Chaat: Pani Puri
Yummy Indian Chaat: Pani Puri

2. Puri
    A.  Homemade
Adapted from Shobha Indani’s Recipe for making Puri (for Pani Puri):

1 cup fine rawa/sooji (semolina)
1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
¼ tsp salt

Soda water* as required to knead dough
Oil sufficient for deep frying

* Soda water makes the puri light, but you can also use plain water to knead the dough.
In a medium bowl: combine semolina + all purpose flour + salt,  make a semi-stiff dough using required soda water.  Knead well for 2-3 minutes to make the dough smooth, keep covered with moist cloth for 15-20 minutes.

Make small cherry size portions from the dough and apply some oil over them.  Roll them out into round thin uniform puris about 2 inch diameter, keeping them covered as you roll more to prevent from drying.  Meanwhile, heat oil on medium heat in a wide pan.  When you have at least 30 puris to fry, drop each one carefully into the hot oil, gently pressing them with a perforated spoon for the puri to puff up while frying, and deep fry on medium flame until light brown and crisp.  Drain on absorbent paper, let cool completely before storing in airtight container.

Spusht | Called as Gol gappe, Puchka, Pani Puri, Gup Chup
Gol gappe - Puchka - Pani Puri - Gup Chup [note: these are readymade puris]
    B.  Readymade
Puffed crispy puri boxes or packets are available in Indian stores.  You can save yourself a LOT of effort and buy the readymade puri.  My recommendation just buy the packet or box of puri, especially one that comes with a small pouch of pani puri masala that you can mix water in and adjust to your taste.

Spusht | Dripping tamarind chutney for a sweet pani puri
Dripping tamarind chutney for a sweet pani puri
3. Filling
Fillings are either with just boiled potato or just boiled chickpeas, or both, or a potato-chickpea-onion mixture, or with some sprouted lentils/beans, or with boondi – or a combination of either of these.
Spusht | Boiled potato, pressure cooked chana, onion filling for pani puri
Boiled potato, pressure cooked chana, onion filling for pani puri
I prefer the potato-chickpea-onion mixture for pani poori:
1 medium boiled potato, mashed
1 cup pressure cooked chickpeas, mashed
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp chaat masala

Mix the mashed potato, mashed chickpeas, and finely chopped onions well with the spices and salt.  The amount of potato-chickpea filling above serves about 4 people, considering they eat about 6 pani puri each, and with about ½ to 1 Tbsp of this mixture stuffed in the puri.
Spusht | Mash potato and chickpeas for pani puri
Mash potato and chickpeas for pani puri
The 1 cup pressure cooked chickpeas means ½ cup of raw chickpeas soaked in water for 6-8 hours, which double in size to 1 cup by then, and further pressure cooked in 1½ cup water for 20 minutes on medium heat or for two whistles until tender.

How to eat Pani Puri? 
Crack one side of the puri with your thumb without breaking the puri into two and without creating a hole on the other side of the puri.  Grab some filling mixture and stuff it in.  I like sweet paani puri so I drip a little thin tamarind-date chutney over the filling.  Dunk the puri into spicy pani or pour the spicy pani into the puri.  And pop it in your mouth RIGHT AWAY!  Any longer than 5 seconds will cause the crispy puri to become soggy and break into pieces.  And that is no fun unless it is happening inside the mouth.
Spusht | Pani Puri Indian Chaat
Pani Puri Mouthwatering Indian Chaat
As you sense the crunchiness from the crisp puri, chew the tender boiled and mashed filling mixture, taste a hint of sweetness from the tamarind chutney, and gulp the spicy-tangy water down your throat – it is an explosion of flavors and tastes you can never imagine until you put that luscious pani puri into your mouth.

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  1. Panipuri is my favorite Nisha, I love to finish that entire bowl.

  2. i love pani puri a lot as well :)

  3. this is my favourite as well... delicious...

  4. great recipe.. never knew how to make pani puri, i just buy the packet. looks delicious and mouthwatering.

  5. Panipuris always make me drool........especially now since I'm fasting :)

  6. hey,
    That's a unique & yummy looking pani puri.. Rocks :)


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