Have you ever thought what edible love tastes like! Imagine crisp hollow small puris, filled with potato fillings along with tamrind chutney which is later topped with chilled flavoured water. Yes, we are talking about pani puri. It is the perfect snack for hunger strikes or just to cure some cravings. Right from the history, people have been crazy fans of this amazingly delicious Indian street food. People have been experimenting a lot when it comes to pani puri but the standard recipe remains an all time favourite.
Known with different names all over India Subcontinent, Golgappa is used in North India, Phuchka in the Nort-East, also called as Pani ke Patashe in North West, while Pani Puri is prominent name which is used all over the country. With the increased hype for the dish, many foreign countries have also started serving this snack and slowly it is becoming pretty famous all over the world. Although nobody knows about the origin of pani puri, people say that it must have born in North East of India in the middle of the 19th century.
Usually the potato filling is at room temperature, but in some parts of South India, people prefer to have hot fillings in the puri along with the flavoured water. Visakhapatnam has enormous number of pani puri vendors all over the city which serve different types of pani puri along with chat. The best place to have this dish in Vizag are Siripuram [opposite Fresh Choice outlet], Beach road [beside Sea View restaurant], Kirlampudi [Besides the Kirlampudi bus stop], East Point colony [Bell Park], Maddilapalem junction [beside CMR central] and any outlet of Ladoo Gopal snack centre.
While there are many vendors of pani puri, it is important to ensure the quality of products used in the preparation of puris and masala and the water used in making the flavoured water. Hence always have it where you can see cleanliness and hygiene. While people have been making a huge variety of pani puri along with their personal twist, our favourite is the Vodka Pani Puri because what better than a delicious snack with a little bit of booze. The recipe for Vodka Pani Puri is given below.
Prepare the Tamarind Chutney
Take half a cup tamarind. Wash it and boil it along with some water for two minutes. Reduce the heat and then simmer it further for another five mins. Let it cool. Clean it (remove the fibre and seeds) and then grind it in the blender along with some ginger, cumin powder, a tablespoon of jaggery and some garam masala. Adjust seasoning as per taste (add more jaggery if you want it sweeter, more salt if it’s too sweet, etc).
Prepare the fillers
Boiled potatoes, green moong dal, white peas – the options are many. Use any one or a combination of all three, depending on your taste.
Boil a few potatoes and mash them along with roasted cumin powder, aamchur powder, salt and lemon juice.
Soak green moong dal overnight and cook it next morning along with salt, lemon juice, cumin powder and pepper powder.
Soak vatana (dried white peas) overnight and follow the same procedure as step 2.
Prepare the flavoured water
Take 4 cups cold water (add more if needed).
In a blender, blend 1 cup fresh mint (pudina) leaves, 3-4 green chillies (adjust to taste), 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp rock salt (adjust to taste), 1 tbsp Jeera (roasted cumin) powder, 1 tbsp jaggery (adjust to taste), 1/2 tsp black pepper and some chaat masala or aamchur masala.
Add 4 cups (or more) water and adjust seasonings.
Just before serving, add two tablespoons of salted boondi, some fresh coriander for garnishing and one cup of vodka [add more if you want more booze].
Serve the spiked pani individually in shot glasses or bowls so that guests can adjust the quantity of alcohol.
Add ice to the pani and refrigerate before serving.