Panipuri for me is the best food on earth. It is a Crisp semolina puri filled with green chana and sour and spicy water. It is a very popular chat (type of snacks in India) in India and you can find it in any region you go. Every state has its own version of panipuri. It’s Golgappa in Delhi, Puchka in Calcutta and Gupchup in Hyderabad. I have eaten panipuri at various places but Gupchup wins it hands down for me. Not that I don’t like golgappa or puchka, but nothing can match the hot chana and cold water filled gupchup you get in Hyderabad.
Making the puri for panipuri at home can get little tricky. You need to roll out the dough thin and keep in moist always. But if you are living outside India and don’t get the puris readily available, it is worth the effort.
To make the puris fluffy, press the puri with back of a slotted spoon till it puffs up. Make sure the oil is hot and you fry them on a medium flame. You can even make flavoured puri by adding ¼ tsp of your choice of dried herbs.
Coming back to gupchup, the hot green peas filling is what sets it apart from other versions of panipuri. It is a very simple filling of boiled green peas cooked in very basic tempering. There are other fillings too like potato and Bengal gram (kala chana), sprouts, boondi, onions etc. If you like your panipuri sweet apart from the sour and spicy taste, you can add little sweet tamarind chutney along with the filling.
Panipuri is a comfort food for me and my sister. We can eat it anytime of the day. There are lot of famous street side vendors in Hyderabad where you can try this chat. If you are health conscious and don’t have a very strong immune system to eat roadside food, try this homemade panipuri.
For Puri (makes 25 puris)
- ¼ cup maida
- ¼ cup semolina
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- ½ cup tightly packed mint
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh coriander
- 2 green chillies
- 2 tsp black salt
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups tamarind water
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup dried peas soaked for 6-7 hours
- 1tsp oil
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 pinches turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 2 potatoes
- ¼ cup Bengal gram (black chana) soaked for 6-7 hours
- ½ tsp chopped coriander
- ½ tsp green chilli paste
- Salt to taste
Combine the ingredients for puri with little water and make a firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep it aside for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes, knead the dough again and divide into two rolls. Roll out each portion into thin circle and cut small (approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches) round puris using a cookie cutter or a sharp round cap.
Heat enough oil to fry the puris and fry few puris at a time, till they are crispy and brown on both sides.
Store the puris in airtight container.
Grind mint, coriander, and green chilli to a smooth paste. In a jug or vessel, combine this paste with all the other ingredients for water and mix well. Taste for salt at this time and adjust salt as per taste. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
For Filling 1
Pressure cook the soaked peas with salt for 3-4 whistles or till the peas are very soft and mushy. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add the cooked peas and turmeric. Check for salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
For Filling 2
Pressure cook the potatoes with little salt for 3 whistles or till soft and mushy. Peel and keep them aside.
Pressure cook the Bengal gram (black chana) with salt for 4-5 whistles or till they are soft. Mix together, the potatoes, chana, and green chilli paste. Check for salt and add more if required. Keep the filling aside.
Punch/crack a hole in the puri. Add the filling of your choice (appx 1 tsp in a puri). Fill it with the prepared water and eat it right away.