Panipuri

(by Kasturi Rout)


Panipuri is a popular street-food snack—a deep-fried flatbread with a savory filling.


For puri (flatbread):

1 c. semolina

1 T. all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

club soda

vegetable oil


For teekha pani (spicy water):

3 c. chopped coriander

1 1/2 c. chopped mint

1-in. knob of ginger, peeled

2 green chilies, chopped

2 T. roasted cumin powder

2 T. chaat masala (spice blend)

1 t. black salt

table salt, to taste

1/2 c. lemon juice

2 T. red chili powder

1 T. amchur (mango powder)

1 c. ice cubes

15 oz. cooked chickpeas

2 c. chilled water


For khatti methee (chutney):

2 1/2 c. tamarind

6 c. water

1 t. vegetable oil

1 1/2 T. cumin seeds

2 T. red chili powder

1 t. black salt or table salt

1 1/2 c. sugar

handful of fresh mint leaves


For stuffing:

1/4 c. boiled and diced potato

1/2 c. chopped onion

pinch of black salt


To make puri:

Mix semolina, flour, and salt.

Add enough club soda to make a soft dough.

Knead into a ball, and let rest for 10 minutes covered with a damp tea towel.

Pull off small portions of the dough, about the size of a walnut.

Rub some oil on a rolling pin and on the surface you’ll use for rolling.

Roll a few balls at a time into small flat discs, keeping remaining balls covered.

In a large pot, heat oil to a depth of about two inches.

One at a time, place a disc in the hot oil, pressing it down.

When it puffs up and turns golden, flip over and brown the other side.

Drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining disks.


To make teekha pani (spicy water):

Place coriander, mint, ginger, chilies, cumin, chaat masala, black salt, table salt, lemon juice, chili powder, mango powder, and ice cubes in a blender.

Blend until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl.

Add chickpeas and chilled water.


To make chutney:

Soak the tamarind in water for 4 – 5 hours or overnight.

Squeeze and strain the pulp into a bowl.

Heat oil over medium heat and add cumin seeds, which will crackle.

Add red chili powder and strained tamarind.

Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add salt and sugar, and cook 5 minutes more, until thickened.

Add mint and let cool.


To make stuffing:

Combine potatoes, onions, and salt.


To assemble:

Crack a hole in the top of each puri.

Fill with potato stuffing.

Add chutney and spicy water.


(Read C'mon, Mom, Chill, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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