Paani poori!

If you know me, you will know that I am a chaat-crazy person. I love most varieties of chaat, especially those sinfully delicious concoctions that some people make at home. Very few things in life cheer me up as much as the prospect of eating chaat for breakfast, lunch or dinner – yes, I am quite capable of doing that! I can’t get enough of pani pooris, and they are my go-to comfort food when I need perking up or whenever my taste buds crave a change from the routine. And, this chaat bug is not something that has bitten me recently!

Hygiene concerns forced Amma to learn how to make pani pooris at home when I was a school-going kid, from a Gujarati neighbour, and she perfected the recipe over time. Over the years, I began making it myself, adding my own little touches to it. The OH loves the version that I make, and so does his family. So, whenever I make pani pooris at home, it is in huge quantities, which is later packed into a number of dabbas and sent off to respective homes. 🙂

Here is the recipe that I commonly use for making the pani pooris.

Ingredients:

Store-bought pani pooris

For the aloo stuffing:

4-5 medium-sized potatoes (boiled, skinned and mashed)

Chaat masala to taste

Finely chopped coriander

About a tablespoon of jeera powder

1 cup of red chana (boiled)

Salt to taste

Method: Take everything in a large bowl. Mix well, using your hands. Set aside.

For the spicy (green) paani:

A fistful of fresh mint leaves, cleaned

A fistful of fresh coriander leaves, cleaned

Black salt to taste

Lemon juice to taste

Chaat masala to taste

About 3 green chillies (or depending upon your tolerance to spice)

Method: Grind the mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chillies to a paste, in a mixer, using a bit of water. Take this paste in a large bowl and add water till you get the desired consistency. Add black salt, chaat masala and lemon juice to taste. Keep aside.

For the sweet and sour (imli) chutney:

A lemon-sized ball of tamarind

Crushed jaggery to taste

About a tablespoon of jeera powder

Method: Soak the tamarind in warm water for a few minutes, till it becomes soft. Squeeze out all the juice from the tamarind, using water, little by little. Strain out the impurities from the tamarind paste. Heat the paste in a deep-bottomed pan, with the crushed jaggery. Let it cook till the tamarind loses its raw smell. When it is almost done, add the jeera powder. Take the pan off heat, and let the paste cool. Add water to bring the consistency to the desired level.

Assembling:

Make small holes in the pani pooris and fill aloo stuffing inside them. Put in spoonfulls of the sweet and sour paani and the spicy, green pani over the stuffing. Eat!

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34 thoughts on “Paani poori!

  1. This looks so good that I am totally drooling. So would love a bite myself. I make them in a similar way too. The only thing I do differently is that I have mine without the sweet chutney. I like mine spicy and sour. Husband likes it the way you make it though:)

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  2. TGND! I made them a couple of weeks back as well. Pretty similar method but I used the panipuri masala instead of chaat masala.
    I loved the picture!
    Poochkas are something I started loving 4-5 years back. I hadn’t had one until then! I was always eating masala puri – have you had that?

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    1. @Suko

      Erm.. does this mean you are travelling to India? 🙂

      Sadly, pani pooris do not travel very well. If I were to send some to you, all you would receive is an anonymous powder. 😦 I would be happy to make some for you whenever you are in Bangalore and visit home.

      Thank you!

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  3. Yummy! 🙂 I have had pani puri at home for as long as I can remember. As a child, pani puri was a regular at our home on sunday… late afternoons after our afternoon nap…. with my dad preparing the pani at home 🙂 Even now when I go home, we enjoy home made pani puri made by dad.
    Even at my place here, pani puri is a very regular dish …. sometimes an entire meal 🙂 It is hubby’s job to make the pani 🙂 and he makes it very yummy, I must say 🙂
    And Cheebu LOVES them 🙂

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  4. You have brought me back the craving for chaats which I seemed to have lost in the last month or so. Thanks for that 🙂 Having grown up down south, did not get the opportunity to relish chaat varieties then, so, started having them at times during college and became a full-fledged chaat lover, paani-puri lover first after coming to B’lore. In the initial years when I started working, I used to buy poori packets and take it home to Amma and ask her to make it at home so that all of us can enjoy this snack..My husband introduced me to other chaat varieties and there has been no-looking back :)..Do you also make sweet paani ? if so, would like to get your version to try some day 🙂 Thank you for bringing back memories,TGND !

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    1. @Ramya

      I am glad my post brought back fond memories as well as a craving for chaat in you. 🙂

      I have included the method to prepare sweet pani as well in this post, Ramya. Do add more water if you find it too thick.

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      1. my bad (: , TGND..The virual paani poori was so delicious that I missed reading the spicy paani section and assumed the sweet and sour to be the spicy one (: Thank you 🙂

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  5. I joined this club very recently. For some reason, I found it very troublesome to have an entire poori at once in my mouth and that stopped me from having this often. I used to share one or two whenever S got a plate for him. Recently, I happened to have one full plate myself and enjoyed the experience so much.

    You know.. our dinner last night was pani poori!! So same pinch 🙂 🙂 I used a slightly different recipe. Will surely try yours too 🙂

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