Tart and tempting

Living in the kitchen

Tart and tempting

Panipuri vendors do brisk business as people just can’t seem to have enough of the tasty snack.  DH Pics Shivakumar BH

Watching a rerun of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi the other evening brought on a strong Panipuri craving. With eyes rivetted on the lead pair in the film wolfing down the ambrosial snack in a determined bid to outdo each other in an eating contest of sorts, all I wanted — then and there — was a plate piled high with the scrumptious snack!

Gol Guppa or Panipuri reigns supreme on chaat charts. It’s hard to pass a Panipuri vendor, who hawks the tasty snack from atop a sleek wicker stand at most street-corners, without succumbing to temptation. As a self-confessed Panipuri fiend, I remain eternally grateful to the foodie who came up with the idea of setting up chaat counters at wedding receptions — beats boring bisi bele bhath any day!

Panipuri is the tart and tangy counterpart of the sweet and succulent rosogolla. While the rosogolla smothers your senses with its rich and juicy syrup, the Panipuri teases and tempts and takes over your whole being with its explosion of flavours. What’s more, this lip-smacking delight can be whipped up in a jiffy.

Stock packets of miniature puris. They are sold in supermarkets in sealed packets. If you are blessed with phenomenal patience, you can even make these mini puris in your kitchen with maida, a little wheat flour, super fine rava and salt. Roll the dough, cut into circular shapes using a cutter and deep fry in hot oil. (Instead of a cutter, you can use pickle-bottle lids.)            

Now for the masala pani. You can either buy Panipuri masala off the shelf at your kirana store, or you can make the pani at home by wet-grinding mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger, amchur and a pinch of ajinomoto. If you’ve opted for the ready-made masala, mix it with sufficient water and your masala pani is ready.

The ‘secret’ flavour comes from the tamarind chutney, which is made with tamarind pulp, sugar and a little salt. Allow these ingredients to simmer on a low flame till they thicken.

For the filling, you’d need boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes. To the potato mash, add finely chopped coriander leaves, green chillies, onion, garam masala and salt. If you want to pack it with nutrition, use sprouted and parboiled green gram or moong in the filling.

You could add finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, green chillies and grated carrot to the sprouted gram.

To serve, take a mini puri, gingerly tap its top, put in the filling of your choice, add a dash of tamarind chutney and a dash of masala pani... enjoy! Don’t over do the masala in the pani or it could seriously stall your progress in your very own Panipuri eating contest!

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