The exact inventor of Pani Puri is not well-documented, and its origins are somewhat unclear due to the nature of street foods and how they evolve over time within different communities. Pani Puri, known by various names in different parts of India, has likely been developed and adapted by multiple people over the years, contributing to its popularity and variations.
As a street food that has been enjoyed for generations, Pani Puri’s invention cannot be attributed to a single individual. It has evolved as a result of culinary creativity and regional influences within India. Different regions and communities might have had their own contributions to the dish’s development.
While we may not have a specific person to credit for inventing Pani Puri, it remains a cherished and iconic street food that is loved by many.
Sure, here’s a basic recipe for making homemade pani puri, a popular Indian street food:
For the Puri:
- 1 cup semolina (sooji/rava)
- Water, as needed
- Oil, for deep frying
For the Filling:
- Boiled and mashed potatoes
- Cooked chickpeas (chana)
- Chopped onions
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
- Tamarind chutney or date-tamarind chutney
- Chaat masala
- Salt to taste
For the Pani (Spiced Water):
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
- 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves
- 2-3 green chilies (adjust to taste)
- 1 small piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- Black salt (kala namak) to taste
- Salt to taste
- Tamarind paste or tamarind pulp (adjust to taste)
For the Puri:
- Mix the semolina with a little water at a time to form a stiff dough.
- Knead the dough until it’s smooth and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into small balls and roll them out into thin circles.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Once hot, carefully slide in the rolled puris and press them lightly with a slotted spoon so they puff up.
- Fry until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove them and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
For the Pani:
- Blend mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste using a little water.
- Add this paste to a large bowl and add roasted cumin powder, black salt, regular salt, and tamarind paste.
- Add water and adjust the seasoning to taste. The pani should be tangy, spicy, and flavorful. Chill the pani in the refrigerator.
Assembling the Pani Puri:
- Gently tap the top of each puri to make a small hole.
- Stuff the puris with a mixture of boiled mashed potatoes, cooked chickpeas, chopped onions, and chopped tomatoes.
- Drizzle some tamarind chutney and sprinkle chaat masala on top of the filling.
- Dip the stuffed puri into the chilled pani and enjoy the burst of flavors!
Remember that you can adjust the spice levels, tanginess, and ingredients according to your preferences. Enjoy your homemade pani puri!