Pani Puri with Raiki Aloo
I know I told you not to make things you’re not familiar with in this post over here, but thats exactly what I did for our Christmas Dinner. I have only eaten Pani Puri in this form once, at my Aunty Tasneem’s house in Durban. It was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten, I was obsessed with the process, the filling and those little crispy shells which are also called Golgappas.
This type of food is commonly known as “Chaat” in India as is served as a street food snack. It usually consists of potato or chickpeas (Chana) served with a sauce and lots of fresh ingredients and crunchy components that are a match made in epicurean heaven.
“Pani Puri” means Water Puri; the pani is a spicy mint and coriander, sweet and sour concoction that is poured over before eating and the puri a crispy hollowed out shell. “Bhel Puri” is the next version of this popular snack but is served on a plate with lots of crispy bits, such as puffed rice and sev mixed together with the filling. The last type is “Dhai Puri” which has the same components but dhai means that its served with yoghurt.
I bought the ready made shells from Cape Spice Emporium which made this task so much easier. I made a spicy potato filling, chopped red onion and coriander for garnish and the Pani.
- 5 small potatoes
- A few tablespoons of oil for cooking
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 3 – 5 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Wash, peel and cut the potato into even sized cubes. This is to make sure they cook quickly and evenly.
- Sprinkle the salt, chilli and turmeric over the potato and mix together while you wait for the whole spices to temper.
- Add 1 – 2 Tb of oil to a small pot and once hot add the mustard seeds. When they start sizzling/ popping add the curry leaves. When you can start to smell the fragrance of the curry leaves or when you see them change colour add the potatoes and cook until soft. You will need to add a little bit of water to help them along but you are not boiling them – enough water to help it steam.
- Let all the water cook out and the potato should be soft and almost mash like to use as a filling for your pani puri. If you are making this as a side dish for Khuri Kitchrie leave them cubed and do not break down. You can use a spoon or fork to mash them slightly. See picture below for reference.
- a few mint leaves
- a small bunch of coriander leaves
- tamarind chutney to taste
- salt to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- sugar to taste
- chilli flakes
- This is one of those things that is purely personal preference. Start with the mint, coriander and 3/4 cup water and blend. It will look like dirty water but it gets better. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp tamarind chutney and 2 Tb of lemon juice. Keep adding or adjusting to your preference. It should be a balance of all the flavours ie. when you can taste everything in harmony stop! If there’s too much salt add more lemon and sugar, if you can’t taste the tamarind add more etc.
The finished product…