Monday, November 29, 2010

Pani Puri


Going back in time:

During summer holidays, we would get hooked to watch all the TV serials that Annamma (granny) and Amma (mom) used to watch. There were two such Kannada serials called 'Maya Mruga' and 'Naaku Tanti' which were class apart from the normal 'Saas Bahu' or daily household 'Khitpit' saga. They were stories of 3-4 protagonists all different natured and from different walks of life. They used to be aired at 4:00 PM. Once the school re-opened, we would miss watching at the comfort of our house couches. While they were being aired, our school would have just dispersed and we would be walking our way back home. Luckily people who used to live on the streets that we walked were also the audiences of these serials. We would hault whenever we could sense that the serial was going on. We would sheepishly eavesdrop not to miss any dialogue. During break, we would again walk to stop at any hint of the second segment beginning. When the last segment would begin, we would have reached home.

Amma would make snacks for us for the 4 o' clock apetite to be quenched. One of those snacks would be Pani Puri. I don't know the exact recipe, but recreated some with instincts and memory. Picked recipes of Pani, Green and Tamarind chutney from Sailu's blog. The filling here is hot curried green peas with hot, sweet and sour chutneys, raw onions, sev. The filled puris are dipped in chilled tangy water and like Sailu says "Explosion of flavours" happens when you put it in your mouth. I specially like the combination of green peas and cold 'Pani'. Simply mind blowing.

My mom occasionally made puris at home but I never tried a hand at it. I conviniently buy my puris from supermarkets. I had all the chutneys left and wanted to make papdi chat. Couldn't find Papdis being sold in any super market here. Went to a chat stall and asked the Bhaiyya there. He gave a whole bunch of Papdis for 10 bucks! The woman in me was delighted! God bless him!

PS: I regret bad quality of photos. As we had savoured this in the late evening, the darkness has cause poor quality pics.

Pani Recipe

6-7 cups cold water
1/2 cup packed pudina leaves
1 green chilli
Small piece ginger
1 tbsp amchur pwd
1/2 tsp chaat masala pwd
1/4 tsp cumin pwd
Pinch of black salt (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Salt to taste

1. Make a paste of mint leaves, green chilli and ginger and keep aside
2. Take a vessel, add the cold water in it, followed by the green mint paste and combine well.
3. Add cumin pwd, chaat masala pwd, amchur pwd, black salt, salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves. 4. Chill in refrigerator till use.

Green peas filling Recipe:

Dry green peas - 1 cup (soaked overnight and boiled)
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Bay leaves - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 1, beoken into 3-4 pieces
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumins seeds, red chillies and bay leaves.
2. Once cumin seeds splutter, add ginger paste and saute till raw smell goes.
3. Add chopped tomtaoes and saute till they are well blended and oil oozes out.
4. Add green peas, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and a little water and mix well together.
5. Cook till all the gracy has dried out and keep aside.

Khajur Imli ki (Sweet) Chutney Recipe
3/4 cup grated jaggery (adjust)
10-12 dates
Small orange sized tamarind (de-seeded)
3/4 tsp chilli pwd
1/2 tsp saunf pwd (optional)
1 tsp roasted cumin pwd
Water as required
Salt to taste

1. Soak tamarind in 2 cups of warm water for 5 mts. Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add the tamarind along with the water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cool.
2. Once cool, grind this tamarind mixture along with dates to a fine paste, adding very little water. Strain through a sieve and pour this tamarind-date paste back into the heavy bottomed vessel.
3. Cook on slow to medium flame for 2-3 mts. Add the grated jaggery and allow it to melt and blend well with the tamarind date mix. Continue to cook till it becomes a thick pouring consistency, approx 15-18 mts.
4. Add chilli pwd, cumin pwd, saunf pwd and salt to taste and combine. Turn off heat. Even if the chutney is thick, its fine.
5. Once cool, refrigerate and use as required.

Green (Hari) Chutney Recipe

2 cups chopped fresh coriander leaves, packed
1 cup fresh pudina/mint leaves, packed
2-3 green chillis (adjust)
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps water
1 1/2 tsps sugar
Pinch of salt

1. Wash pudina and coriander leaves thoroughly and allow the water to drain.
2. Grind the pudina, mint leaves, salt, sugar, lemon juice and green chillis to a fine paste, by adding 2 tbsps water.
3. Remove into a bowl. Refrigerate until use. Goes well for chaats like Pani Puri, hot snacks like Samosa or as a spread for sandwich.

Red Chutney:

(This chutney has raw garlic and could be avoided while assembling coz many detest the flavour of raw garlic. But personally I am a garlic patron)

Red chillies - 10 -15
Garlic - 5-6 pods
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

1. Just grind all the ingredients with a little water.

Make a small hole at the top of a puri by lightly pressing. Take care not to break the puri. Place a tsp of hot green peas filling. Add 1 tsp of tamarind chutney, 2 drops of green and red chutneys each. Add a tsp of chopped onions and sev on top. Arrange filled puris on a plate in a circle. Place a small bowl of Pani in between and serve. Puris are be dipped in the bowl of Pani and directly stuffed into mouth without any delay.

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