Pani puri is the most common street side snack item available in several regions of the Indian subcontinent. In North India, it is known as Golgappa. It consists of a round, hollow fried and crisp puri filled with a mixture of sour flavored water (pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas.
Food etymology says that Pani puri originated from the Magadha region of India, present day South Bihar where it is also known as ‘phulki’. Pani puri literally means “water bread” and it has originally derived its name from Sanskrit language. Food etymology also says, ‘golgappa’ (another variant of panipuri) is supposed to have originated from the town of Benaras in Uttar Pradesh.
The term panipuri was first found recorded in 1955 in newspapers and books and the term golgappa was first found recorded in 1951 in newspapers and books.
Different names of pani puri by cities.
Pani puri has various names in India, depending on the region. In Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, and in other regions, it is called ‘gol gappa’. In Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, it is known as ‘pani ke bataashe’. In Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, it is known as ‘panipuri’. In West Bengal, it is popularly called as ‘phuchka’.
In Bihar, people lovingly call it ‘gup chup’. In Chhattisgarh and Odisha, people call it ‘pakodi. And last but not the least, in Madhya Pradesh, it is called as ‘phulki’.
Pani puri preparation is very easy and it takes only few minutes time. The round, hard, puffy puri shell is first broken on top and it is partially filled with the main stuffing of mashed potatoes and chickpeas. A small amount of turmeric powder or chilli powder, or both, may be added for taste.
On the top of it, a pinch of rock salt and crushed black pepper are also added to taste. Sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney are then poured into the shell, on top of the stuffing. It is finally filled with pudina and jaljeera powder mixed pani and served.
Pani Puri Serving.
Street side vendors fill the pani inside puri, but in restaurants, pani is served in a separate bowl along with puri. People enjoy eating pani puri from street side vendors the most because of the serving pattern they follow. People stand in a circular queue surrounding the vendor and the vendor serves them one by one serially in circular pattern.
Pani puri is served one at a time in a conical leafy container. Each pani puri is intended to be eaten whole with tangy pudina pani, so that the spectrum of flavors and textures within may all be tasted together.
Dfferent Types of Pani Puri.
A modified variant of pani puri is dahipuri (also sold as ‘sweet pani puri’). It is a snack which is especially popular in the state of Maharashtra in India. This dish is a form of chaat and originates from the city of Mumbai. It is served with mini puri shells (pani puri). Dahi puri and pani puri chaats are often sold from the same vendor.
After pani puri is made, finally, sweetened beaten yoghurt is generously poured over the shell, and the finished product is garnished with sprinklings of crushed sev, moong dal and finely chopped coriander leaves. Dahi puri typically comes as 5 or 6 dahi puris per plate, while pani puri is typically served one piece at a time.
Pani Puri and Health.
Physiologists say that eating panipuri usually boosts people’s mood. People, mostly women always find fun in eating this snack and having pani puri can totally refresh their mood. Hanging out with friends or family and gulping down pani puri one after the other signifies the joyful moment. Women generally find eating panipuri as an addictive activity. As per Indian food survey, they just cannot have enough of it.
Pani Puri Advantages and Disadvantages.
The nutritional value of eating pani puri has both some benefits as well as some disadvantages. Benefits are : pani puri helps to cure mouth ulcers, it also gives one relief from acidity. Disadvantages are : pani puri can be a high source of fat associated calories. Panipuri is not a food of high satiety value.
People generally tend to overeat it without realizing that they may end up consuming 1000 calories and still not feel full! Some restaurants and bars use cocktails or mocktails filled puri and serve in the names of ‘Pani puri Margarita’, ‘Pani puri Shots’ etc. People comfortable in taking alcohols usually enjoy taking it. Pani puri ranks first among all the street side foods available in India. Outside India, various abroad countries have their food chains selling pani puri abundantly.