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Pani puri has been a go to street food for so many Indians for a very long time. Historically speaking, Pani Puri originated from North India according to food historian- Pushpesh Pant. According to him, … Read More
Pani puri has been a go to street food for so many Indians for a very long time. Historically speaking, Pani Puri originated from North India according to food historian- Pushpesh Pant. According to him, this beloved Indian street food originated from around the modern day Uttar Pradesh.
There are many stories and folklore associated with the origin of Pani Puri and some people claim that the Mahabharata also mentioned it. Apparently, Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas had asked her new daughter in law, Draupadi to cook a meal for her sons. The catch was that Kunti wanted to test Draupadi and find out whether her daughter in law would be able to cook a meal with limited resources since they were living in exile. Kunti gave her leftover vegetables and enough dough to make one puri. Therefore, it is believed that the new bride invented and early version of the Golgappa.
It is also believed that the Golgappa was first made in Magadh. According to the historian- Pushpesh Pant, it is possible that the Golgappa or Pani Puri was made out of Raj Kachori dough. Somebody made a smaller size of puri and ate it with potatoes and flavoured water and ate it. The name of the person who invented this is lost in the history pages but the Golgappa we eat today originated around 125 years ago.
India is a country of several different languages and it would only make sense if the name of different street food changes with the region. If it is called pani puri in Maharashtra, the north Indians call it Golgappa, in west Bengal it’s called puchka and people from Bihar and Jharkhand usually call it Gupchup and many more names in different parts of the subcontinent . And it’s not just the name that changes but the preparation style also changes depending on the area.
Even though Pani Puri has different names and there would be some addition and subtraction in the ingredients used in the stuffing, but the base and foundation of the Golgappa will we the same- it includes the puri, boiled potatoes, and flavoured water. The puri or Puchka can either be made out of semolina or whole wheat flour- popularly known as Sooji or Atta Golgappe. The flavoured water also has two variants- the sweet water and the spicy water. The sweet water is made with tamarind chutney and the spicy & tangy water is made with jaljeera and different condiments like mint leaves, Amchoor powder can also be added to make the water more flavourful. Pre made powder mix of Pani Puri water is readily available in the market or you can make you own at home. Soak some tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes, you can then add some mint leaves and cumin seeds, fennel, cardamom, etc and then strain the seeds. To this you can add amchoor powder and salt according to taste then add water to this paste and you have fresh jaljeera now.
For the stuffing of the Pani Puri, you can add boiled chickpeas, boiled potatoes, boondi, salt and chilie to taste. Many people enjoy Pani Puri with a mixture sweet and tangy water.