What is the origin of Pani Puri

Gol Gappa- the most peculiar Indian street snack

Gol Gappa (crispy ball of dough = Gol; for eating = Gappa) is probably one of the most popular, but also one of the most peculiar Indian snacks for the western palate. It is also known under the name "Pani Puri" - a crispy puri filled with spicy water, the pani.

The snack from the Punjab region is a crispy, hollow tennis ball-sized dough ball that is freshly filled with a potato-pea-onion mixture, a sweet chutney and a spicy tamarind-coriander-mint sauce. Then the ball has to be put in the mouth with a bite. What happens then is a real taste explosion: When the shell of the crispy ball bursts in the mouth, the sweet chutney mixes with the spicy sauce and the soft potato filling and results in a completely unusual, but harmonious combination of flavors, and the liquid makes it both refreshing and light. So light that one of the Gol Gappa isn't just one or two. No, the street snack comes as a whole plate with four pieces, which you then plaster together so that you can order the next plate straight away.

Whole unofficial Gol Gappa competitions are taking place and there are supposed to be Indian munchies who even manage 50 pieces.

Unfortunately, I don't recommend trying this snack on the street. So I can count myself all the happier that I had the opportunity to have a professional “Mithai Wallah” (a trained sweets and snack maker) prepare these nifty balls for me and for my company.

The recipe is complicated. On the one hand because it has four components, on the other hand because the spice ingredients are very special. Nevertheless, I wrote down the recipe for you out of interest.

Ingredients and preparation

(for 4 people (30-40 Gol Gappas))

For the dough:

100 g semolina

100 grams of flour

½ packet of baking powder

200 g of water

  • Knead everything into a dough and cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

  • Then form hazelnut-sized balls, then press them flat and roll them out into thin 3 cm diameter slices (put a little oil on the surface).

  • Then heat the oil in a pan to deep fry, put the slices one after the other in the oil. Press the slices down a little with the slotted spoon. As soon as the slices inflate like balls, turn them a few times until they take on a golden-brown color. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain.

For the spicy sauce:

150 g tamarind

1 tbsp salt

400 ml of water

2 packets (8 g) Jal Jeera (mixture of salt, cumin, mango powder, sugar, pepper, mint, black salt and chilli)

1 teaspoon Chaat Masala (Indian spice mix consisting of salt, mango powder, mint, black salt, chilli, cumin, pomegranate, coriander, black cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, black pepper, asante, cloves, girsch)

100 g fresh mint

100 g fresh coriander

2 green chilies

  • Pour into the kitchen utensil and mix everything together (with some of the water mixture) to a uniform mass
  • Pour the mixture into the water with the tamarind and mix everything well. To give the tamarind its sweet and sour taste to the water, it is good to knead the tamarind well with your hand.
  • Let stand for 30 minutes, then pass the liquid through a sieve.

For the sweet chutney:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cross caraway seeds
  • 4 tbsp dried mango powder
  • 150 ml of water
  • 10 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of salt
  • Heat the oil, then toast the cumin seeds until they turn brown. Then add the remaining ingredients and let everything simmer for 2-3 minutes.

For the potato and pea filling:

  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • 50 g dried peas (soak overnight and then boil)
  • 1 onion diced
  • Three chopped green chillies
  • ¼ tbsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • Roughly mash the potato so that small pieces are still visible. Then mix with all the ingredients to form a mass.

Eating the Gol Gappa

Now comes the fun part, because eating the Gol Gappa is above all a social event and requires manual effort:

  1. Press a hazelnut-sized hole into the crispy ball

2. Put a teaspoon of the potato mixture in the opening

3. Now add a teaspoon of the sweet chutney

4. Dip the whole ball in the spicy sauce and fill up with the sauce

5. Quickly put the Gol Gappa in your mouth with a bite and enjoy → important: the mouth should remain closed while chewing ☺

My friend Rajesh (in the pictures) is a professional eating at Gol Gappa and explains in this video exactly how it works with the Gol Gappa’s. Have fun and enjoy your meal.

Posted in Food and Drink, CultureTagged Gol Gappa, Indian Snacks, Indian Street Snacks, Pani Puri