Gol gappe, as I call this awesome snack, has always been a favourite since childhood. It is proudly one of the most popular Chaats in India and does not need any introduction. Although its called by different names in different regions of India, like as 'Padhake' in some parts of North India, 'Puchka' in Calcutta and 'Pani Puri' in the rest of India. The debate between all these versions about which one tastes better than the other is never ending, I obviously do not bother much about which version it is as I absolutely adore and thoroughly enjoy all the versions. Every version differs from the other in the proportions of the ingredients used to make pani and also the fillings used which makes each version taste different from the other. I have given some variations towards the end of this post, which would help you understand this better.
Of course, I must say it’s easier to get a packet of ready-made puris than to make them from scratch. And there are days when I crave for them so badly ( like now ! ) and I just get a big pack from the nearest Asian shop with a can of chickpeas to have them instantly. That is the only time I ever use canned chickpeas by the way, cant stand the taste in any other form. Anyway, making these puffed balls is an effort, a rather big one. But nevertheless, that gives you confidence in what you are eating right away, in a clean and hygienic way. Once you make these puris, store them in an airtight container and use them later to garnish any snack like Dahi bhalle, Dahi sev puri, Aalu tikki, Raj kachori etc. Just crush a few puris between palms and sprinkle on top.
Here in this post, I have given the recipe for Delhi style Golgappa. Why I have named it like that? Well, since I don’t want MNS to stand against my blog and say I have erupted their version of Pani puri :P.. No, not that ! But because I wanted to post all the versions as per my understanding in my blog one by one. So far, I have only mustered to post this one, the others will follow soon. :)
In Delhi style Gol gappe; the filling is mainly soft cooked chickpeas with a combination of mashed potatoes and soft boondi (soaked in water and squeezed) or even cooked white peas in some shops. While in Mumbaia style Pani-puri, the main filling is white peas and its served with warm water. I also had these in Hyderabad, where its served with proper hot filling and different chutneys as well. I wish I could have all those flavours together, and thats the main benefit of doing it yourself; that the flavours can be customised to our liking. And there comes the advantage of having lived and experienced food across cultures, I can take cues from different preparations and create a new balance of flavours. :)
The recipe below has a pani that’s got a generous amount of spices along with a hint of mint (this variation is highly recommended for those who haven’t tried it) and the stuffing obviously is spicy mashed potato, raw onion & chickpeas. Frankly if you are not too convinced with me romanticizing with these North Indian flavours, you may feel free to make adjustments to the ingredients to suit your taste and that’s the beauty of the recipe. The puris however are quite easily available at stores but I am still sharing it’s recipe for those who believe in doing it yourself.
What you need?
For the Puris:
1 cup fine semolina (rava or suji)
½ cup plain flour (maida)
½ cup Whole wheat flour ( atta)
1 tbsp rice flour - optional
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
For the Pani:
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves (pudina)
2 tbsp cup tamarind (Imli) pulp - optional
1 inch ginger knot
1 ½ tbsp coriander leaves
1-2 green chillis
1 ½ roasted cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp black salt (kala namak)
2 tbsp boondi
½ tsp red chilli powder, optional
½ tsp Chaat masala, optional
1 litre chilled water
salt to taste
For the stuffing:
2 large boiled potato. cubes in small pieces
1/3 cup chickpeas, soft boiled with salt
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
1 medium Onion, finely chopped – optional
1 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
How to make?
First make Paani ( Spicy water )
Make a paste of mint leaves, coriander, ginger, green chilli in a blender.
Soak the tamarind in 750 ml of chilled water and mix well using a hand beater or a fork until combined.
Then add the remaining ingredients along with the mint paste and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and chillies to taste.
Keep it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving. Top it with boondi few minutes before serving so it soaks the water well.
Make Puri now ( fried puffed balls )
Combine all the ingredients given above under "puri" and add water gradually to make a stiff dough like how we make for puris. Allow it to rest for atleast half an hour
Knead the dough once again and pinch equal sized lemon sized balls. Using the chapathi roller, roll out thin rotis and cut with a lid or cookie cutter as a small round puris, all equal sized.
Heat oil in a kadai(it shouldnt be piping hot) slide 3-4 puris at a time and using the laddle press in the center and along the edges to make the puris puff up.
Flip over to other side and cook to golden brown on both sides. Drain on a tissue paper, and let it coll completely. Then store in an air tight container and use when required.
For the stuffing:
Mix everything given under "filling" and keep aside.
I have also given some variations below, and you may play with the ingredients as per your liking.
Assembling and how to serve:
If you have everything ready, making pani puri is a breeze.
Take a poori, make a hole in the center big enough to fill the stuffing.( just tap the thin side of the puri with your index finger)
Now fill the poori with a little potato mix.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and sev.
Immerse it in chilled pani and eat the whole poori with the stuffing and gulp it right away.
Enjoy homemade pani puri!!
Variations: As I explained in my write up above, this is a typical Delhi style Gol Gappe recipe, and you may make several variations to it as per your liking and eating preferences. Various combinations that can be used are:
- Only chickpeas with/without onion
- White peas – popularly called Ragda as in Mumbai
- Green peas + potato – boiled and mixed together with spices
- Sprouts- My mum often mixes some green moong sprouts to the stuffing to make it healthier
- Black chickpeas (Kala Chana) – I have seen people making the stuffing with Kala chana as well, combining it with potatoes or just plain sprouts
Notes and tips:
Check the oil before deep frying the Pooris, if its too hot the Poori will sink and wont puff up.
Always cover the dough with a damp cloth even while rolling the puris. If the dough becomes dry, you will not be able to roll the dough easily.
If you are cutting the puris out from dough, and are planning to fry them later altogether, ensure that all the puris are covered with a damp cloth. If the puris become dry, then the puris will not puff up. Just before frying remove the damp cloth.
The puris have to be thin. If you do not roll them thinly, then the puris won’t puff up well.