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Pani Puri/ Puchka/ Batasha/ Gol Gappa

I met a work deadline today and to reward myself we made Gol Gappa, as we call it in Delhi. Gol Gappa of Delhi, Pani Puri of Mumbai, Batasha of UP/Bihar, Puchka of West Bengal is essentially deep-fried balls made of flour. They are filled with potato/chickepeas/boiled lentils and chilled sweet tangy spicy water. The blast of flavours that one gets as soon one digs ones’ teeth into these crispy balls, is out of this world! No wonder, it is one of the most popular street foods (with so many variations and names) esp. on hot evenings of Indian summer. I followed the recipe shared by Chef Ranveer Brar on his Youtube Channel. A few changes that I made are: (1) I made two kinds of waters: tamarind and mint water (he made one kind with both tamarind and mint flavours in it). (2) I added both boiled chickpeas and moong (Mung bean) sprouts to my potato mix. (3) I adjusted the quantities as I had only half a cup of semolina ready.

I will share the recipe with ingredients and quantities that I used. I am not going too much in detail as the video gives out the steps quite clearly. It is worth watching.

For Gol Gappa

  • 1/2 cup semolina (sooji)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • Warm water to knead the dough
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Mix all the dry ingredients. Using warm water make a stiff dough. The dough will need some work to reach a stage where it has some elasticity and springiness to it. I kneaded it for about 15 minutes. Cover it with a damp cotton cloth and rest for half an hour. After half an hour, roll the dough really thin (Initially I rolled them thick about the thickness of 10 rupee coin, I didn’t get a good result). Make them as thin as the thinnest coin you may have seen. Use a cookie cutter or any bowl or glass of appropriate size with sharp edges and cut discs out of the rolled out dough. (I tried my cookie cutter but found the discs small and switched to a steel glass. That worked) . While you are cutting the discs, keep oil for heating. Cover the discs with damp cloth while you roll and cut the rest of the dough. (As I mentioned, I made two sizes, and got about 16 small discs and 6 big discs). When the oil is smoking hot, slide the discs in and fry them on high flame. Nudge them and pour oil on top if needed. However, if the discs are thin enough, were covered with damp cloth all along and the dough was rested well, most of them will puff up. Some still won’t, which is okay and this way each one that puffs up brings special excitement and joy. Here is an image of these beauties in the wok.

For Mint Water

  • One cup of fresh mint leaves
  • Half a cup of coriander leaves and tender stalks
  • half a inch piece of ginger
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • Ice
  • Salt to taste
  • Black salt to taste
  • Cumin powder to taste
  • Chaat masala powder to taste
  • Amchur (Dried mango) powder/Anardana (pomegranate seeds) powder to taste
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • Boondi (fried savoury crumbs of chickflour batter)

Take mint, coriander, ginger and chillies with some ice in a grinder and grind to fine paste. Take it out in a big bowl. Add 3 cups of water to it. Add all the spices. Adjust seasoning and water to bring to your preference of spice and taste. (Add amchur/anaradana powder and Boondi just before eating)

Note: Add a tablespoon of jaggery powder and tamarind pulp each if not making tamarind water separately.

For Tamarind Water

Add 3 tablespoons tamarind chutney to 3 cups of cold water. Add some salt and black salt. Adjust chutney-water ratio to your liking. Here is the link to how I make tamarind chutney.

For Potato Stuffing

  • One boiled potato
  • 1/4th cup of boiled chickpeas
  • 1/4th cup of boiled mung bean/ steamed mung bean sprout
  • Salt, black slat, chaat masala powder, amachur/anaradana powder, cumin powder- to taste

Take boiled and mashed potato, chickpeas and/or lentils in a bowl. Mix them well. Add all the spices and mix well again.

Eating Gol Gappas

Keep everything ready in separate bowls. Pick a Gol Gappa. Break its top surface to create a cavity. Fill it with some potato mix, add mint water and tamarind water. Put the whole thing in your mouth and let it explode! Here is a video of me enjoying a gol gappa.


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