During my childhood days, I never knew what a chaat is. No idea of what is bhel/paani pooris are. But later knew about thro friends and my cousins. But never got an opportunity to taste them. During the visit to Chennai after my 10th std, got to taste bhel puri and paani puri. Its only post marriage that I got taste different kinds of chaats on my trip to then Bombay. Blogging has introduced few more street foods, which are speciality to Mumbai like Dabeli,tawa pulao etc. In the place I live, we will have to wait for an exhibition to come up which will have the inevitable chaat and pappad stall. So if I get the craving to gulp down some pani puris, the only option is to make it myself. After repeated trials, I have got the proportion of flour correct for the pooris so that they are crisp and stay puffed for long. I made these the day before and served it for dinner the next day. It retained the puff, which is essential for paani puris.
For the puris
Rava/Semolina – 1/2 cup
Maida/all purpose flour – 1/2 cup
Oil – 1 tblspn
Salt –1/2 tspn
Water as required
Oil to deep fry
Mix all the ingredients except water. Add water little by little to get a soft dough. Leave for 10 minutes. The dough would be tight after the resting time due to the rava present in it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes to soften it. Pinch a lime sized dough and roll into chapathi as thin as possible. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or the cover of a suitable container. I got around 60 puris.
Heat oil in a wok. When it is moderately hot (not smoking hot), slide 2/3 puris into the oil. It will puff on its own. Gently flip and drain when it is slightly brown. Cool and store in airtight container if you are not using it immediately.
Coriander leaves – 1 cup
Handful of mint leaves
Green chillies – 3 nos
Cumin/jeera – 1 tspn
Grind all the ingredients together. Add water to get a smooth paste. I usually freeze this chutney in small portions.
Date and tamarind chutney
Dates seeded – 10 nos
Jaggery – 4 tblspn
Tamarind extract – 2 tblspn
Red chilli powder – 1 tspn
Roasted fennel seeds – 1 tspn
Salt – a pinch
Soak dates in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Grind together soaked dates, jaggery, tamarind paste, red chilli powder and salt.
Adjust the consistency by adding water. Heat a kadai and transfer the ground paste. Let it simmer for few minutes till it reaches a saucy consistency. Stir in the roasted fennel seeds.
There are various options to use as filling – like boiled and mashed potatoes, sprouted moong, onions, tomatoes, boondhis,cooked channa etc…
I have used sprouted black channa and moong, chopped onions and tomatoes. I cooked the sprouted black channa and microwaved moong sprouts for 2 minutes.
Dilute both chutneys with water and keep it in separate bowls or mix them together. Also instead of preparing separate chutneys, you can prepare one chutney with the ingredients ground together.
Take a puri. Make a hole by pressing on the crisp, puffed side. Add the fillings. Dip the filled puri in the desired paani and gulp it down. Enjoy till the puris are finished.