What is Panipuri?

Panipuri is usually accompanied by a chutney made with chili powder, cumin and tamarind.

Panipuri is a small snack commonly found in India. It is made from a small hollow piece of fried unleavened bread known as a puri, which is stuffed with mashed potatoes and other ingredients and then dipped or stuffed with thick, flavorful water and eaten immediately. The effect is that all the flavors of panipuri are released at once into the mouth, providing a taste that is sweet, sour and salty at the same time. Street vendors often serve panipuri, although they need to be made quickly and delivered to the customer for immediate consumption, because the liquids inside the hollow puri can quickly disintegrate the bread. Another way to serve the snack is to allow guests to assemble each one as they wish.

Panipuri is a popular snack sold at open-air markets across India.

The small panipuri is made up of three, or sometimes four, distinct elements that are usually prepared separately. The first is puri bread, which can be made in advance and stored in a container. The second is pani, or flavored water, with which the puri is finally filled or dipped. The third part is the kneaded solid filling for the bread. Some recipes also call for a type of chutney that is served with a spoon over the filling.

Puri is a type of Indian bread made from flour, water and oil. It is kneaded and rolled into flat discs. In the case of panipuri, the discs need to be small enough for the finished bread to fit in your mouth in a single bite. The dough slices are fried in oil, where they ignite with steam, creating a delicate, hollow loaf of bread.

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Pani is a type of infused water in which the ingredients help make the water thicker. A common type of pani is made from tamarind, mint, pepper, cumin, ginger, and coriander. All ingredients are ground together or placed in a blender and mixed with water. The mixture is cooled for a while, after which it is strained to keep the thick liquid smooth.

The filling for panipuri can vary widely from one area to another, although some combinations are more popular than others. Most fillings start with mashed boiled potatoes. Chopped onions, beans or grains, and sometimes yogurt are added to potatoes and mixed until smooth.

Some preparations also call for a type of chutney. It is usually made from tamarind paste, chili powder, cumin and brown sugar that have been mixed together. While not necessary, chutney sometimes provides an extra bittersweet flavor to panipuri when pani is not enough.

To make panipuri, the puri is placed on a plate and a hole is gently made in the top. The stuffing is placed inside, followed by the chutney on top. The pani can then be placed in the puri, or the stuffed puri can be dipped into a bowl containing water. It is traditional to put the entire snack in your mouth at once to appreciate the complexity of the dish and prevent water from leaking out.

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