What is Pani Puri?
I was walking in the narrow yet very busy alley in Kathmandu together with my Nepalese friend when I chance upon this guy standing beside a food cart swallowing a rounded brown crispy looking stuff which he filled with greenish liquid. He then asked the vendor for another and then several more until he was satisfied. Was very curious and so I asked my host friend what the stuff was and why the man can’t stop himself from having several of those crispy brown thing. I was told it’s a famous Indian delicacy, Pani Puri which is becoming popular in Nepal due to the influence of its neighbor country. Pani Puri is a popular street snack in India. It is a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. It is small enough to fit completely in one’s mouth. Pani comes from the Hindi word for water and puri (or poori) is the name of an Indian bread made by frying dough in oil. Source: Wikipedia Since the man enjoyed eating his Pani Puri, I was encouraged to give it a try however my friend doesn’t advise that I eat Pani Puri served by street vendors. Instead she brought me to Angan a popular vegetarian restaurant chain and sweets & pastry shop at New Road near Durbar Square. The place was so busy and full as it was Father’s Day which by the way is a big day for Nepalese. I asked my friend to teach me the proper way of eating Pani Puri. There’s no hard and fast rule on how a person should eat Pani Puri but this is how my Nepalese friend do it: STEP 1: Crack open the Puri using a spoon or fork Step 2: Stuff Puri with potato and chick peas Step 3: Add chutney (chili, asala etc) to flavour Step 4: Add Pani Step 5: Consume the Pani Puri at once I religiously followed my friends’ instructions on how to eat my first Pani Puri and I wasn’t disappointed….the combination of different texture (crispy Puri, smooth chutney and coarse potato and chick peas) including the contrasting flavour of chili and tamarind water was indescribable! It was so good that I can up to now still remember how it feels and taste. A must try for first timers in India or Nepal 🙂