Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paani Poori ( Pachranga Style)

Paani Poori is a very very famous street food all over India .Small ,crunchy, puffed poori's stuffed with boiled potatoes & chickpeas , dunked in a spicy tangy water is an all time favorite. With the festivities in full swing, amidst loads  of sweets & fried foods, paani poori comes as a savior to quench your thirst as well as clean the palette. During my last visit to India I spent a lot of time with my sister in Mumbai & being a paani poori  freak herself she took me around town to every paani poori wala she knew of. I ended up having PP almost everyday for the duration of my stay  but the best part being that I tasted innumerable kinds of paani & fillings : as we all will agree that we might be using the same recipe but every individual's preparations will still differ in taste & the way it looks. Having said this I can visualise the Paani Poori wala in my hometown who is one of a kind -serving the most delicious , sweet savoury & spicy PP ever. The PP comes with 4 kinds of water: khatta, mittha, Pudina & Hing wala ( Tangy, sweet, mint & asafoetida) & when you are done eating the last one poori will be filled with potatoes & yogurt  probably to cool down the burning throat & mouth from the very spicy & hot water ( Hmmm -today I'm wondering if that's the reason he was called Pachranga) & the festival season would just be so much more fun as none of our festival shopping sprees would be complete without a stop at the famous Pachranga.

So here comes my recipe with the 4 spicy, sweet & tangy paani:
For the Poori:
1/4 cup  fine sooji / semolina
2 tablespoon Maida/ all purpose flour
2 tablespoon atta / whole wheat flour
oil for frying

For the Paani ( Water)
1 cup Tamarind paste
4 tablespoons paani poori masala( store bought)
2 tablespoon roasted ground cumin
2 tsp black salt
2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh mint paste
1/4 cup Boondi
1-2 boiled & diced potatoes for filling
1/2 cup boiled chickpeas for filling

For the pooris:

 Start by mixing all the flours together in a bowl & mix well.
Knead it into a not very soft dough by adding just enough water & knead well. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes & knead one more time. Now the dough is ready for rolling.
You can either divide the dough into  25-30 small  balls & roll each one into 2 inch rounds or divide the dough into two parts, roll one part into a thin circle & cut rounds out of it with a small round cookie cutter. Do this with all of the dough but make sure you cover the cut rounds with a damp kitchen towel.
Now heat oil in a deep heavy  bottomed skillet , the oil should be medium hot , drop 3-4 pooris one by one into the oil & let them puff up. Once puffed lower the heat a little,  turn them to the other side & let them be golden brown  & crunchy from all sides. Heating the oil too much will result in puffed pooris but they will be soft .

For The Paani: ( This is just an approximate , you can adjust the amount of spices acc. to taste) 
Mix the tamarind paste with 8-10 cups of water in a large bowl. Add the spices: paani poori masala, salt, red chilli, cumin .
 Now divide this mixture into 4 equal parts to make 4 differently flavoured paani.
To  one part add sugar to make mittha paani ( sweet water)
To the 2nd part add  freshly ground mint paste for Pudina wale paani
To the third part add the asafoetida powder to make hing wala paani
The fourth part is as is to make Khatta or Tangy water
Stir well & add boondi to the water/ refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

For serving fill the pooris with a mix of   boiled & diced potatoes & chickpeas & the water can be served in individaul glasses or just dunk it into the water jug.
You can also spice up the potato & chickpea mix by adding some tamarind or mint chutney to it.

Enjoy The festival season Friends with these sweet , savoury , spicy & sinful treats......
Happy Navratri &  Dashmi to all my dear friends at blogosphere........