How to Make Authentic Pani Puri Masala: Ingredients, Preparation, and Serving Tips

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a burst of flavors that dance on your palate? Pani puri masala is the secret ingredient behind India’s beloved street food, pani puri. This tangy, spicy mix transforms simple water into a mouth-watering “pani” that fills crispy puris to create an explosion of taste.

Originating from the streets of Mumbai, pani puri has become a favorite snack across India and beyond. The magic lies in the masala—a blend of spices like cumin, black salt, and tamarind powder—that gives the dish its signature zing. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply want to treat yourself, mastering this masala will elevate your culinary game.

Ingredients

To craft the perfect pani puri, you need specific ingredients for each component: the puri, the spiced water (pani), and the masala filling.

For the Puri

  • 1 cup Semolina (Sooji)
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour (Maida)
  • A pinch of Baking Soda
  • Water as needed (for kneading)
  • Oil for deep frying

For the Pani (Spiced Water)

  • 1 cup Mint Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Coriander Leaves
  • 3 Green Chilies
  • 1-inch piece Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Black Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Tamarind Paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Cold Water as needed

For the Masala Filling

  • 2 medium-sized Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
  • 1/4 cup Black Chickpeas or White Peas (boiled)
  • 1 teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
  • Salt to taste

Equipment Needed

To prepare the perfect pani puri masala, you’ll need a few essential kitchen tools. Ensuring you have the right equipment will streamline your cooking process and help achieve optimal results.

Mixing Bowls

You will need at least two mixing bowls: one for combining the dry ingredients and another for preparing the wet ingredients like tamarind paste and spiced water.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for balancing flavors in your masala. Use measuring cups and spoons to precisely measure out spices, flour, semolina, and other ingredients.

Blender or Food Processor

A blender or food processor is necessary to create a smooth blend of mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilies, ginger, cumin powder, black salt, and tamarind paste for the spiced water (pani).

Strainer or Sieve

After blending the pani mixture, use a strainer or sieve to remove any coarse particles ensuring a smooth texture.

Potato Masher

For the masala filling made of boiled potatoes and peas, you’ll need a potato masher to achieve a smooth consistency without lumps.

Rolling Pin and Board

When making puris from scratch with semolina dough you’ll require a rolling pin and board. The rolling pin helps in flattening out small balls of dough into thin rounds.

Deep Fryer or Heavy-Bottomed Pan

To fry the puris until they puff up crisply use either an electric deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan filled with hot oil. Ensure it maintains consistent heat for even frying.

Slotted Spoon

During frying use a slotted spoon to turn puris gently ensuring they cook evenly on all sides while allowing excess oil to drain off easily when removing them from the pan.

Having these items ready before beginning your preparation ensures that your cooking experience is seamless resulting in deliciously authentic pani puri every time.

Preparation Steps

Follow these steps for creating the perfect pani puri masala. Ensure you have all the ingredients and kitchen tools ready before starting.

Preparing the Puri Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of semolina (sooji), 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (maida), and a pinch of salt.
  2. Add Water: Gradually add about 1/3 cup of water while kneading the dough until it becomes smooth yet firm.
  3. Rest Dough: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Roll Dough: Divide the dough into small balls. Using a rolling pin and board, roll each ball into thin circles around 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Fry Puris: Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Fry puris until they puff up and turn golden brown, then remove them using a slotted spoon to drain excess oil on paper towels.

Making the Masala

  1. Boil Potatoes & Chickpeas: Boil 2 medium potatoes until tender; peel and dice them once cooled down slightly. Also, boil ½ cup of chickpeas if not using canned ones; drain well.
  2. Mash Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, mash together boiled potatoes, chickpeas, and add finely chopped onions if desired.
  3. Add Spices: Mix in 1 teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, salt to taste, and finely chopped cilantro leaves (about 2 tablespoons). Adjust spices based on your preference.

Preparing the Spiced Pani

  1. Blend Base Ingredients: In a blender or food processor, blend together ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, handful fresh cilantro leaves (about half cup), one green chili (adjust according to spice level), juice from half lemon or lime (around 2 tablespoons), and piece of ginger (one inch).
  2. Strain Mixture: Strain this blended mixture through a sieve or strainer into another bowl to remove any solid bits.
  3. Season Water: Add this strained mix to around four cups cold water in large pitcher along with black salt (to taste)– typically start with one teaspoon –and roasted cumin powder (half teaspoon). Stir well till all spices dissolve properly.

Directions

Prepare to experience the delightful burst of flavors with your homemade pani puri masala. Follow these steps for perfectly crispy puris and a deliciously tangy filling.

Rolling and Frying the Puris

  1. Mix Ingredients: Combine 1 cup semolina (sooji), 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add Water: Gradually add water to form a stiff dough, kneading it thoroughly for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Rest Dough: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Roll Out Puris: Divide the dough into small balls. Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface into thin circles approximately 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Heat Oil: Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it reaches around 350°F (175°C).
  6. Fry Puris: Carefully slide rolled puris into the hot oil, frying them in batches until they puff up and turn golden brown.
  7. Drain Excess Oil: Use a slotted spoon to remove puris from oil and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Preparing Pani Puri

  1. Prepare Filling: Mix boiled, peeled, and mashed potatoes with boiled chickpeas in a bowl. Add finely chopped onions, green chilies, cumin powder, chaat masala, black salt, and fresh coriander leaves.
  2. Make Spiced Water (Pani): Blend together mint leaves, cilantro leaves, green chilies, tamarind paste or pulp extract, roasted cumin powder, black salt to taste along with cold water until smooth.
  3. Cool Pani Mixture: Strain this mixture using a fine sieve or strainer into another bowl or jug ensuring no coarse particles remain then refrigerate till ready to serve.
  4. Assemble Puri:
  • Crack open the top center of each puri gently with your thumb.
  • Fill each puri shell halfway with potato-chickpea mixture followed by some spicy water till full without overflowing.

Make-Ahead Tips

When preparing pani puri masala, you can save time and enhance flavors by making certain components ahead. Here are some tips to help streamline your process:

Prepare Puri Dough in Advance

Make the dough for puris a day before. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate. This allows the dough to rest, improving its texture when fried.

Fry Puris Ahead of Time

Fry the puris up to two days in advance. After frying, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. Ensure they are kept dry to maintain their crispiness.

Cook and Mash Potatoes

Boil and mash potatoes a day ahead. Store mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will make assembling quicker on the day you plan to serve pani puri.

Prepare Chickpeas Early

Soak chickpeas overnight, then boil them until tender. You can do this a day or two before and store boiled chickpeas in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Blend Spiced Water Mixture

Prepare the spiced water mixture up to 24 hours ahead. Store it covered in the refrigerator so that flavors meld together nicely over time.

By following these make-ahead tips, you’ll find serving pani puri stress-free and enjoyable with more time dedicated to savoring this delightful street food classic.

Serving Suggestions

Presenting pani puri is an experience in itself. Follow these suggestions to serve it like a pro and elevate the enjoyment of this iconic street food.

Set Up A Pani Puri Station

Create an organized station with all components laid out for easy access:

  1. Puris: Place the fried puris in a large bowl or basket.
  2. Filling: Arrange the prepared potato-chickpea filling in a serving bowl.
  3. Flavored Water (Pani): Pour the spiced water into a jug or dispenser for easy pouring.
  4. Extras: Provide small bowls of finely chopped onions, sev (crunchy chickpea noodles), fresh cilantro, and sweet tamarind chutney as optional toppings.

How To Serve

  1. Crack The Puris: Gently tap each puri on top to create a small hole.
  2. Add Filling: Fill each puri with about 1 tablespoon of the potato-chickpea mixture.
  3. Pour The Pani:
  • Carefully pour flavored water into each filled puri until it’s almost full but not overflowing.
  1. Optional Toppings:
  • Sprinkle some chopped onions, sev, and cilantro on top if desired.
  • Drizzle a bit of sweet tamarind chutney for added flavor.
  • Encourage guests to eat pani puris immediately after filling them to ensure maximum crunchiness and freshness.
  • Offer small plates or bowls for convenience and less mess while eating.

Conclusion

Mastering the art of pani puri masala can elevate your homemade street food game to a whole new level. With an understanding of the spice blend, ingredient preparations, and efficient cooking techniques, you’re well-equipped to create an authentic experience right in your kitchen. Setting up a dedicated pani puri station ensures everyone enjoys fresh and crunchy bites filled with flavor. Remember to serve immediately for the best taste and texture, making each bite as delightful as possible. So go ahead invite friends or family over and share the joy of this beloved Indian delicacy!

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