This step by step pani puri recipe for making the quintessential Indian snack at home is really popular among my friends and I’m so excited to share it with you today! I’ve included detailed steps on how to make the puris, the filling, and jaljeera to get that street style Pani Puri flavour!
I LOVE pani puri and I am fiercely loyal to the ones served by the pani puri wala right around the corner. However, I took up the challenge to perfect my homemade pani puri recipe and after a few tries, I think I’ve done it. And if I can do it, so can you!!
Making golgappa or puchka at home from scratch sounds daunting, I know. But I have to tell you, it is so MUCH easier than you think. This recipe has become a hit with my folks and friends. The puris are SO CRUNCHY (watch the video to hear that crunch).
When I serve Pani Puri, it becomes a food experience rather than just another meal!
Pani puri has 3 important elements - the pani, the puri, and the filling. Let’s break it down!
Getting the Filling Right
For that lip-smacking street style pani puri, the filling has to be just right. My filling recipe has only 5 ingredients in it and it is SO tasty. The major chunk of filling consists of boiled and mashed potatoes and kala chana (black gram)/ kabuli chana (chickpeas). The chatpata taste comes from black salt, cumin powder and red chilli powder. However, make sure you get the measurements right for a nice, balanced filling.
Crispy Crunchy Golden Brown Puris
Getting the puris right is all about the formula. We want crispy puris that hold their shape but aren’t too stubborn and remain crunchy when we try to poke them to fill them up with masala and pani.
Here are my top tips to make the best puris:
- For the puri dough, I use mainly semolina or sooji and a small quantity of wheat flour as a binding agent. Look for fine semolina
- Add hot (but not boiling) water VERY CAREFULLY while mixing the dough, too much water can result in soggy fried lumps rather than crispy puris. The dough should be firm and not too soft
- It’s important to knead the dough well till it starts feeling smooth
- Roll the dough out as thin and evenly or else they WILL get soggy. If the dough is unevenly rolled out, it will result in thick edges or spots that won’t puff up
- You can either make small balls of dough and roll out individual puris, or roll out a bigger circle of dough evenly and use a cutter to cut circles in it
- When frying the puris, the oil’s temperature has to be controlled between medium to high flame. This will help the puris puff up instantly, and cook them properly so that they remain crisp even after cooling down
- Gently tap the puris in oil while frying for evenly puffed puris
The Magic Potion - Pani
The pani puri water is what binds all the components together and makes the filling-filled puris such a fun experience! I make my version of jaljeera with a host of spices and seasonings that boost the flavour of the pani. It is all about getting the balance right for a sweet, spicy, tangy, and sour pani. You can customise it according to your taste preferences. Make sure the pudina leaves are super fresh for a fresh flavour.
Usually my folks can’t wait till I put the garnish on the puris, they gobble it up so quickly! However, here are some garnish options - soaked boondi, whole pudina leaves, even raw onions.
Serving the Pani Puri
I like to make eating pani puri a hands-on experience! If you aren’t getting your hand dirty and don’t have some pani running down your chin, you haven’t eaten pani puri!
I just lay everything out on the table, everyone helps themselves and has fun along the way. Along with the pani puri water, the puris and the filling, I also serve the following:
- Sweet chutney (made with dates and tamarind)
- Raw, chopped onions
- Chopped coriander leaves
- Lemon wedges
- Red chilli powder
- Kala Namak
- Roasted Jeera powder
- Sev for sev puri
- Dahi or yogurt, if someone wants to make themselves a plate of dahi puri
Homemade pani puris are a little time consuming so make this a weekend project!. It’s also a fantastic way to catch up and spend some quality time with folks after a busy week. It’s simpler than you think and SO much fun! Whether they’re adults or children, EVERYONE loves a plate of pani puri! Try this simple recipe and share your pani puri stories with me!
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Watch Step by Step Pani Puri Recipe Video
Easy Pani Puri
For the Puri
- ½ cup fine Sooji (Semolina)
- 2 tablespoons Atta (Whole Wheat flour)
- ¼ cup hot but not boiling Water (+/- 1 teaspoon)
For the Aloo filling
- 2 boiled and peeled Potatoes
- ¼ cup boiled Kala Chana or Kabuli Chana (Black Gram or Chickpeas)
- ¼ teaspoon Black Salt
- ½ teaspoon roasted Jeera Powder (roasted ground Cumin)
- ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (adjust to taste)
For the Jaljeera Pani
- ½ cup chopped raw Mango/ 1 lime sized seedless Tamarind (use either)
- 2 Green Chillies or Serrano Peppers (adjust to taste)
- 1 ½ cup fresh Pudina leaves (Mint leaves)
- ¼ cup fresh Coriander leaves
- 3 Peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon Jeera (Cumin)
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Black Salt
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- Adjust lime juice and black salt to taste
For Garnishing & Servings
- Soaked Boondi
- Pudina leaves
- Sweet Tamarind Chutney
For the Puris
- Mix together sooji and atta in a bowl. Add ¼ cup hot water to this and mix to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough with your hand for 5-6 minutes till the dough is firm and smooth to touch. You might have to adjust the amount of water by a teaspoon or two. Cover the dough with a wet cloth (squeeze it well so that the cloth is wet but does not have extra water dripping from it) and rest it for 20-25 minutes.
- Knead the dough again for a minute or two once rested. Divide it into 4 equal parts and roll out one part into a thin rope. Keep the other three parts of dough covered with a wet cloth. With a knife, cut equal portions (the size of a blueberry) from the rope. Take a piece and roll it between your palm till smooth and press it gently to flatten it out slightly. With the help of a rolling pin, roll it into a circle about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Place the rolled puri on a thick plastic sheet covered with a dry cloth. Repeat the above procedure to make puris from all the dough. Alternatively, you can also roll the dough out into a big circle and use a cookie cutter to cut it.
- Heat oil in a karahi till it is very hot but not smoking. We'll follow the first in-first out rule; drop one puri in the hot oil so that the side which was touching the plastic sheet is what goes into the oil first. This is very important. Immediately press the puri lightly with a slotted spoon; and once it puffs up, turn it over. Press them lightly so that they are evenly golden brown from all sides, and then take them out. Fry all the puris in this way.
- Wait for them to cool completely and then store them in an airtight container.
For the Aloo filling
- Lightly mash the boiled chana and potato with your hand and mix it with all the other ingredients for the filling. Set aside.
For the Jaljeera pani
- Blend together chopped mango or tamarind, green chillies, mint, coriander, peppercorns and the spices with 2 cups water till smooth. Place a strainer over a big bowl and line the strainer with a mulmul cloth if you have one. Strain it into the bowl, pressing down on the leftover residue to get all the juice out. Once done discard the leftover residue and add another glass of water to the jaljeera. Taste and adjust the seasoning and if needed add some lemon juice. If and how much lemon juice needs to be added will depend on the sourness of the mangoes and tamarind.
- Chill the jaljeera and add some soaked and lightly squeezed boondi to it if you like.
- To serve, poke a hole in the puri with your thumb, fill it with aloo masala and pour jaljeera into it. Add some tamarind chutney if you like. Pop it in your mouth immediately and enjoy!
- This recipe makes 40-50 puris depending on the size
- Dough for puris: The dough should be firm and not very soft. If you are familiar with it, it should be similar to the dough for puris
- Rolling the puris: It's important that the puris are rolled thinly and evenly. If you have raised edges or a thick middle and thin edges, they won't puff up properly
- Shape: Don't worry about the shape. You can roll them out in an oval or circular shape. It doesn't have to be perfect
- Oil for Frying: From various tests, I found that an oil with a high smoke point like refined sunflower oil works best for frying puris
- Will my puris puff up? This recipe has been tested by three different people a total of five times. For the most part, all the puris puffed up. The only time puris didn't puff up properly was if the oil was too hot or too cold. So I recommend testing with 1-3 puris first. Once the oil temperature is just right, go ahead and fry them all!