Pani Puri also known as Golgappas in North India and Puchkas in Calcutta is the one of the most popular street food of India. A one minute joy and kick one gets, when one eats pani puri.
The puri in pani puri is made from wheat flour as in north india and all purpose flour and semolina as in maharashtra and south india.
The filling is usually boiled potatoes, with boiled black chana, chickpeas or sprouts. In Mumbai the filling is boiled chana. This is a different type of chana. Its not chickpeas. This mixture is called as ragda in mumbai – this is the same ragda that goes with ragda pattice.
The liquids that are used are a sweet chutney and a spicy, tangy sour water. The sweet chutney is made from jaggery and tamarind. The pani puri water which can bring tears in your eyes due to it being heavily spiced is made from green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves and tamarind with other dry spices.
In Mumbai I have seen many people making pani puris at home. As in Maharashta, one can easily get puri’s from sweet shops. But here in the North India, people eat them outside. When eating golgappas outside, one has to be careful about the hygiene. Its safer to have golgappas if the person is using gloves. In fact in Mumbai, some places serve the pani puri water made with mineral water. There is a place Ambala (Haryana) where you get 5 different varieties of golgappas. If you been to pune then one of the best restaurants to have pani puri is ramakrishna restaurant in camp area in pune (close to m. g. road).
I have also heard that the puchkas or golgappas give a hit – not due to the spices in them….. but something else. There are vendors in north india and calcutta that add a drop of acid in the spicy water. I don’t know how much this is true. In fact, I had also heard that golgappas were banned in some places in the north and calcutta. So when eating out, please be careful. Its best and safe to make golgappas at home.
Golgappas due to the spices in them, helps in clearing the crown (sahasrar) and the throat (vishuddi) chakra. It is excellent especially the water for people having cough, cold or sinus related problems.