Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pani Puri

There are a gazillion Indian joints in TX where we are for a few weeks, ranging from hole-in-the-wall dives to elaborate buffet spreads.  I think I can safely say that after my visit to Calgary, I am now getting enough of an Indian food fix on all levels. Yummy Yummy!

Gujarathi Thaalis. Chaat. Rava Masala. Gobi Manchurian.

And that is just a subset.

One dish that I described in the Chaat post is Pani Puri. Literally it means, "water puri". Puri is fried dough.  Not just any water- flavoured water with spices, mint, cilantro and salt. If there was a way to get smell of this water across to you, I would. The puris are tiny, you poke a hole in a center, fill it up with this pani, along with other fixins like potatoes and pop the whole thing in your mouth. Like a shot.

The party that takes place in your mouth is amazing. All kinds of textures and tastes. Salty, spicy water and the crunchy puri and soft potatoes..... this is quintessential street food in India, mainly Bombay where I've tasted some of the best chaat.  I'm not so sure now I could stomach the local water the street vendor uses since I usually resort to bottled water on my trips there so I was thrilled to eat this here in the US at a buffet, nonetheless.  I am such a sucker for good Chaat.

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