Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye bye 2009... with Panipuri & SPDP

It is already the end of 2009. This time most of our friends are out of town, so there was no potluck and we sure did miss that. After being out of town for five days and eating quite a few take outs, I wanted to make something that I absolutely love. About a month back, I had bought a couple of packets of puris to make Panipuri, but did not get time to make them. Back in India my cousin K and I used to eat out at our favorite panipuri joint at least once a week. On couple of year end celebrations, we have had chaat nights, panipuri being the featuring dish and have enjoyed it very much. Considering the chaat fan that I am, I feel lucky if I get even one packet of puris when required. Ours is a small town with only two stores carrying Indian snacks and groceries, so I usually stock a couple of packets :)

Making panipuri takes a considerable amount of time. But if you keep paani (which is made by adding some tamarind paste and spices to water) readily available it is very easy to make. I usually make a large batch of paani and keep it in the fridge in glass jars. It stays fresh for as long as 1-1.5 months without going bad and that way we can have panipuris absolutely instantly. Paani is the most important preparation in making panipuri. This is how I make it. I have followed this method for years and absolutely love the outcome.

1/4 cup tamarind
1/4 cup dates (optional)
1 inch fresh ginger
3/4 green chillies
Handful of fresh mint
Juice of half lime/lemon
1-1.5 cups jaggery
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp panipuri masala

Soak the tamarind in water for some time. In a grinder take the soaked tamarind(including water), dates, ginger, green chillies, lime juice and mint, and grind it into a fine paste. Take out this paste in a bowl, add salt, water and jaggery. Start by adding about a cup of jaggery and increase the amount as needed(depending on how you like your paani). Mix well until the jaggery is completely dissolved and strain this watery mix.


To make panipuri you need boiled potato (mashed) and moong beans(soaked and then pressure cooked). Take a puri and make a hole in the center. Fill the puri with potato, moong beans and paani and enjoy. If you like panipuri on a slightly sweeter side, you can add sweet tamarind-date chutney.

Shev Potato Dahi Puri a.k.a SPDP
If you have panipuri preparations on hand, you can make SPDP right away. Fill the puri with some potato, sweet chutney (optional) and paani. Sprinkle some salt and red chilli powder. Top it off with shev, yogurt and finely chopped onion. I generally add some sugar to the yogurt before using it in SPDP.

It will be 2010 in a couple of hours, so here is wishing you all a very happy and a prosperous new year.

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