Pani Puri are, it seems an incredibly popular Delhi street food. there seems to be a seller on almost every street corner, and since arriving we have been curiously spying them from a distance – the moon like shells of puri piled high in containers on makeshift stalls. at first glance, I expected it to be sweet based on the little shells.
The seller picks a shell and punctures the top, filling it with cooked potato and pouring over a green tamarind sauce. The taste and texture sensation was pretty alien to me, kind of soggy crunch with potato inside and sharp tamarind flavour? I wasn’t really very keen, but I kept going until a lovely Indian man asked to take a picture with me so I could excuse myself from eating. When you buy a serving the vendor makes them for you one by one, I guess it’s a little game between buyer and seller as to how many you can get – Wikipedia specifies between four and eight is the norm, three was enough for me.
After a bit more research I found that pani puri sauce is made from tamarind and water – potentially not very sanitary – which could lead to illness in a country so infamous for traveller sickness.
When we arrived in India, bread pakoda was the first bona-fide street food we ate, a first bite into the chasm of Indian snacks and hand held foods.
We christened the pakoda as ‘deep fried sandwich’ until we found out some more information. It’s a street food staple in the northern part of India and something we saw for sale quite often around Rajasthan.
bread pakoda AKA deep fried sandwich
The concept is simple, plain white bread is stuffed with a filling of mushed up potatoes or potato curry, sometimes with peas, the sandwich is sealed with batter and deep fried. The one pictured includes paneer, a type of Indian cheese.
It’s hot, crispy and deliciously naughty. And for a fee of sixteen rupees, what’s not to like?
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