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.