Pani Puri, Masala Cous-Cous, Five Waters
Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
Pani puri, puchka, golgappa, pani ka batasha, gupchup – all names for a very popular street food in India, each with a different name but with one heart. I think the world got the idea of a sphere filled with a liquid centre for molecular gastronomy from this street food of India! As a child, I used to compete with my friends to see who could eat the most puchkas, insisting the puchka-wala make it as chilli hot as possible until our eyes watered. In this variation of the popular street food at Indian Accent, we serve both flour and semolina puchkas with a variety of waters – sour, minty fruity, and yogurt-based – so that diners can make their own combinations. In place of the traditional potato filling, I have experimented with a masala cous-cous filling to add texture to the dish. Ingredients Pani puri (from an Indian grocery store) 10 nos. For mint water Coriander leaves 90 gms Fresh mint leaves 2 tbsp Green chillies 2 nos. Lime juice 1 tbsp Jal jeera powder 2 tsp Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Water 100 ml For tamarind water Cumin seeds ½ tsp Black cardamom 1 Star anise 1 Cloves 1 Tamarind 50 gms Water 150 ml Cinnamon powder a pinch Black salt a pinch Jaggery, chopped 1 tsp For pineapple water Pineapple 100 gms Roasted cumin powder a pinch Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Mint, chopped ½ tsp Green chillies, chopped ½ tsp Pineapple juice 2 tbsp Black salt a pinch For pomegranate water Fresh pomegranate juice 6 tbsp Cinnamon powder a pinch Black salt a pinch Red chilli powder a pinch For yogurt-based water Yogurt 3 tbsp Salt to taste Green chilies, chopped ½ tsp Curry leaves 2 nos. Garlic, chopped ¼ tsp Ginger, chopped ¼ tsp Roasted cumin, powder a pinch For cous-cous filling Cous cous 2 tbsp Water 5 tbsp Chick peas, boiled 1 tbsp Coriander, chopped ½ tsp Chaat masala a pinch Roasted crushed cumin seeds ½ tsp MethodPrepare the five waters:Mint water: Wash and clean the mint, coriander and green chillies. Chop finely. Blend with lime juice, jal jeera powder, chopped ginger and water in a blender. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Tamarind water: Pan roast cumin seeds, black cardamom, star anise and cloves. Soak 50 gms of tamarind in 150 ml of warm water for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out the tamarind pulp. Throw away the seeds, skin and pith. Simmer the tamarind juice with the roasted spices. It the juice begins to thicken, add some water. The tamarind extract should neither be too thin, nor too thick. Add black salt, cinnamon powder and jaggery. Mix well. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Pineapple water: Clean and peel pineapple. Cut into large chunks. Roast in a hot oven 200oC for 15-20 minutes, till the edges are charred. Muddle with roasted cumin powder, chopped ginger, mint and chopped green chillies. Add pineapple juice and black salt. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Pomegranate water: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Yogurt based water: Blend all ingredients together. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Prepare masala cous-cous filling: Take cous cous in a bowl. Add boiling hot water. Cover it and leave aside. Cous cous will be done in about 30 mins. Mix cooked cous cous, chick peas, chopped coriander, chaat masala and crushed cumin seeds to prepare the filling. Serve: Arrange the pani puris on a plate. Make a hole on the top of each puffed pani puri, and fill with a little masala cous-cous. Pour the chilled waters into 5 separate shot glasses. Serve the filled pani puris with the five waters, allowing the guests to combine the waters, pour it into each pani puri and eat whole.