At the rate I'm adding street food recipes from Mumbai on this site, Food52 staff would probably assume that that is all I grew up on! (not true!)
Well, this set is simply a microcosm of the cornucopia of street offerings that India is renowned for. Given the valid concern about hygiene and sanitation, much of these goodies were restricted to the local population. Most foreign nationals were strongly discouraged from pigging out on the streets.
The street food scene is definitely changing with the times, with vendors switching to mineral water to make the dishes and using food service gloves to whip up & serve. (which some purists roll their eyes at.. this is the set that believes 'the dirtier the vendor, the tastier the dish!)
pani puri is a dish to be shared with friends. Its utterly pointless making & eating it alone. I really cannot clarify if its a beverage or a snack. Crisp puffed up balls of dough filled with potatoes, steamed mung beans, tamarind chutney and filled with a chilled tangy mint & coriander spiced water. Physically impossible to bite into, it must be popped in whole & the literal explosion of flavors in the mouth is something to be experienced.
Go for the store bought puri's if you have access to an Indian grocery nearby. Its so much easier! & yes, its absolutely kosher to convert these yummy morsels into vodka shots! —Panfusine
a party crowd!
golguppa puri & cilantro/mint water
Store bought golguppa puri (from most indian grocery stores)
If making the golguppa puris from scratch, follow steps 1 & 2:
Mix all the ingredients together and knead into a stiff dough, using as little water as possible. Roll out the dough to a tortilla thickness & cut out circles of ~ 1 1/2 inches diameter using a biscuit cutter.
Heat oil till very hot & fry these disks till they puff up crisp & turn golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer onto kitchen towels to absorb excess OIL. Store in an airtight canister. They're pretty fragile and can break easily.
In a blender, combine the cilantro, mint, green chiles, cumin powder, salt and lime juice, blend to form a smooth liquid (adding 1/2 cup of water), Strain, taste to adjust seasoning, top up with required amount of water as per your personal preference of spiciness. chill until ready to assemble (adding the vodka at this point may not be a bad idea!)
For the sweet and sour tamarind sauce, please refer to this recipe:
wash the rehydrated mung beans, boil them with the turmeric till they're cooked soft, but not mushy, season with salt.
Gather a group of friends around the ingredients. give them each a disposable bowl to hold under their 'soon to be dripping' chins!
Using your thumb, crack a small hole into a puri. Fill with potato, mung beans & a 'demitasse' spoons worth of the sweet chutney.
Dip the entire puri into the spiked cilantro mint water and fill. place the filled puri into the bowl of the person nearest to you.
Repeat & rotate with all the other friends until all the puris get over or you hear them groaning about getting ready to burst!! (about 6-7 per person!)