Golgappa or panipuri

June  8, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves a party crowd!
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • golguppa puri & cilantro/mint water
  • Store bought golguppa puri (from most indian grocery stores)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cream of wheat
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh finely ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves (packed)
  • 1-2 fresh green chiles
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon finely powdered toasted cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch black salt (optional)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 small bottle pomegranate vodka (optional)
  • Golguppa
  • home made or store bought golguppa
  • 1 large russet potato boiled, cooled & crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Whole mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 pinch Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup sweet and sour tamarind sauce
  • OR
  • Store bought Indian tamarind chutney
  • Cilantro mint water
  1. golguppa puri & cilantro/mint water
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)
  1. Golguppa
  2. For the sweet and sour tamarind sauce, please refer to this recipe:
  3. wash the rehydrated mung beans, boil them with the turmeric till they're cooked soft, but not mushy, season with salt.
  4. Gather a group of friends around the ingredients. give them each a disposable bowl to hold under their 'soon to be dripping' chins!
  5. Using your thumb, crack a small hole into a puri. Fill with potato, mung beans & a 'demitasse' spoons worth of the sweet chutney.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Panfusine
  • susan g
    susan g
  • boulangere
  • Sadassa_Ulna
A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!

12 Reviews

innoabrd July 4, 2011
Ugh. Sorry, but this is the one Indian street food that I can't stand! Somehow that nasty sulphurous water...makes me shudder just thinking about it!
Panfusine July 4, 2011
LOL!! a lot of family have the same opinion!! I know exactly what you mean,, the rock salt..
I tagged it as optional for this very reason!
Panfusine June 9, 2011
Thanks, I've been having a BALL making & scarfing these down all day!
susan G. June 9, 2011
Yes, the photos work, reminds me of a silent movie! The titles are very helpful too.
Panfusine June 9, 2011
oops, just realized I posted yours & sdebrango's reply as a new comment..
Panfusine June 9, 2011
thanks sdebrango...Scarfing these down is totally a group thing! the filled puri popping open, the bubble cheeks, ensuing giggles, the laughter & the spiked liquid dripping down the chin... Messy, but fun!
Panfusine June 9, 2011
I prefer making the sweet sauce with real tamarind pods (its sold as blocks in indian & oriental groceries, & it keeps for ever! its messy, and kind of hard to describe the quantity in a recipe... golf ball sized, large marble sized yada yada, not to mention how much & how thick an extract you get out of them. but the flavor variations are wonderful. I recently became a total convert to the Thai variety over the Indian ones. they have such a lovely hint of sweetness and a a lot more pulpy.), but for making the sauce, the bottled variety is a godsend!
boulangere June 9, 2011
good heavens, this is an amazing cultural journey. Whenever I visit the daughter in Boulder, CO, jars of tamarind are one of the many condiments I bring back. so glad to learn another use for it.
Panfusine June 8, 2011
Thanks Sadassa_Ulna! there is a shortcut to the spiked water. something called Jaljeera powder, just add water as per your taste. but the fresh mint adds the fresh note!
Sadassa_Ulna June 8, 2011
I came across some golguppa puri at an Indian grocery a few months ago. The young man at the counter tried to explain to me how to make the flavored water and the potatoes and I really was not able to follow. I guess I wasn't understanding the beverage aspect of it. I made up my own version: mashed potatoes flavored with the store-bought sauce to fill the puri, no water, but they were still delicious. But now I know what I was supposed to do! I am loving all your entries this week.
Panfusine June 8, 2011
nope no choreography! its fun to do a golguppa session,esp as boozy shots .. I had all the ingredients lined up, except that i forgot to soak the mung beans, so photographs to be clicked & uploaded tomorrow, & no 'bubble cheeks' pix of me eating them!
susan G. June 8, 2011
Does this one need a video? Sounds like serious choreography!