Memoir of Street Food- Pani Puri

One of the very few things I miss about Kathmandu is the street food scene..Regardless of the chaos, traffic, and blaring horns my friends and I often waited in line to enjoy our favorite street foods such as pani puri, chaats and bhel puri. The whole hygiene thing hardly ever crossed our minds and it was more of an experience to be part of the evening crowd in the city, wait by the tiny cart usually manned by one person and eat irresistible street food. 

a random google image showing how pani puris are generally served on the streets

I went straight for pani puri; its something about the crunchy puri, spicy potato fillings dipped in tangy water makes it worthwhile.

Pani Puri is a popular street food, mainly eaten as a snack in countries such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. 

Pani, in Nepali/Hindi language means water and puris are unleavened, deep fried bread, in this case it is crunchy so that we can add fillings and dip into the spicy pani (water). 

Its fairly simple to assemble it if you have store bought puris, and spices for the water which is found in Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. Or, you can make your own.

Pani Poori

Serves 2 pani poori lovers

Pooris – one big store bought bag (30-35 pieces)

For the Filling:
2-3 medium potatoes, boiled & mashed
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (cooked or canned)
1-2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp chaat masala (can be found at Indian Grocery Store)
1 green chillies, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
lemon juice, depending upon how sour you want
salt and red pepper to taste
boodi (optional)
For the Water:
Pani Poori Masala (can be found at Indian Grocery Store) 

– In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients for the potato filling except boodi until everything combined well.Taste and adjust as necessary.
– Follow the Pani Poori Masala package directions. Usually, it requires only mixing it with water.  Add lemon juice, red chili powder, and cilantro if desired. 

boodi – little drops made of gram flour are added for extra crunch

Poke a hole in puri, then put potato fillings inside, add some boodi and dip it in water 

Enjoy to your hearts content.


  1. says

    Looks yummy.. I absolutely love pani puri, but I can’t eat the street food in India, in your case Kathmandu, else I’ll be in the bathroom. :-)

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