Pani Puri

  • Yield : 30 shells
  • Cook Time : 30m
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  • 1 cup peeled, cubed green mango (see Cook's Note)
  • 2 Thai green or serrano chilies, roughly chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked (about 1/2 cup)
  • Juice from 3 limes (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 tablespoon fine Indian black salt (kala namak) (see Cook's Note)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Sugar or jaggery, to taste (see Cook's Note)
  • 2 tablespoons dried black chickpeas (kala chana), soaked in water overnight (see Cook's Note)
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine Indian black salt (kala namak)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice from half a lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 30 Pani Puri shells, about 1 1/2-to-2-inches round (see Cook's Note)


Step 1

For the green mango water: Combine the green mango, chilies, cilantro, mint, lime juice and 1/2 cup water in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add the cumin, black salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt and 3 cups water. Whisk to combine. Add sugar to taste (this will depend on the sweetness of the green mango).

Step 2

For the potato filling: Put the soaked black chickpeas in a small saucepan and fill the pan halfway with cold water. Stir in a pinch of baking soda and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. 

Step 3

Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. 

Step 4

Drain the chickpeas and potatoes and allow to cool slightly. The cooked chickpeas should yield about 1/4 cup. Peel the potatoes then mash with a potato masher until coarsely mashed. Add the chickpeas, cilantro, cumin, black salt, chili powder, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and stir to combine. Taste and adjust salt.

Step 5

For assembly: Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 225 degrees F. Put the pani puri shells on a baking sheet and bake until crispy (you don't want the shells to brown at all), 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 6

To eat: One at a time, crack a small hole on top of the thinner side of a pani puri shell then add 1 teaspoon of the potato mixture and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the green mango water. Pop the whole pani puri in your mouth in one shot. Eat the assembled pani puris as you make them since they will become soggy if they sit at all.

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