Comprehend Pani Puri- Indian Water balls

Every nook and corner on Indian streets you see stalls filled with spherical crisps,Question comes into your mind what are these people selling? - well today I am going to unleash that answer for you. That is "Pani Puri" one of the name variations used in different regions of India for water balls.This dish is the heart of India,very important snack for everyone who lives here.

This dish contains crisps spheres in which one makes hole using their thumb,amount of spicy filling is dropped in and dipped into a flavorsome water loaded with spices,green chilies,mint etc and given one by one to you over Indian street food stalls.

This flavor bomb will give your mouth a party and so many tastings at one point of time that no one can resist that awesome feeling.

This dish, like many other Indian dishes is not consistent throughout nation. Every part displays different variant of "Pani Puri" and also called by different names.
Originated from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh this dish is a must try in every place one visit in India.With changing variety of Crisps and so many different water flavors it will give travelers and foodies a new goal to explore.

North,West,East,Central lead in this dish specifically though there may be sub-varieties if one goes more deeper into these regions.Southern India do have "Pani Puri" but that is not the right place to have them.We will look at these regions for now one-by-one.

  • North India
In North India it is famously called "Golgappa" except Haryana and Lucknow where it is known as "Pani ke patashe".

Crisp Varieties - Two varieties of crisps are found known as "Atta" crisps made from wheat flour or all purpose flour which are round in shape and "Suji" crisps made from semolina which are elongated in shape.

Filling - Boiled Potato mix with chickpea and green chutney(Onion optional)

Water - Tangy water with a dash of mint.( Some places add "boondi"( gram flour balls) too).This is the basic flavor of water found in every nook and corner, Variety of water varies from place to place in North India.In Some places one gets five flavor of water or "Panch swad ke patashe" like hazratganj in Lucknow at one stall or even seven flavors rarely.
Some of the flavor waters are :
- "Imli ka Pani"(Tamarind Water)
-"Hing ka Pani"(Asafoetida Water)
-"Nimbu ka Pani" (Lemon spicy Water)
- "Jaljeera Pani"(Jaljeera Water)
-"khajur Pani"(Dates Water) and many more.

Image of north Indian pani puri
North Indian Style
Source: pinterest

  • Central India
In Central India mostly in Madhya Pradesh one gets it with sweet tamarind chutney and no "boondi". Known as "Pani Puri" here as in most of the places.
Crisp Varieties - There Two varieties of crisps are found known as "Atta" crisps made from wheat flour or all purpose flour which are round in shape and "Suji" crisps made from semolina which are elongated in shape.

Filling - Potato mash and spices.

Water - Tangy water with a sweet tamarind chutney.

Image of Pani puri in Central India
Central Indian Style
  • Western India
In Western India Predominantly it is present in Maharashtra and Gujarat with different variants altogether. Known as "Pani Puri" in most of the places here whereas in Gujarat it is also called "pakodi"

Crisp Varieties : Only one kind of crisps are found here that is "Atta" crisps and they are still different from the north Indian ones.Size is small too.

Filling - Hot White Peas and Potato mash popularly known as "Ragda" is used as a filling in Maharashtra while Gujarat serves "Pani puri" with boiled and diced potatoes,mung bean,sweet chutney made of dates and "boondi".

Water - Variety of  "Pani" again found in Gujarat.

Image of Pani puri in Western India
Western Indian style
Source: Storypick
  • Eastern India
In Eastern India,predominantly in West Bengal and Assam it is addressed as "Puchka". It takes a new form after reaching here.

Crisp varieties : "Puchkas" are slightly bigger in size and darker in color.

Filling : Boiled gram and mashed potaoes,chutney is more tangy rather than sweet.

Water : More spicy.

Image of Pani puri in Eastern India
Eastern Indian style

Pani Puri is a spicy treat,It has too many different names other than the mentioned above like Padaka,Patashi,Tikki,Phulki,Gup chup. As per Shakespeare whats in the name,so make yourself ready for the burst of flavors and Try one for yourself.

Price Range : Rs.10 to Rs.40.

P.S. Avoid restaurants and have it on the street-side.