Spicing up an Evening

There are moody evenings, when nothing, right from the hazelnut coffee at Starbucks to the chicken at Thai Palace, seems to set things right. And then there are breezy evenings when all you need to make life beautiful is a plate of spicy panipuri from a roadside vendor. 

The panipuri has several names: golgappas in Delhi, fuchkas in Kolkata and gupchups in Bihar. Be that as it may, the perfect panipuri must have potatoes, onions, chickpea and chillies, and be flavoured with salt, pepper, tamarind and lemon. You absolutely must ask for some additional jaljeera to wash it down.

“Did the vendor have clean hands?” says my health conscious family, fed on 99.9% germ-free advertising on television. “Oh, he wore sterilised gloves.”

I will tell you a secret though – please avoid the places that serve you “mineral water” panipuri. An over-hygienically made panipuri is against the natural scheme of things, and like rainbow-coloured roses, just doesn’t feel right.

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15 thoughts on “Spicing up an Evening

  1. Pingback: 8 Totally Random Things I Overheard People Say in Pune | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I always have loved the road side taste… though it all makes me question the hygiene, i’m also craving for more pani puris now… Guess, I’ll hafta wait for my India trip 😦

  3. I love, love, love panipoori, but I stopped eating the roadside variety a few years ago. I eat panipoori only at places that *I think* it is made hygienically. Other times, I simply make them myself at home. I am told I make a mean dish of panipoori. 🙂

    I have never had panipoori with onions!

    • Sigh, I can understand. Once you stay away from the roadside panipuri for a time, it can be difficult to get back to it. But hey, when are you calling me over for some homemade panipuri? 🙂 😀

      Yes, I too am not overly fond of the onions variety. Here they simply garnish your plate with onions so you can eat/not as you please.

  4. Sigh… I’ve lost the gut to have road side pani puri now. I only eat the mineral water wala.. 😦 Well, you’ve made me crave for that road side taste..
    And onion in pani puri? That’s new to me! Never seen pani puri with onion over here..

    • Oops…you are missing out on the quintessential taste of panipuri. 😦 The mineral water variety just doesn’t taste the same to me… 😛
      Is that so? Onions are a fixture here. They sometimes give onions separately, to add to the puri as per taste.

  5. When I was last in Delhi (2012) I avoided most street vendors. I was there on matters concerning family weddings so had to remain fit and well to survive the onslaught on a vigorous 7 days. Believe it or not that last time I tasted Golgapas was in 1993 *terrible* I know. Well luckily for me my mum makes the most amazing Golpapas and the sharp but tasty pani, with a helping of chickpeas and aloo. Mind you the worlds you oyster when it comes to fillings, and yogurt bhala is also a fav of mine. The taste of India at my doorstep. Have a nice day.

    • 1993?! :O You got to be kidding me! I command you to go and have golgappas as soon as you can! 😛
      My Mum used to make panipuri at home too. We would have loads of extra paani and tamarind chutney.

      Oh yes, I like dahi bhalla as well! India’s street food is indeed amazing. 😀

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