February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

ImageGolgappas – gol (sphere) + gappa (mouth)… My favorite!!! aka Panipuri – pani (water) and puri (fried ball) Originated in South Bihar.

Basically this is a fried semolina ball filled with spiced water, potatoes and lentils. The spiced water is made with sanchal (black salt – salt that takes on its black color from trace amounts of sodium sulphite), dhania (chopped cilantro), phudina (chopped mint), imli (tamarind), adrak (ginger), jeera (cumin), there’s also usually a little puffed rice in the water.

At Evergreen Sweets in Green Park  (see illustration… I didn’t bring my camera this time, but I will next time) you get 8 or so semolina puri with a little plastic container of spiced pani, and a little bit of potatoes and yellow lentils with some sweet tamarind sauce. You place a little hole in the puri with your thumb, place a little dab of potatoes and lentils mixed with the tamarind sauce, and then you fill your puri up with the pani… but you have to be careful because you have to put this thing in its entirety in your mouth… all at once, you shouldn’t fill it to the brim because then water would probably spill out of your mouth once you bit into the whole thing… but you want to put as much water in there as you can possibly stand. Then you pop it in and it is very difficult to explain the sensation—it is really a delight of mouth feel first… crisp and crunchy and cool and refreshing all at once… the potato and lentil yield in a different sorta way, and then you begin to taste it, the sweetness of the tamarind, the coolness of the mint, the smokiness of the cumin all dancing together. Then the sanchal makes your mouth water, so you’re really getting two bursts of liquid. Then when you swallow and the heat ramps up, though not too much, mind you evergreen sweets doesn’t make their pani that spicy… you have to go to the streets for that… if only my Westernized belly could take it. If you want you can neutralize your mouth for the next golgappa by taking a swig of your amritsari lassi. I spent 70 INR on the golgappas, and man were they amazing.

I’ve seen this served all fancy pants with the puri balanced on top of a little shot glass (with the potato & sauce already in it).

Apparently you can find these in Jackson Heights at Maharajah Sweets and Snacks (though I can’t vouch for it there).


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