Crab puris

Crab puris

By
From
I Love India
Makes
10 (can be doubled)
Photographer
Martin Poole

We have a lot of different ways of filling these crispy little discs that don’t involve the flavoured water “pani”. As it is streetfood, the authentic ingredients are generally inexpensive, but these little puris lend themselves to all sorts of fun in the kitchen and can make really pretty casings for a variety of more precious ingredients. This crab version is so delicious, if completely untraditional.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the puris

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, plus more to serve
good handful chopped coriander, plus more to serve
1 teaspoon finely chopped deseeded green chilli
1/2 avocado, finely chopped
50g picked white crab meat
11/2-2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
salt
freshly ground black pepper
10 pani puris

For the topping (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
11/2 teaspoons tamarind paste

Method

  1. Mix together the tomato, onion, coriander, chilli, avocado, crab and most of the lemon juice and season to taste, adding extra lemon juice if you like.
  2. Mix together the mayonnaise, tamarind, a little more salt and a few tbsp of water; the mixture should be creamy and not thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. When you are ready to serve, make medium-sized holes in the top of all the puris; through the side that is slightly thinner and easier to break gently. Spoon in a rounded tsp of the crab filling, top with the mayonnaise and sprinkle with coriander and red onion.

Papri and puris

  • These are both little crispy discs of pastry that are used in many Indian streetfood dishes and provide endless opportunity for culinary experimentation and sensory pleasure.

    Papri is normally flattish and used in different layered chaats, most commonly with potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, tamarind and coriander chutneys, or broken up to provide crunch in a bhel puri or other streetfood favourite. But they also make fantastic bite-size crispy vehicles for any variety of toppings.

    A puri is a three-dimensional spherical version of papri, but with slightly thinner pastry. It is delicate and, once you break open the upper surface, you can fill it with any combination of dry-ish ingredients (though wetter components will quickly soften the wafer-thin pastry) and then top it with a liquid. You immediately pop it into your mouth and the whole thing explodes into a taste and textural sensation! Again, while there are traditional fillings, feel free to explore other bits to add inside. I have a lot of fun adding new and unexpected ingredients to my puris, or to the water each is topped with, which add a fantastic element of surprise and fun to each mouthful.
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