Sprouted lentil and pomegranate pani puris

Sprouted lentil and pomegranate pani puris

By
From
I Love India
Makes
35-40
Photographer
Martin Poole

Pani puri is one of my favourite streetfoods. It consists of a spherical crispy puri, often filled with potatoes and chickpeas, or sprouts, and topped with a flavoured water, or “pani”. The “water” is spicy, salty, herby, sour and a little sweet. When I make them at home, I am always reinventing them as I come up with a new idea. I have kept this one quite close to the original, but have replaced the potato with avocado – as I think the creaminess works really well – and have added pomegranate seeds. Don’t try to bite into these – they need to be placed whole in the mouth so they can explode into a delicious, complex bite-full. For special occasions, I often add ½ tsp crème fraîche on the top of the filling, before pouring in the pani; everyone prefers it this way, but it is optional.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the pani

Quantity Ingredient
40g coriander leaves and stalks
20g mint leaves
6g roughly chopped root ginger
31/2 tablespoons chaat masala, or to taste
5 tablespoons see method for ingredients, tamarind chutney, or to taste
600ml filtered water

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
salt
100g mixed sprouts, or mung bean sprouts
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2-2/3 large avocado, finely chopped
large handful chopped coriander
1/4 teaspoon roast and ground cumin seeds, see recipe note
1/2 pomegranate

For the puris, and to serve

Quantity Ingredient
40 pani puris
sour cream, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Blend together all the ingredients for the pani; it is nice if you can still see little shreds of the leaves. Taste and adjust as necessary. It should be a little sour, sweet, salty, herby and spicy. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and return to the boil, then drain. When the sprouts are cool, mix them with the remaining filling ingredients. Salt lightly to taste.
  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. Pour the pani into a jug.
  4. When you are ready to eat, either spoon 2 tsp of the filling into each puri and serve with the pani jug for people to serve themselves, or have the filling in a little bowl, so people can spoon and pour just before eating. I really love to dab a little sour cream on top of the filling before adding the spiced water.

Roast and ground cumin seeds

  • Place the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat and stir just until they turn a shade darker and smell aromatic. Remove and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
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