I Love Curry
20, enough for 4–5 people
Jonathan Gregson

These are little taste bombs and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. Small, crisp, hollow balls of semolina pastry are filled with potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, then both a sweet-and- sour and a herb chutney. They are topped with sev, which look like fine yellow pieces of thread. You place the puchkas in your mouth whole and bite into an explosion of tastes and textures. Buy the tamarind chutney if you don’t want to make the quick recipe here, and pani puris and sev are available in Indian shops (look for the handmade variety). This looks complicated, but is really easy and indescribably delicious.

For the quick sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney


Quantity Ingredient
2 good teaspoons tamarind paste
35-40g jaggery, chopped up
or 3 3/4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 rounded teaspoon roasted cumin powder

for the puchkas

Quantity Ingredient
200g plain yogurt, not too sour
salt, to taste
1/4 scant teaspoon chilli powder
100g potato
20 ready-made puris, (sold as pani puris)
50g cooked chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 Tangy herb chutney
handful sev, (optional)


  1. For the tamarind chutney, place the tamarind, sugar and 6 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Add the salt, pepper and ¾ tsp of roasted cumin powder (reserve the rest) and cook until the chutney is syrupy (another minute or two). You should have around 4 tbsp of chutney. If it becomes hard as it sits, loosen it with 1 tbsp boiling water.
  2. Whisk the yogurt with a little salt, the chilli powder and reserved roasted cumin powder until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Boil the potato in salted water until tender, then peel and cut into 1cm cubes.
  4. Assemble the puchkas when you are ready to eat. You will find that the puris have a thicker, harder side and a thinner side… it might not be so obvious at first, but when you tap both convex sides with your fingernail you will easily spot the thinner side. Break a 2.5cm hole in the thinner side with your finger. Fill each puri with a couple of chickpeas and a piece of potato. Spoon 1 tsp yogurt into each and top with 1/ 3 tsp each of tamarind chutney and Tangy Herb Chutney. Sprinkle generously with the sev (if using) and serve immediately.
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