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Pani Puri

My good friend Kat introduced me to her incredible version of these, and I make them at least once or twice a month. This is not the authentic way of making/presenting them, normally you would make a coriander water, use a special masala, and only add potato & chickpeas. But this works for me, so play around with flavours and see what works best for you.

You will need :

Oven and tray for roasting

Large shallow pan or pot for frying

Slotted spoon


Ingredients :

To find pani puri disks, and possibly even the tamarind chutney, you do need to find a local spice emporium that specializes in Indian produce. I go to the Spice Emporium in Claremont, Cape Town. You can also try out their pani puri masala, if you want to go more authentic in flavour

15 Pani Puri disks

Canola/vegetable oil for frying

Curry Powder - mild/medium/hot to your taste


Additional spices, if preferred - cumin, cinnamon, coriander powder, pani puri masala

Sweet Potato cut into small cubes (about 2 cups)

Potato cut into small cubes (about 2 cups)

Chickpeas can (drained)

Corn, one ear uncooked

Olive Oil

Fresh chopped Coriander

Pomegranate Seeds (about 1 cup)

1 tablespoon of Tamarind Chutney, or more to taste (experiment with other chutneys, if you can't find tamarind)

250ml Full cream plain yoghurt

Note : original pani puri calls for a pani puri water.

Set your oven to about 200 degC (fan assisted) and pour a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large roasting tray. Throw about a teaspoon of curry powder into the oil, as well as any spices you enjoy with your curry flavour, and mix up. Add your chopped potato and cover in the curry oil mixture, then pop into the oven for 10 minutes.

Take out the tray and add your sweet potato and your ear of corn. Add a little more oil and your curry spices, if you'd like, and coat it all before popping back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Take out the pan and pour in the chickpeas. Coat everything in the oil and curry mixture, turn the ear of corn and put back in for a final 10 minutes. Note - you might want to add a little salt for taste.

Once out of the oven pour all into a dish. Cut the corn off the cob and add to the veggie dish. Taste, add salt if needed. Set aside until you are ready to put them all together and serve.

When just about ready to serve prepare the pani puri disks :

Start by filling a pan or shallow pot with a layer of oil, about 2 to 3 cm deep. Heat it up to a medium temperature and pop in one pani puri disk. If it starts to cook rapidly your oil is too hot, but if it sits on the bottom for too long it is too cool. The disk will slowly expand and raise to the top, you will need to use a slotted spoon to flip it over and around until the whole disk has expanded to a ball the size of a golf ball. Only cook a few at a time, and once they've expanded pop them onto a plate with a paper towel to drain.

Using the back of a butter knife tap a hole in the top of the pani puri ball and widen it a little.

Mix your tamarind chutney into your plain yoghurt, taste and add more chutney if you'd like. Set aside.

Heat up the veggies in a hot pan, if you wish, and put back in the dish. Add your chopped coriander and your pomegranate and mix it all up.

Spoon your veggie mixture into your pani puri balls. Serve as soon as possible with your tamarind chutney yoghurt (and with your prepared Jaci's chilli mix!!). Yum

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