Pani Poori From Scratch

IT’S SNACK TIME! Today, I’m making homemade pani poori, my absolute favorite Indian street food. I’ve loved this dish since I was a kid! FUN STORY TIME: My brother, Yoni, and I went to the same Indian restaurant for years growing up, and so we got to know the owners pretty well. When we were little, they jokingly told us that the mint water was called, “dirty water.” Fast forward years later, we’re at a new Indian restaurant. We order pani poori to start and ask for a “side of dirty water”…CRINGE. We had NO IDEA that we’d only been told that as a joke, and we seriously confused (and probably offended!) the waiter.

I love this dish for so many reasons, but especially because it’s a complete journey of flavors and textures. You have a light crunchy exterior, pillowy spiced potatoes, sharp raw onion, bright spicy mint chutney, earthy tangy tamarind, and sweet bursts from pomegranate seeds. The toppings make this super customizable, too, so anyone can add as much or as little of each topping to their taste, or make each bite different than the one before! Ponipuri are great as an appetizer or snack, but, here’s your warning, after you try your first one, they’ll probably become your entire meal. Extremely once-you-pop-you-can’t-stop energy!! As always, you can watch the entire process in the video, and the full recipe is below. I hope my favorite, classic Indian street food becomes yours, too!

Pani Poori From Scratch

Calories 845.57 kcal


For the Poori:

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon water or as required
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • oil for deep frying

For the Aloo Masala:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped

For the Pani Poori Water:

  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1- inch of ginger peeled
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar/jaggery
  • 1 teaspoons chaat masala seems some add this and some don’t, sort of a taste preference
  • Pinch of salt

For the Garnish:

  • Tamarind chutney LINKED HERE
  • Pomegranate
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro


For the Poori Dough:

  • Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl to combine. Add the water and oil, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Turn out onto a clean surface and begin kneading. If there is an excess of flour and/or dough is very dry, add cold water a teaspoon at a time and knead until dough comes together into a smooth, elastic ball. Place dough back in the bowl, cover, and rest for an hour.
  • Fill a deep, heavy pot with 3-4 inches of neutral oil and place over medium high heat. While oil heats, cut rested dough in half and use a rolling pin to roll very thin, about ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut out 2 inch circles with a round cookie cutter, yielding 30-34 circles. Once oil is 400 degrees fahrenheit, work in batches to deep fry poori til puffed and golden. Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet while frying the remaining dough.

For the Water:

  • In a high powered blender, add cilantro, mint, chilies, ginger and lemon juice. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes, depending on your blender. Add up to a ¼ cup of cold water, if needed for a smooth consistency. Next, add the tamarind paste, brown sugar, chaat masala, and salt. Blend again until fully combined, 1 minute or so. Add to a large mixing bowl and top with 4 cups of cold water. Stir to combine. Set aside.

For the Potatoes:

  • Cut potatoes into a small dice, about half inch squares. Place in a pot and cover with cold water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are just fork tender. While the potatoes cook, combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Drain the potatoes, place in a large bowl, and stir in the spice mixture and the cilantro.

To Assemble:

  • Poke one side of the poori with a finger and fill with the potato mixture. Top with mint water, red onion, tamarind chutney, pomegranate seeds, and fresh cilantro. Eat immediately and enjoy!
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