Back in July 12, 2015, a food guide in Madhya Pradesh named 'Indori Zayka' won a world record for preparing the most number of flavours of the snack at an event. In honour of its 51 flavours of pani puri, Google chose the date as the 'pani puri day' and also an interactive doodle game.
That said, fans of pani puri aka golgappa or puchka aren't too welcoming always, when new flavours are paired with the traditional snack. The online space has even seen interesting hashtags like #justiceforpanipuri #rippanipuri to #savepanipuri trending, whenever brand new flavour videos land on its realm.
Traditional pani puri has many varieties depending on the city you have it from. However, the basic ingredients of the snack, which PM Modi even served to Japanese premier Fumio Kishida when he visited India, tend to be the same -- the hollow puri, flavoured water, onion, chickpeas, tamarind chutney, chaat masala and mashed potato.
Noufal B N, who runs the Hajji Ali group of restaurants, opines: “In our observation, using fresh, traditional ingredients are the safest way to prepare and enjoy pani puri. The traditional version of the snack is the one that has more takers too.”
Whether purists like it or not, food enthusiasts keep trying bizzare food combinations and pani puri too have had many such avatars. Some of them won many fans and others, absolute hatred. Here are a few such combos you might want to give a try on 'Pani Puri Day!'
1) Sambharam kadumanga pani puri
When Chef Pillai introduced the 'sambharam kadumanga pani puri' at his restaurant in Kochi last year, the true-blue fans of the North Indian snack were curious.
Will the kerala buttermilk and mango pickle mix pair well with puri? But the later months saw many food vloggers and others lauding the dish, terming it an interesting experiment. Here's the recipe if you are keen to try:
500 ml curd
5 gm green chilli
2 gm curry leaves
20 gm shallots
5 gm ginger
300 ml water
60 pani puri balls
50 gm sev
For mango pickle
200 gms raw mangoes chopped
2 gms finely chopped green chilli
2 gms finely chopped ginger
2 gms finely chopped curry leaves
Salt to taste
5ml gingely oil
1 gm asafoetida
Combine the curd, green chilly, curry leaves, shallots, ginger, water, and salt.
Strain the blended mixture and then refrigerate it.
In a bowl, combine the chopped mangoes, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves, vinegar, gingely oil, salt and asafoetida.
Break the top of each puri
Insert half a teaspoon of mango pickle into them
Spread sev on a serving plate.
Place the pani puri on top of the sev
Serve buttermilk in a glass alongside the stuffed pani puri balls.
2) Mango pani puri
A few months ago, the video of a Mumbai street vendor making 'mango pani puri' with the North Indian special 'aamras' aka mango pulp had gone viral. As expected, a section of the netizens found it repulsive but it had its takers too.
Wondering what it tastes like? Those who loved the combo says "You hardly get the taste of the puri, thanks to the strong taste of aamras. The puri just acts as a tiny aamras shot holder."
3) Kadhi pani puri
Kadhi is a Gujarati yogurt-based curry that also has herbs, gram flour, spices and more as seasoning. It's just recently that a restaurant in Ahmedabad launched the new fusion dish - kadhi pani puri.
It even triggered the birth of a new hashtag, #justiceforpanipuri as many couldn't digest the weird combination. But those who found it interesting argues the creamy, spiced taste of kadhi pairs well with crispy puris.
4) Ice-cream puri
Vanilla-flavoured ice-cream in a puri, with syrups as flavouring. If it sounds disgusting, you are not alone. Soon after the video of the snack was up on social media a few months ago, netizens commented that this has to be the weirdest combo ever!
Some of them even said 'RIP Pani Puri,' 'Those guys should attend therapy' and 'He must have to consult a psychiatrist.' But, if you google 'pani puri ice-cream,' you will find many recipe videos of the same with decent views and those who tried it don't seem to be disappointed, if the comments are to be believed!
5) Pani puri shawarma
Winning more than a million views, the video of 'India's first pani puri shawarma' went viral in March this year. A street vendor in Surat made it with shreds of chicken and regular shawarma ingredients like cabbage, potato, sauces, melted cheese and more.
The viral video invited a wide variety of reactions like 'Nice try, don't repeat it,' to 'Where is the pani' in it! One can't help wondering whether the shawarma puri survived the tremendous backlash it received online.