|April 11, 2023


Indian street food is vast, diverse, and delicious. Whether you’re ordering it from a dubious street food vendor at the street corner or running towards the chaat stand at a party, Pani Puri will never disappoint you! But wherever you go, Pani Puri is called the king of Indian street foods.

When it comes to street foods in India, pani puri stands at the top for most of us. It has a thin, crisp, circular crust hollowed out to stuff in a large pinch of mashed potato. Topped with tangy, spicy tamarind water and dates, pani puri tingles our taste buds like no other snack.

No two Pani Puris will ever taste alike. This is because the pani puri recipe varies from one region to another. The fillings stuffed into each puri change from one vendor to another. Many vendors will fill mashed potatoes with chilies for a spicy kick. Others use boiled yellow peas and onions for a more savory flavor.

Pani Puri is served with many dipping condiments and syrups, such as:

  • Cold tamarind water
  • Mint water
  • Garlic and pepper water
  • Thinned spicy curd

Pani Puri goes by different names in different regions of India. Some of them are:

  • Gol Gappe
  • Phuchka
  • Pani ka Bataasha or Patasha
  • Gup Chup
  • Phulki
  • Pakodi

These are names in various regions for one of India’s favorite snacks, the Pani Puri. A small, crispy, hollow ball of fried dough stuffed with potatoes and spices. It’s then dunked in spicy jal jeera and sweet (meetha) chutney just before consuming.

But where did this incredibly delicious food item come from?

Who invented Pani Puri?

Unfortunately, the internet has little to show when researching the origins of the delicious Gol Gappe or Pani Puri. It’s unclear who should be credited for inventing this mouthwatering delicacy. All we have are the legends surrounding Pani Puri’s history. 

One states that it was first made in the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha (present-day Bihar). The Kingdom of Magadha was one of the sixteen mahajanapadas, or ‘great kingdoms,’ of ancient India. The kingdom’s size corresponded to the current Indian state of Bihar. It reportedly existed before 600 BC, though the exact time frame of its existence is unclear. 

Both the Maurya and Gupta Empires originated in and around Magadha. The Magadha region has been attributed to the development of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

It’s said that Pani Puri in the kingdom of Magadha was slightly different from the dish we know and love today. During those times, it was called ‘Phulki’ (we still use this term to refer to Pani Puri in parts of India today). 

Ancient Pani Puris were made with smaller and crispier puris than those used today. What they were initially filled with has yet to be discovered. It was some variation of the aloo sabzi (curry).

There’s another commonly believed story about the origin of the Pani Puri. According to this legend from the Mahabharata, Draupadi invented the Pani Puri. The story goes that the Pandava brothers, their mother Kunti, and Draupadi were in exile after losing their kingdom in a game of dice. During the exile period, Kunti threw Draupadi a challenge. She gave her some leftover potato mash and a small amount of dough. She then ordered Draupadi to cook something that would satisfy the hunger of all five brothers. 

The reason why Kunti presented this challenge is not known. Some say it was to test whether Draupadi could be a good housewife. Others suggest that it was to see if Draupadi would favor one brother over the others. 

In response to Kunti’s challenge, Draupadi invented the Pani Puri. Kunti was thoroughly impressed by her daughter-in-law’s resourcefulness. She blessed the Pani Puri dish with immortality.

Different Variants of Pani Puri

Although the differences are not too much, the following four versions are universally accepted as the best Pani Puri versions available across street food vendors across India.

  • Mumbai Pani Puri - This is the most popular variant of the lot. The Mumbai Pani Puri includes hot ragda (thick white peas curry) as a filling. It’s then filled with a tangy green and tamarind chutney for dipping. Some versions also use Mashed or sliced potatoes as filling instead of ragda.
  • Puchka or Phuchka - Puchka is the version of pani puri popular in eastern India. Puchka tastes different from the Mumbai Pani Puri. It uses a stuffing of mashed potatoes and boiled gram for the filling. The chutney for Puchkas is sweeter and tangier. Also, the Puris are larger and darker.
  • Gol Gappe - When you’re in North India, you’ll find Golgappe. This is another Pani Puri variant that has nearly the same fillings as their Bengali cousins. The main difference is that it comes dipped in mint-flavored and spicier water. The use of Suji and Semolina gives golgappa a lighter shade.
  • Pakodi - The Pakodi Pani Puri is another variant notable for its use of Sev. It also uses grated carrots, finely chopped onions, and a slightly sweetened chutney. It is usually served with water mixed with mint and green chilies.

How to make Pani Puri?

Follow these simple steps to make Pani Puri at home and savor the mouthwatering taste of this popular Indian street food. Get ready to enjoy the crispy and tangy flavors of Pani Puri, perfect for a quick snack or a fun party dish!


When it comes to street foods in India, pani puri stands at the top for most of us. Wherever you go, Pani Puri is called the king of Indian street foods.

Print Recipe


For Pani Puri Stuffing

  • 2 or 3 - Medium-sized potatoes
  • 1-  Small to medium-sized onion (optional)
  • 1 to 1-½ tbsp - Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 tbsp -  Alco cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp - Alco red chili powder (optional)
  • Black salt (or regular salt), as required

For Pani

  • ½ Cup - Chopped mint leaves – tightly packed,
  • 1 Cup - Chopped coriander leaves – tightly packed (cilantro)
  • 1 inch - Chopped ginger
  • 2 or 3 - Chopped green chilies (for less spicy pani, add one green chili)
  • 1 tbsp - Tamarind (tightly packed)
  • 4 tbsp - Jaggery powder (or grated/chopped jaggery or sugar), as required
  • 1 tsp - Alco cumin powder
  • 1 tsp - Alco Kolkata Pani Puri masala powder
  • ⅓ Cup - Water for blending
  • 1 to 1-¼ Cups - Water to be added later (add water as per the consistency you prefer)
  • 1 to 1-½ tbsp - Boondi (fried tiny gram flour balls) – optional
  • Black salt (or regular salt), as required

For Puri

  • 1 Cup - Semolina (suji)
  • 1/4 cup - All-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/4 tsp - Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp - Salt
  • Oil for deep frying

Other Ingredients

One small bowl Tamarind Chutney or tamarind and dates chutney (optional)


For making the Pani Puri Stuffing

  1. Boil the potatoes till they are cooked completely.
  2. Peel them and then chop them.
  3. Finely chop the onion if using it.
  4. Mix the potatoes, onions, coriander leaves, cumin powder, chaat masala powder, black salt, or regular salt in a small bowl. Mix well and keep aside.

For making Teekha Pani (Spiced Water)

  1. Add all the ingredients mentioned above for the spiced water in a blender.
  2. Add water. Grind to a fine chutney.
  3. Put the green chutney into a large bowl. Rinse the mixer jar with half a cup of water first. Add this water to the bowl. Then add ½ to ¾ cup more water.
  4. Mix well. Check the seasoning. Add more salt, jeera powder, Alco kolkata Pani Puri Masala, or jaggery, if needed. 
  5. If you want a thinner pani, add some water. Add seasoning as per your taste.
  6. Add the boondi to the pani.

You can chill the spiced water in the fridge. You can also add some ice cubes to it.

For Making the Puri

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the semolina, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add water little by little and knead the dough until it's smooth and firm.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, knead the dough again and divide it into small portions.
  5. Roll each portion into a thin circle, around 2-3 inches in diameter.
  6. Heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry the circles until they turn golden brown and puffy.
  7. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  8. Store the puri in an airtight container until ready to use.

Eating the Pani Puri

  1. Gently crack open the top of the puri with a spoon.
  2. Stuff two to three teaspoons of the boiled potato-onion filling in the puri.
  3. Stir the green pani first. Add it to the puri. You can also add some sweet chutney to the puri.
  4. Serve the pani puri immediately (Else, the puri with water and stuffing will become soggy).

Pani Puri is one of those chaat foods you can enjoy at any time of the day and satisfy your cravings without any guilt or remorse! It is also healthier when compared to other street food. The count of Pani puri calories is around 329 per serving. So, you don’t need to fret about adding pounds to your waist. The chaat is also very affordable. You can binge on it all you want, alone or with friends. So, to say that it’s India’s best comfort food will probably be an understatement. When you have a Pani Puri in your mouth, everything will feel right with the world for those few seconds.

FAQs on Pani Puri Recipe

What is the story behind pani puri?
Why is Panipuri so famous?
Why is pani puri so tasty?
When was pani puri invented in India?
What is pani puri water made of?