July 12 2023: Today’s interactive game Google Doodle celebrates pani puri — a popular South Asian street food made of a crispy shell stuffed with potatoes, chickpeas, spices, or chilis and flavoured waters. And there’s a variety of pani puri for everyone’s taste buds! On this day in 2015, a restaurant in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, achieved the World Record for serving the most flavors of pani puri by offering 51 options!
This snack goes by different names, as there are many regional variations that exist across India. In Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, the name pani puri describes the bite-sized street food commonly filled with boiled chickpeas, a white pea mixture, and sprouts dipped in tangy and spicy pani. In the northern Indian states of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and New Delhi, the potato and chickpea-filled treat dunked in jaljeera-flavored water is called gol gappe or gol gappa. The name puchkas or fuchkas is used in West Bengal and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, with the key ingredient for this variety being tamarind pulp.
A legend says that the epic Mahabharata proposes that the newlywed Draupadi invented pani puri when she was challenged to feed five men with scarce resources. With just some leftover aloo sabzi (potatoes and vegetables) and a small amount of wheat dough to work with, Draupadi got creative. She filled small pieces of fried dough with the potato and vegetable mixture. Thus, pani puri was created.
Though there are many different types of filling and pani for everyone's unique palette, there are two things everyone can agree on: eat the pani puri quickly to avoid the puri getting soggy or leaking, and always eat it in one bite to avoid a crumbly mess. Source: Google