This spicy green pani (water) is made with cilantro-mint chutney to create a spicy and vibrant water with which to fill your pani puri.
What is pani for pani puri?
Pani is a Hindi word that literally means water. In the context of pani puri, a popular Indian street food, pani is the spiced water that is poured into the hollow semolina balls (puri). The pani can be made in many different flavors, but the most famous varieties are sweet tamarind pani and spicy green pani.
Use cilantro-mint chutney as a base
The trick to easily making this pani at home is to use cilantro-mint chutney as the base. Whenever I make pani puri, I am inevitably making other chaat dishes which rely on cilantro-mint chutney. This homemade spicy cilantro-mint chutney can be made with pantry staples and you can swap in and out herbs that you desire. I make a huge batch of this chutney which I can then repurpose for pani puri water. It is as easy as thinning out the chutney with cold water and adding spices like chaat masala and kala namak (black salt) to provide extra tanginess. If you don't have time to make the chutney at home, you can easily buy it online or at your local Indian grocery store.
Store-bought pani puri powder
When it comes to making the spicy pani for pani puri, I prefer to make the chutney at home, as it takes only a few minutes and some pantry ingredients. However, you can also opt to use a store-bought dried powder from an Indian grocery store or online that you mix with cold water as an alternative. The taste of this pani isn't quite as fresh as making it at home, but it definitely works in a pinch.
Adding alcohol in pani
Adding alcohol to the pani makes pani puri a fun spiked appetizer for parties. Light liquors work best for the pani. My personal favorite hard alcohols to add to the pani are tequila, vodka, and gin! Add as little or as much as desired. You don't even have to make pani puri to enjoy spiked pani. You can instead transform the pani into a cocktail by mixing a bit of ice, pani, liquor of your choice, and sparkling water.
Serving pani puri for parties
You have many options when it comes to serving the pani. Here are some ideas for how to serve the pani:
- Shot glasses - Serve pani in shot glasses with the puri sitting on top.
- Squeeze bottles - Squeeze bottles are relatively cheap and and easy way for guests to squirt pani into their puri.
- Chocolate fountain - Make pani puri the centerpiece of your event by using a chocolate fountain and filling it with pani puri water. Guests can simply bring their puri to the fountain to fill.
Recipes Related to Pani Puri
If you are making the pani for pani puri, you are probably looking for recipes to compose the whole dish. Here are a few recipes that you may find interesting.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily buy cilantro-mint chutney at your local Indian store or online. This chutney is also super easy to make at home with this recipe.
You can buy chaat masala at your local Indian store or online.
Kala namak is black salt. It is usually light in color and has a sulfuric smell. You can buy it at your local Indian store or online.