If you haven’t eaten this, you haven’t lived.

One of the most important aspects of life is food. To be more specific – good food. Although I live abroad, I’ve spent my entire childhood in India. While I have been exposed to many different cuisines, I’ve always enjoyed Indian food the best. And while India has a variety of cuisines within the country (north Indian, south Indian, Andhra, Chettinad, Rajastani, Maharashtrian, Punjabi…well practically every state has their own cuisine), there is nothing more wonderful, nothing more creative, and nothing more delicious, than a local Indian delicacy known all over the country as pani puri.

I took a friend to try this for the first time – she’s not Indian, and couldn’t for the life of her imagine eating something like this. Here’s a picture of this amazing dish:

 

For all those going ‘Eh?’ this is how it’s done – you take one of those puris and poke a hole at the top, just one. Then you stuff the puri with whatever you want; potatoes, chickpeas, onions, lentils. I usually love it with a mixture of mashed potatoes and lots of different powdered spices. People even tend to put in diced tomatoes and coriander leaves. It then looks like this:

Once it’s full, you dunk the puri into a bowl filled with pani (which, roughly translated, means nothing but water, but in this case it is tangy water, again mixed with lots of powdered spices and chutneys). You then put the whole thing into your mouth in one go, and when you bite, the pani splashes, and you know you’ve reached heaven. I can’t even begin to explain the different flavors you can taste – sweet, sour, and spice. This dish has it all.

My personal record has been 26 of these puris, after which I feel like I’d never eat again. I think my favorite pass-time in the whole world would be to have a pani puri-eating competition, just like Shah Rukh Khan did in the Bollywood movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Here’s a shot of the scene:

  Wouldn’t this be absolutely amazing?!

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