Bhubaneswar: Call it pani puri, puchka or gol gappa, this mouthwatering street food tops the list of most loved street snacks for a majority of people in India. Though the preferred tastes range from salty to spicy, tangy and sweet-spicy at different corners of the country, the emotion tied with it is quite similar.
Pani puri or gol gappa is an Indian subcontinent origination that even tourists from outside the country also love to try. Every puri or hollow-ball is served, stuffed with mashed potatoes, chopped onions, chickpeas, nuts, tamarind chutney and specially prepared water called khatta pani. And that explosion of variety of flavours when ground inside the mouth, never disappoints the snackers.
Pani puri is a different emotion for different people; from comfort food to guilty pleasure. Though, almost similar are the methods of preparation and serving, it is known by different names in different regions of the country. Here are some common other names of pani puri:
- Puchka/Fuchka: In West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand.
- Golgappa: In Northern parts of India -Haryana, Delhi, Punjab.
- Gupchup: In Odisha and parts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Hyderabad and Telangana.
- Padaka: For residents of Aligarh, UP, it’s padaka.
- Tikki: Only in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad, they call it tikki.
- Phulki: In some parts of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal.
- Pakodi: In interior parts of Gujarat. It’s generally a proper sweet-spicy snack.
- Pani Patashe/Batashe: In some parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
This apart, pani puri is called ‘water pancakes’ in English. The much-loved ‘pani puri’ made it to Oxford English Dictionary on March 10, 2005. Also, there’s a ‘Happy Pani Puri Day’ celebrated on April 8, every year.