Had a culinary epiphany in of all places Gannavaram. A small town near the orphanage which does not normally inspire confidence in all things food related. HOWEVER some local friends highly recommended this little Pani Puri stall and so…
Firstly it had a huge crowd of punters – always a good sign. The puri are light and crispy hollow puff balls of batter that are filled with a hot and spicy broth (like a sambar); the pani.
You eat each pani puri immediately downing it in one, the eating version of a shot of alcohol. It is also served with a little chaat (a spicy chickpea stew augmented with fresh onion, coriander and tomato), although chaat can also mean any kind of small street snack. It was one of those food moments you really remember…when something is so good you lose yourself in the moment in how god it tastes in that moment…or even like some kind of taste out-of-body experiences where you look down on yourself and think “i had better remember this moment” It was light and crispy with a shot of this sweet, spicy liquor that hit the back of your throat and smacked your taste buds around a bit to say HELLO, YOU ARE ALIVE AND THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!.
We ate them one after the other (again like shots) and finished it off with a plate of the perfectly seasoned spicy chaat. I will never forget it…neither will the vendor ( talented man) think we are the only non indian customers he has ever had…meanwhile i am thinking of a franchise!
Pani Puri and chaat for 6 people – cost 113 rupees (£1.60 or €1.80)
meanwhile i tried not to be distracted by the alarming poster on the wall – all unrelated to pani puri ailments….
…finished the whole thing off with the elixir of life, fresh coconut water…cost of 6 coconuts 60 rupees (85p or €1)
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