India's Popular Pani Puri Comes With A Wide Variety Of Fillings

India is a force of nature when it comes to food. Wherever you wander in the South Asian country, you'll find the most delicious and filling dishes mixed with the world's best spices — most of them sourced within its borders. Twenty-eight states are split between eight union territories in India, and each carries its own culinary traditions and food crops, making India a diverse nation on and off the dinner plate, via Nations Online.

Indian recipes are famously known for their bright colors and mouth-watering aromas. Spice Cravings says this is mostly due to native spices like cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, turmeric, fenugreek, and cardamom combined in many recipes, and quite a few dishes also use outsourced flavors as well to power up their dishes. Authentic Indian recipes are some of the warmest and most comforting food you'll ever get the chance to eat, whether it be vindaloo, palak paneer, chicken tikka masala, or any kind of curry you are sure to enjoy it wholeheartedly, but a particular favorite food throughout the massive country is the pani puri.

Anything your heart desires

Pani puri goes by many names, such as golgappa, phuchka, pakodi, etc., but at the end of the day, The Better India claims that all those names mean one lovely thing: joy. That very emotion is exactly what people feel when they bite into pani puri. It's an easy street stall snack you'll find all over India, and everyone, rich or poor, young or old, will stop by to taste it. Believed to have originated somewhere in the Magadh region of India, the pani puri became a specialty; fried balls of dough stuffed full of ... well, almost anything! That's the beauty of pani puri. 

According to Dassana's Veg Recipes, this dumpling-like dish can be filled with potatoes, moong sprouts, boiled chickpeas, or white pea curry and can be made sweet or spicy, depending on your preference. The crispy fried dough is always served with sour water, which can be paired with sweet chutney, aka Meetha, or a spicy liquid called Teekha. Foodviva says that mint is another popular flavor to mix into the sour water, making a pudina pani that is both refreshing and tart on the tongue.

BBC Travel explains that the best way to serve pani puri is by cracking a hole in the fried ball of dough, filling it with your choice of stuffing, and then completely submerging the concoction into the flavored water, which usually remains on ice to keep it cool. It is traditionally consumed in one bite, exploding like a flavorful bomb in your mouth.