Pani Puri with Spiced Potatoes and Tamarind Chutney

, from Issue #69. November, 2016
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Pani Puri with Spiced Potatoes and Tamarind Chutney

A popular street food in Mumbai, I’ve filled these crisp little shells with one of my favourite spiced potato recipes then topped them with a tart tamarind chutney and cooling mint and coconut relish.


Spiced potatoes
500 grams agria potatoes, peeled and diced 1cm pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
small knob of butter
½ teaspoon each cumin seeds, yellow and black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground garam masala
sea salt and ground pepper
Mint and coconut relish
½ cup packed mint leaves
pinch chilli flakes
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
⅓–½ cup plain yoghurt
sea salt and pepper
To assemble
pani puri shells, see "pantry note" for cooking instruction
tamarind chutney (I used Jenny’s Kitchen)
microgreens or mint leaves, to garnish


Relish: Place all the ingredients and a ⅓ cup of the yoghurt in a food processor and season. Process until combined, adding the extra yoghurt if needed to make a thick relish that can be spooned on top of the pani puri.  

Potatoes: Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until just cooked but not falling apart. Drain well.

Heat the oil and butter in sauté pan. Add all the spices and stir together, then immediately add the potatoes and turn to combine. Season generously and cook, stirring often, until tender. Crush half of the potatoes with a fork to give a chunky texture. 

To serve: Place the pani puri on a tea towel and gently tap the top with the back of a teaspoon to make an opening for the filling. Place a spoonful of the potato in each shell. Top with a little tamarind chutney then a spoonful of the relish. 

Garnish with tiny mint leaves or microgreens. Serve immediately. Makes about 18

Pantry note:  Available from Indian, Asian and gourmet food stores, pani puri are oval hollow puri shells made from chickpea flour and quickly fried until crisp, then filled with spiced potatoes or other favourite fillings. To cook, heat 4cm of vegetable oil in a deep, medium saucepan and when hot but not simmering, add 2–3 pani puri and they will instantly start to puff up then roll over. As soon as they’re lightly golden remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. If you can’t find the pani puri shells serve the spiced potatoes on crisp corn tortilla chips or baby poppadoms, topped with the tamarind and relish.