Freid pastry balls filled with a mixture of mashed potatoes, spices, a handful of chickpeas and then dip it in water made of tamarind juice. Did that tingle your taste buds? Then you would know what I am referring to here. Paani puri is a delectable street food that people enjoy all across India; its popularity has grown over the years, with street vendors selling it in various corners of the cities across different countries.
I am sure you have heard of people sharing stories of how they used to randomly go to any street stalls and have a mini-contest of paani puri during their school days. So naturally, the one who gulps the most number of paani puris would be considered the winner. But as we step into adulthood, we need to control our desires and make some essential changes to our lifestyle.
The whole “you only live once” (YOLO) attitude inspires us to eat and live freely however we want, but only until we realise the damage to our body and mind. Particularly regarding our food choices,” we never know what will happen tomorrow, so let’s live it up today and eat whatever we want? Yes, sure, but only to wake up the following day with a bad hangover and bloated feeling, not to mention the repressed notion of regret.
Therefore, the next sensible thing that people do is get on a diet and stick to an exercise routine; the resolute ones succeed while others get distracted. Similarly, you may find others who would judge you based on the kind of food you have; you know, the ones who would give you side glances whenever you eat a slice of cake.
But if you are amongst the ones who have sworn never to touch junk food and always eat clean, or trying to lose weight, then I can feel your pain. Besides, it is extremely challenging to stay healthy when multiple advertisements tempt you to try out new this or that.
So, what do you do when you have a weight loss goal, and at the same time, your soul is begging to have a bite of something tasty? Well, you eat Panipuri. Yes, now before you dismiss me by saying that it is oily and filled with carbs, I suggest reading the whole column.
Is it really unhealthy?
Pani puri consists of a small ball of mashed boiled potatoes, chopped onions, mango powder, cumin powder, salt, chilli powder, and spicy water of tamarind and mint. Adding too much salt to the mashed potato mixture can be detrimental to weight loss; moreover, there is the factor of being fried in oil.
The puris(balls) are made of semolina and white flour and then kneaded to make a dough, following which it is deep-fried in oil. The same oil is used for frying more puris; deep-frying increases oil absorption, increasing the percentage of trans-fat.
Moreover, the way some street vendors make paani puri is unhygienic, which ultimately adds to its unhealthiness. However, you can avoid this by simply making it at home; if you feel it is way too much work, you can buy the puris at any store, whereas you can make the fillings of mashed potatoes and the tamarind and mint water at home itself.
Home-made paani puris can be a part of your weight loss regime to give your diet a much-needed respite once a week.