This famed street food has many names: golgappe in the North, puchka in Bengal and pani puri in Maharashtra. It is sold by vendors who have these large earthenware pots covered with a damp red cloth and a glass case filled with crisp puris. Also on a heat source, will you find a large pot in which white peas bubble continuously. All one has to do is stand there and hold a small cup or dish made of dried leaves called patrel and then the vendor starts his assembly: takes one puri, cracks it open on the top to make a small hole and fills it with peas, chutney and then dips it into the spicy water…the puri comes into your bowl dripping with the aromatic water and you have to eat them as fast as the vendor can assemble them…and these guys have speed, managing three to four customers at a time! Once done, just hold up your hand and signal him to stop! He knows how much to charge you per piece though you would have lost count!
Place the dried peas in a deep bowl and wash thoroughly 2 to 3 times. Drain and soak in the same bowl in 4 cups of water overnight. Drain in a colander.
Place a non stick deep pan on high heat and pour in 4 cups (800 ml) of water. Add the turmeric, asafetida and salt. When the water begins to boil add the drained soaked vatana. When the water comes to a boil again, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 30-35 minutesor till the peas are soft.
Mash them slightly. Add chaat masala and sweet date and tamarind chutney and simmer for 10 minutes. This is called ragda. Keep the ragda hot.
To make spicy water, place the fresh mint leaves, fresh cilantro leaves and chiles in a blender jar and blend to a smooth paste. Transfer the paste into a large deep