Everyone’s Favourite Indian Snack - The Golgappa And Its Many Avatars
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy golgappa – and that’s kind of the same thing, no? With this sweltering heat upon us we can’t get our minds off our favourite street eat – the humble golgappa. Christened different things in different states this formidable culinary invention is enjoyed all over the country. With slight variations in recipes and fillings, one can’t deny how universally it is loved and devoured. The beauty of food is that it binds people across age groups, communities, and belief systems. A simple fried orb with fillings and some spicy, tangy sauces has found its place in our hearts, all over the country and maybe even the world.
Here’s what this world famous Indian snack is called in different states:
The thought of a trip to the capital and not having golgappa is simply preposterous. Most of the Northern part of the country (New Delhi, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir) calls this delicacy golgappa or golgappe. Twitter wars have been waged claiming this is the only and rightful name of this delicious street food.
The fillings are usually boiled potatoes, a sweet and spicy imli (tamarind) chutney can be added as per your taste preference and the main water or pani is usually spicy and has mint (pudina) making it oh-so-refreshing!
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even in parts of Nepal, this delicious snack is called Pani Puri. In Bollywood land, Mumbai,
the variation in the filling is the hot ragda/matra/vatana (thick white peas curry) while in Madhya Pradesh, there will likely be a potato mash added.
You can also savour hygienic, fresh pani puris right at home with Paper Boat Pani Puri pellets. Easy to make (simply fry or pop in microwave) and the taste is as authentic as the one from your favourite pani puri wala!
In Gujarat, there’s yet another variation where finely diced potatoes with some boiled moong are added and the sweet chutney could be made with dates.
Also typically, boondi is added to the paani giving it that something extra whiff of carefree days and memories.
Plot-twist! Turns out in some parts of Gujarat, pani puri is infact called pakodi (not related to pakoda but yum nonetheless). Here, Sev (best translated as small crunchy noodles) are added to the chaat in some places. Pakodis generally include onions and exclude the sweet chutney and are known to be quite filling.
West Bengal, Assam, and parts of Bihar and Jharkand call this delicious snack Puchka or Fuchka – a name we find endlessly cute! Here the shell or puri is usually made with atta and boiled chickpeas/gram and mashed potatoes constitute the fillings.
Puchkas are usually bigger in size and the puris could also be of a slightly darker shade. The chutney is more tangy than sweet and might also be made using the juice of the Gondhoraj lime (also known as ‘king of lemons’, it’s a fruit native to Bengal). Guess what other fun fact we came across in our research? Apparently in some parts of Kolkata, puchka vendors might add mashed bananas to puchkas too! 🤯
Pani Ke Batashe/Patashe
Golgappas are called Pani ke batashe in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Similar in taste to it’s cousin next door – the golgappa - these pani ke batashe are stuffed with boiled white peas and potatoes and served with sweet and sour water and are said to be just as sumptuous. Paper Boat also has a Golgappa Pani Mix (teekha and meetha) which comes as a concentrate and is incredibly flavourful, just the way you like it. You can mix at home and have your very own Pani ke batashe at your ease!
Not a Bollywood movie name (but we can see why you’d think so) but a wholesome snack instead, the golgappa is called Gup Chup in parts of Odisha, South Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Hyderabad, and Telangana owing to the sounds that are produced while devouring this treat. Gup Chup generally consists of boiled chickpeas/white peas and the usual spicy water, while it skips the potatoes making it a bit of a lighter snack in these parts of the country.
In other parts of India golgappas are also called Padaka (Aligarh), Tikki (Madhya Pradesh), Phulki (Some parts of Gujarat, MP and UP). And in conclusion, might we add - call it whatever you please, but hand us a plate right now! God it’s been difficult writing this while salivating all along.