Allow me to break down my ultimate food trifectas: First there are the flavor triplets - Sweet, Sour and Spicy. Then there’s the pyramid of texture - Crunchy, Soft and Juicy. Dahi Puri has all of that with an added bonus - it’s topped with Chaat Masala. CHAAT MASALA. My food obsesssion. (I’ve waxed poetic on it here. It doesn’t just deserve its own blog post. It deserves volumes of sonnets dedicated to its wonder.)
Dahi Puri is an Indian snack comprised of small, hollow shells deep fried to a crisp and filled with garbanzo beans or potatoes, which is then topped with a lightly spiced yogurt, tangy tamarind sauce and chaat masala. It’s crunchy, it’s sour, it’s spicy, it’s perfect. You pop the whole thing in your mouth and get hit with liquid and spice the moment you bite down.
Oh, how I love Dahi Puri. The ingredients aren’t difficult to find if you’ve got a local Indian grocery store. To find the shells, just ask for Pani Puri or Dahi Puri shells - they’ll either have a brand name pack or a bag of fresh shells that they make themselves. The concentrated tamarind pulp is a staple in Indian cooking and should be readily available. For the chaat masala, I buy the Shan brand.
You will need:
- Pani Puri/Dahi Puri Shells
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2 tbs tamarind concentrate
- 2 tbs sugar
- chili powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can garbanzo beans or 1 cup boiled, diced potatoes
- chaat masala
For the tamarind sauce, combine the tamarind concentrate with 1/4 cup water and whisk. The tamarind concentrate will be thick, black and gooey. (It’ll take some muscle power to dissolve it in the water, but keep at it.) Add more water as needed until it is of a pouring consistency. Stir in the sugar, a dash of salt and as much chili powder as you think you can handle. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and 1/4 cup water. Add some chaat masala for good measure and set aside.
If using garbanzo beans, rinse well, drain and set that aside, too. There’s no need to season the garbanzo beans or potatoes, but if you like things extra spicy feel free to add a bit of chili powder.
And now for the assembly: Poke a hole on the top of each dahi puri shell. Spoon in the garbanzo beans or potatoes. Drizzle the yogurt on next, then add the tamarind sauce on top of that. Shake a generous amount of chaat masala over the whole lot in a final flourish. Then pop in your mouth and be amazed.