What is it with Panipuri and my loyalty towards my favorite street food?
As Chaats, Maha Lactos, Bhelpuris, Golas were getting cornered by pizzas, burgers, Ferrero Rochers in my life, all GolGappa could manage was a less funny name-“PaniPuri.”
I was a champion at “1 Re, 2 Golgappas-Eat as much as you can” competitions. Alas! That was the only trophy I feared flashing at Mom’s face. Trying to disgust each other by describing the imaginary/real wound on the thelawala’s hands and then outrunning everybody on the 1st clink of his bells. Those were the spicy, naughty days… Btw, Naughty mumblings that tummy had to deal with afterwards is a different story altogether. As always. ;)
Then Delhi gave way to many changes and complimentary Paani.<*tears of joy and extra mirch!*>. It didn’t take long before my “what-a-cheapo!” gaze soon turned towards myself saying “What-a-dumbo” who doesn’t ask for her birth right. Her complimentary dirty green paani. Those hot sunny days when every molecule of the body threatened to evaporate, ice cold Singla paanipuri kept my sanity together. Delhi’s paanipuri has surely won my dil forever.
Bangalore is my nest now and thankfully, paanipuri stalls are sprinkled across the city. My daily 10 rupees therapy with delicious ‘puchkas’ and the complimentary “sookha” which has rotten chanas without fail, yet I have never buzzed without claiming it. Victory! ;)
Rates have changed but my little ball of surprise is still a spicy, tangy, non sweet Salsa for my tastebuds. I say ‘surprise’ because filthier the place, tastier the puchkas. ;) I have spent 4 years in Goa and panipuri followed me there also in the nooks and crannys where even hutch dog couldn’t claim to.
Paanipuri is indeed my favorite food and favorite drink. Depends if I am in delhi for the complimentary drink or in Bangalore for those extra puris. ;)