I love food. My parents may not agree because I complain a lot about many items, but on the whole, I enjoy eating.
The list of my favourite foods is quite long. But among the top contenders is pani puri. It is simply engaging, and delightfully so. I crave it often. I dream of the puri rising out of the waters with a calm swish, but the composure is quite misleading. I know that the ragada is lying in wait to enchant and entertain.
(do not own the image)
First, there is that crunch of the puri...It rocks your heart and even while you are trying to bite into that puri, you smile and laugh and you feel an absurd pleasure. Then the puri bursts into your mouth and fills it with the tamarind and chilli water. It's sweet, spicy and cold. You can taste a hint of pudeena and then it's gone but it lingers like an afterthought. Then comes the ragada. It is coarse and large but warm. Sweet and spicy. Hot and cold. Crunchy and soft. It is a gastronomic pleasure. The delight of a gourmet and the secret pleasure of the gourmand.
So before you shoot out of the door to your nearest pani-puri wallah, here are my top 3 places for Pani puri in Pune:
1. Pastures (MG Road, Camp)
The chaat is a wonder. It truly is. A bit on the higher side, but the food is totally worth it.
2. Ganesh Pani-Puri (next to Durga in Kothrud)
If you are a Punekar and don't know where Durga is, you probably have been living on Mars or under a rock for the past few years.
The pani puri taste varies, but generally, it is awesome.
3. Kalyan Bhel (Canal Road)
Beautiful pani puri. A bit expensive, but who cares?