Love Pani Puri But Afraid Of The Calories? Try These 3 Mouth-Watering Recipes

shutterstock_367722287 We Indians love our pani puris - also known as gol gappas, puchkas or gup shup. The mere thought of it can evoke a flood of memories and the feel-good factor in the lovers of this tangy little ball of gustatory pleasure. Pani puri is not the uncrowned king of street snack for no reason. We can control our pizza cravings, but the mere sight of gol gappas can melt the resolve of even the staunchest of weight-watchers. This pocket-friendly, made-in-India delight is easily available, and by popping a pani puri into your mouth, you release a whirlwind of flavours and end up feeling ecstatic. From a toddler who can just about manage to have one crunchy puri minus the filling or tangy water, to the septuagenarian who probably needs dentures to bite into them, pani puri has that X-factor that makes us go back to them, again and again. Let’s face it—nobody can stop with one and without sukhi puri at the end, the sense of satiation does not set in. Pani puri and healthy in the same sentence might seem like an oxymoron but what is the point of abstinence if we are not allowed to cheat once in a while? As the saying goes, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”! Pani puri is to its fan, what play is to Jack. Luckily for us, despite pani puri being one of those ‘guilty pleasures’ that a dietician would warn you about (for the empty calories), it can find mention in the list of occasional treats. You can give it a healthy spin with few little tweaks. Nutritional facts of pani puri  The calorie count for a plate of 5 or 6 pani puris is 150- 180 calories. This accounts for 5% of a 2000- calorie daily value diet. Daily value (DV) is the number of calories you need in one day. The fried dough, oil and potatoes account for most of the calories. Eliminating potatoes from the filling alone can reduce the calorie count to 80. That being said, boiled potatoes are really not as bad as they are made out to be. They are high in fiber and rich in potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B-complex and vitamin C. One plate of pani puri has about 4 grams of fat, out of which 2 grams is saturated fat. Reducing the fat would require minimising the oil content that the puris are fried in. So when you eat pani puri , you are consuming 6% of the 65-gram fat DV and 10% of the 20-gram saturated fat DV. There is no or very less cholesterol in pani puri. So there is no need to worry about bad cholesterol or LDL. shutterstock_348303530 A plate of pani puri has 210 milligrams of sodium, mostly from the salt. Sodium is required to balance the fluids in our body and it plays an important role in the removal of excess carbon dioxide accumulated in the body. Some of the other benefits of sodium include maintaining normal contractions in heart, controlling kidney reactions and facilitating glucose absorption. For healthy individuals, sodium DV level is 2400 milligrams. 5 to 6 pani puris cover 9% of the daily sodium requirement. One serving with potato filling has 2 grams of protein and 18 grams of carbohydrates. Pani puri is usually served with tamarind water or mint water. In Ayurveda, tamarind is attributed to have properties that aid in digestion, helps ease stomach discomfort, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and it is effective as a laxative. The wonder of wonders, it also aids in weight loss. Mint leaves too help soothe stomach problems, particularly indigestion and flatulence, and also act as a palate cleanser and mouth freshener.   3 mouth watering and healthy recipes of pani puri One of the tweaks that can make a significant difference to the calorie count is replacing the fried puri with a low-fat baked puri. It is hard to find baked puri in the street stalls, but they are super easy to make at home. Phyllo cups can also be used instead of puris as they made with flour and olive oil or white vinegar. They are available in most of the supermarkets and have longer shelf lives than puris. Click on the next page for 3 healthy recipes of pani puri! shutterstock_200694014 How to make baked puri at home Ingredients
  • Wheat flour- 200g
  • Salt- ½ tsp.
  • Oil for greasing- ½ tsp.
  • Combine all the ingredients and knead into stiff dough with water.
  • Keep it aside for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions and roll them into puri shape.
  • Arrange them on a baking tray which has been greased with a little oil.
  • Bake the puris in a pre- heated oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees C.
  • Let the puris cool down before use. You can prepare more than you need for one serving as the excess puris can be refrigerated.
Now that the base is sorted, here are three fillings to make your pani puri experience healthy and guilt free. (Ingredients are for one plate with 5- 6 puris) 1. Fruity pani puri This recipe is a twist of flavours because potatoes have been replaced with chopped fruits and the spicy fruity water flavours add a knockout punch. Ingredients For pani
  • Orange juice- ¼ cup
  • Apple juice- ¼ cup
  • Chopped mint leaves- 1/3 tsp.
  • Chaat masala, jeera powder, black salt and salt - to taste
Divide the mint leaves and powdered spices into two equal portions and blend well with the two juices separately. Refrigerate for some time. For the filling
  • One small apple  - chopped into tiny pieces
  • Sprouted green gram – a handful
  • Pomegranate pearls – two tablespoons
  • Chaat masala and salt - to taste
Method Mix the ingredients together just before serving. Put a spoonful of filling into each of the baked puris and serve with the fruity pani. For a fun twist, you can serve the pani in disposable syringes, without the needles of course, for them to be injected into the puris before eating. Or you can use shot glasses too. shutterstock_76395079 2. Dahi puri Curd based snacks are always refreshing and filling. They are a delicate balance of sweet and sour, chilled and always leave you craving for more. Ingredients For the dahi
  • Homemade curd- ¾ cup (use skimmed milk or low-fat milk)
  • Chaat masala- ¼ tsp.
  • Red chilli powder- ½ tsp.
  • Roasted cumin powder- ½ tsp.
  • Salt to taste
For filling
  • Boiled green gram dal- ¼ cup
  • Boiled potatoes- ¼ cup
  • Onion – chopped (about two teaspoons)
  • Tamarind and date chutney- ½ cup
  • Green coriander chutney- ½ cup
  • Garlic chutney- ½ cup
  • For Garnishing
  • Sev- ¼ cup
  • Few coriander leaves
Method Beat the curd in a separate bowl and then mix in all the powdered spices together. You can make this a day or two earlier and refrigerate it. Keep two teaspoons of the tamarind and date chutney aside and mix the rest of the ingredients together. Crack a small hole in the puri to fill it with the stuffing.  Arrange the puris on a plate and pour the dahi on top. Garnish with the chutney, sev, coriander leaves before serving.     3. Green peas pani puri Add green peas to your pani puri for a lip-smacking dish!  Green peas do contain some amount of starch and natural sugars, but these little nuggets of goodness also contain phytonutrients known for their excellent protective, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Falling under the category of legumes, green peas are also very low in fat and rich in vitamins, minerals and, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You surely do not need more reasons to try this recipe out, do you? Ingredients
  • Green peas  - ½ cup, boiled and coarsely mashed
  • Finely chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves – 2 teaspoons of each
  • Ghee – ¼ teaspoon
  • Mint and yoghurt dip – 1 cup OR Mint infused tamarind water -  2 cups
  • Chaat masala powder- ¼ teaspoon (optional)
  • Salt – to taste
Method Heat ghee in a non-stick frying pan and add the chopped onions and tomatoes. Once these are sautéed, add the coarsely mashed green peas. Toss for few minutes, and sprinkle salt and chaat masala. Put a large spoonful of the filling in the puri, top with mint and yoghurt dip and garnish with chopped coriander before serving. If you do not want to use dip, you can serve the puris on a plate and the tamarind water in a bowl.   There is no “right time” to have pani puri. You can indulge yourself with any of these recipes anytime during the day. But due to the comparatively higher salt content, even on your cheat days, it is advisable to not have traditional Pani puri in the evenings, or as pre or post workout snacks, as it can cause water retention in your body. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.

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