Pani puri recipe gets a Mexican Indian fusion makeover! Here, the puris are filled with Mexican food - beans & salsa to give this vegan Asian snack a whole new flavor! Makes for a crunchy, tasty snack that's loved by all!
We need cooked kidney beans first. You can use canned beans or cook dry beans separately, beforehand.
Then we need to blanch the tomatoes. For this, trim off the stems and cut a small "x" into the bottom of each tomato. Then, put the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and let them cook for 30-40 seconds. Then, use tongs to transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water so that they stop cooking. Then peel off the skin. Once the tomatoes have cooled down, blend them into a smooth puree.
Add olive oil to a pan and fry minced garlic till it turns light golden.
Then transfer the blanched tomato puree to the pan and cook on medium flame. Let it come to a boil. This could take 3-4 minutes. At this point, take out half a cup of this sauce in a bowl and keep it aside. We will add it to the salsa for a more saucy texture.
Next put in the cooked kidney beans to the pan, stir and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped cilantro and mix it with the gravy.
Then add the spices and seasonings like salt, garam masala, paprika, and sugar. Stir it all in together and cook for another 2 minutes before taking it off the flame. Allow it to cool down.
To make salsa
Add very finely chopped onions to a mixing bowl.
Then put in very finely chopped tomatoes.
Next, add the chopped bell peppers to the bowl.
Mince garlic and jalapeno and then add it to the bowl.
Chopped cilantro goes in next.
Lastly, add tomato ketchup, salt, oregano, coconut aminos or soya sauce, sugar, crushed black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, and the reserved tomato sauce from before. Mix it all together. Keep it aside for now.
To assemble the Mexican Pani Puri
Only when it's time to serve, lightly crack the top of the puri using your finger or a spoon.
Using a small spoon, fill all the puris with the beans mixture.
Follow by adding the prepared salsa in a similar way.
While making the tomato sauce, it's important to blanch the tomatoes first and peel the skin off. That's because the skin has a slightly bitter flavor and texture that we don't want in the creamy sauce. Omit to add garlic in the recipe if you don't like it.While small kidney beans are preferred for this recipe, you can also use regular sized kidney beans/rajma or even black beans here. If using canned beans, then you can add it directly to the sauce.In case you are using dry beans, soak them overnight and then pressure cook them in salt + turmeric water. Give it 4 whistles. The final consistency of this sauce is a personal choice. You like it thin, add some water along with the beans. You can make it into a thin salsa or blender salsa for this recipe if you want the pani puri effect. You can also make a small batch of the actual flavored water (pani) if you want. If you wish to then also add a tbsp of lemon juice to the salsa for that extra zing.I prefer using coconut aminos over soya sauce because it is non-GMO and MSG-free. If you get ready puris from the grocery store, no need to cook it. They are ready to eat.As I mentioned before, you can prepare the beans and salsa in advance and store it in the fridge. But start assembling the Mexican Pani Puri only when you are ready to eat. Otherwise, they will get soggy if you make them in advance.Add some grated vegan cheese on top and microwave it for 10 seconds for the cheese to melt and you have cheesy Pani Puri!BTW, you can also make Mexican Sev Puri using these ingredients. For that, you would need flat puris. Then layer the beans and salsa on top and enjoy.Other alternatives are, using Ritz crackers, bread slices, ramekins, or mini poppadums.