India is a destination that is synonymous with royal palaces and forts, jungles full of tigers and of course a delectable array of food. No trip to India is really complete without trying the food but in particular the offerings of the street food stalls.

Indian street food, as with most places, is extremely vibrant, incredibly fragrant and packed full of glorious flavours. The great thing is that it varies so much from stall to stall and region to region. You can dine right the way from breakfast through to lunch and dinner – with a few snacking opportunities in between – on foods such as parathas, tandoori chicken, kahthi rolls, aloo tikki, pakoras, and samosas. All accompanied by some masala chai.

The wonderful thing about street food is that it is prepared and created right in front of you. You can really create a connection that allows you to get an insight into the chef’s culture and background.

One of my absolute favourite street foods from India is this ‘gol gappa’. It has a few different names depending on whereabouts in the Indian Subcontinent you eat it. From gol gappa, pani puri to puchka with the fillings all varying slightly. At home, my mother loves to feed us the following variation listed below. In fact, it is a recipe that is loved by friends and colleagues at Steppes too.

Ingredients

The following will make 24 servings of gol gappa.

Pastry:

  • Self-raising flour
  • Semolina flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Pinch of nigella seeds
  • 20ml water – enough to help bring your dough together

Filling: Feel free to have some fun with the filling and substitute the below depending on what you have in the fridge/cupboards.

  • 1 x potato – boiled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas – drained
  • 1/2 red onion – diced
  • 1/2 red pepper – diced
  • 1/2 green pepper – diced
  • 1 green chilli – you can add more if you can handle the heat
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tamarind sauce
  • Oil to deep fry the pastries

Sauce:

  • 60ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 20ml tamarind sauce
  • 3tsp lemon juice
  • Some coriander to garnish

Method

For the pastry:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, apart from the water
  2. Once combined add water slowly, little by little to help bring your dough together
  3. Keep the dough mixture in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rest for an hour
  4. Portion your dough into small balls to roll out onto a surface
  5. Roll out so that it is around 1-2mm thick – the thinner the dough, the crispier the pastry
  6. Once rolled out, use a 68mm pastry cutter to get your pastry rounds
  7. Once your oil is hot, pop in your pastry rounds, two at a time to ensure they have enough room to move around. Once they turn golden, turn over.
  8. Remove from the oil and leave to rest on some kitchen towel

For the filling:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl – yes, it’s that easy!

For the sauce:

  1. Mix the sauces and lemon juice together, you can amend the quantities of the sweet chill and tamarind and lemon to change the consistency as you wish

Now to construct:

This is the fun bit. Crack a little hole in the top of your pastry so that you can add your filling – enough to fill the pastry up – and then add the sauce on top. You have two options, construct yourself or let your diners build themselves for a little fun and drama at the table.

When constructed the challenge is to then put the whole of your gol gappa into your mouth in one go!

If you tried this recipe, we’d love to see how you got on – share your pictures with us on Facebook and Instagram, and tag us!

Thanks for reading

Nadia Hussain, Kenya

Author: Nadia Shahanaz Hussain