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Persimon pani puri

This is a bit fiddly and lengthy but is absolutely delicious and well worth the bother. Thanks to my sous chef Kiren Puri for the idea! Lovely as a canapé.
In India they serve these as street food from carts where they will have 20 different 'waters' such as tamarind, mango, mint, and other flavours.
Course: Canapes, Starter
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Kaki fruit, Pani puri, Persimmons, Persimon, Sharon fruit
Servings: 10


  • Deep Fryer or frying pan
  • Kitchen paper


To make the pani puri shells

  • 60 g fine semolina
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 25 ml water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 500 ml vegetable oil

To make the potato filling

  • 1 kilo potatoes, boiled whole with a pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • big pinch coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

To make the tamarind/persimon 'water'

  • 1 persimon, sliced, salted for 12 hours
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste or pulp (mixed with water 1:1)
  • 1 tbsp kimchi juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 green chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch kala nemak, black salt

To make the mint chutney

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, picked
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves, picked
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp chaat masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp kala nemak (black salt)

To garnish

  • handful pomegranate seeds
  • handful finely diced persimons
  • handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped


To make the pani puri shells

  • Mix the semolina, flour, salt and water. Knead well. This should be quite a dry dough. Wrap in cling film. Leave to rest at for half an hour.
  • Roll out the semolina dough thinly. Use a cutter (3cm diameter) or glass to cut out the circles.
  • Prepare a deep fryer or saucepan/frying pan with vegetable oil. Bring to 180ÂșC.
  • Fry the semolina circles, 4 or 5 at a time, in the fryer until they puff up. Then flip over and fry until lightly golden on both sides. Leave to drain on kitchen paper. 10% won't puff up. Just eat them.

To make the potato filling

  • Boil the potatoes whole in their skins in salted boiling water. Drain and skin.
  • Heat up the oil in a frying pan/wok. Add the onions.
  • Add black mustard seeds/cumin/garam masala/garlic to the oil. Make sure nothing burns.
  • Stir in the potatoes, the lemon juice, the coriander. Continue to fry gently together until fragrant.
  • Remove from the heat and when cool enough to handle, make tiny chickpea sized balls of potato. Set aside.

To make the tamarind/persimon 'water'

  • Salt the sliced persimon generously and leave to ferment for 12 hours
  • Use the juice from the persimon and mix with the tamarind.
  • Add kimchi juice if you have it, this adds a sour fermented flavour.
  • Add sugar, green chilli, salt and black salt. You will end up with a tamarind and persimon water. Set aside.

To make the mint chutney

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz it up. As it heats up in a Vitamix/Thermomix type blender, the black turns back to green. Set aside.

To assemble

  • Punch a whole in the top of the puri, press a little ball the size of a chick pea of the potato mixture into the puri shell. Scatter with coriander leaves, persimmon dice and pomegranate seeds. Spoon some of the persimon tamarind water and mint chutney inside and serve quickly. If left too long they will lose their crunch.