Fight Anaemia with Yummy Paani Puri

Street Food is Love

Street food or junk food is something that my fanciest dreams are made of. I totally love snacking on them. Whether it is Mumbai Vada Pav, Lucknow's famous aloo Tikki, Deep fried samosa or the omnipresent Paani Puri.

They not just look sumptuous, taste better but invoke the greatest feeling in all Indians especially. Yes, we women love feasting on Paani Puri. And if we have our way, we would have made Paani Puri our national dish. 

That deep fried shell, filled with scrumptious aloo masala, dunked inside a sweet-hot tamarind water, waiting to pop and burst inside the mouth. Way too tempting, women! 

Way too unhealthy and unhygienic too! 

Well, street food is such a love and I wonder why people associate all bad words like unhealthy unhygienic with it? Too bad for those who do. Little did they know that if prepared smartly, street food can take care of few health issues including deficiency of iron in our [women] body. 

What? Paani Puri, to help in curing Anaemia?

Yes, you read it right. I said, Fight Anaemia with Paani Puri.

Do not look as shocked, just read on...

Women and Anaemia

Anaemia is a deficiency of iron in the body. It happens when the RBC or Haemoglobin [a substance present in blood] has gone down below the normal level. It is like inadequacy of oxygen in your blood and we all know the value of oxygen to conduct a human life. A study conducted in 2015 suggested that 59% of women in India are anemic [Source: Times Of India].

I am anemic and I know how terrible it is. It is like living with continuous pain, fatigue, and deteriorating skin condition. The bad news is that it can lower down the quality of your life. Good news is that it is easily curable and can be maintained with adequate food that is rich in iron.

The iron enriches food like Spinach, Raisins, Broccoli, Oats, Beans, Lentils, Chicken, Beetroot, Almonds, Eggs, Methi, Whole wheat bread, Mushrooms, Fish, Brown rice and more. 

I know a lot of you do not like some of the ingredients as mentioned above or may say, I am vegetarian so fish, chicken is a strict no-no, so is a mushroom!

Well, am not asking you to turn non-vegetarian or start eating vegetables that you always despised. All I am telling you to do is eat Paani Puri!

Eat My Special Paani Puri to overcome anaemia!

well, I have a special recipe here that both vegetarians, non-vegetarians, and even Jain would love to eat. I have curated this recipe in my bid to make people try eating food substance that they may find boring. That included kids who thought Spinach is a bitter vegetable and oats are just too bland. Championing my cause of making kids eat the healthy ingredient via "hidden warfare", helped me ideate this recipe when I was trying to start eating Spinach.

How? Let's check my quick recipe and try it out

Haute Oats Paani Puri 

I have taken few iron enriched ingredients like spinach, finely milled oats, raisins and almonds, beetroot. You can key-in more or different ingredients. Well, the possibility is as endless as your imagination.

The procedure will remain the same, however, ingredients may vary.

For Puris or Golgappa [The shell]

1 cup Finely milled Oats
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 cup Suji/ Rawa
Oil to fry [ You can bake too]

  1. Mix all the above three ingredients together, bind it with little water and make a non-sticky dough.
  2. Take small balls of the dough, roll in a round shape, place it on a rolling plate and with the help of rolling pin, make small, round puris
  3. Deep fry the poori in any oil of your choice. You can try a rice bran oil as well.

For the stuffing
This is purely at your discretion. I have made 2 different types of stuffing here. The first is the simple stuffing wherein I have taken some raisins, fine chopped them and mixed them with some soaked sprouts, almond shavings and thin julienne of beetroot and black carrot [it is very high in iron]

Mix them all together, add some black salt if you like

For the water/Paani

  1. One cup washed, boiled and juiced Spinach
  2. One piece of soaked Tamarind
  3. One Lemon 
  4. Two spoons of Jaljeera powder
  5. Half cup of Pomegranate Juice
Take the watery spinach juice, pomegranate juice and mix the jaljeera powder in it. Crush the soaked tamarind into pulp and add that in the water. Stir with a spoon and check for the taste. The water should taste mildly tangy. You can increase or reduce the tanginess by adding the amount of tamarind. Do not worry if it is slightly bitter like because of spinach. You can add a bit of lemon and some salt to bring it to your liking.

Besides, the raisin filling in the puri will balance it out.

Final serving: Take two shot glasses and fill them with the flavored water. Take the puri and press a small hole on top of it to add the fillings. At this point, let your feelings dominate the fillings and go with the flow. If you are a big potato lover and want to keep experimentation simpler, you can add mashed potatoes, mixed with green herbs like Cilantro and black salt and pour it in your puri.

Place the puris atop the shot glasses and serve.

It will be a great kitty party idea wherein you are having a healthy meal with great visuals and a proposition that all women irrespective of their age will love.

Alternatively, you can change the fillings and serve the puri without the flavored water. {refer the picture below}

Here I have just fine shredded some iron-rich vegetables like beetroot, carrots, red cabbage and mixed them with herbs like crushed basil, cilantro, boiled peas, finely chopped onions, mixed with Almond shavings. I have kept the Panipuris on a plain white plate, you can use any funky plate of your choice. Make a small cavity on the top, add the fillings inside it and sprinkle some chat masala and shredded feta cheese on it.

If tangy is on your mind, add a dash of tamarind chutney at the side to up your plating quotient.

Tadaaa...Enjoy your iron-rich paani puri. And remember, iron deficiency is a serious concern but can be tackled with a little care and loads of imagination wherein you can turn your gluttony into a healthy habit.

Want to share a feedback? Do let me know in the comment box below, along with how did you like this dish.

Bon appetite,

For some interesting iron-rich recipes, check out:  Livogen

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