When I moved to India, it took me quite a while to get used to certain foods. (Some I just totally did not get used to at all but very few!)

One of the things that had to grow on me were Golgappas (Pani Puri). They are like little crispy balls made of flour which are completely hollow. You fill them with some boiled potato and spicy water and try to shove the whole thing in your mouth without spilling the water all over your clothes.

In India they are a very popular snack, sold on the streets. And amongst some of the least safe things to eat as a tourist.. For that matter they are not even that safe to eat for locals either; especially during Monsoon they can make you quite sick if the water is contaminated.

But I was never particularly careful, so used to gorge on these (once I got used to the flavour) no matter what season. In India you get two types of water; sweet water which is maroon in colour, and green water which is a bit more sour and hot. Although both types are very spicy and can set you on fire properly!

So the other day I was craving a snack and discovered that some shops around my flat in London actually sell boxes of them! You get a jar of spicy paste to mix in water, and a big box of ready made crispy flour balls. Not expecting too much, I took them home, boiled some potatoes and mixed the spice paste with water. It hardly took any time and soon we started stuffing our faces. My husband and I must have eaten at least 20 each (it was a big box!)..

I must say, although ironically you always want to eat exactly that which is not available, no matter where you are (or at least this is true for me!), London is not such a bad place… If you look hard enough, you can probably find just about anything in terms of food. And often right under your nose as well! The shop I found the golgappas in is just around the corner from my flat. And until maybe two weeks ago I did not see the inside of it. But one day I was bored and just wandered in, only to discover that it was pretty much like walking into an ordinary neighbourhood every day needs store in India!

After blowing a load of cash on spices and food that we didn’t really need, I got home, you should have seen the look on my husband’s face when presented with some Maggi Masala instant noodles. It’s strange, the things you miss when you move…



  1. odzer Said:

    I like Golgappas, the best one’s I ever had were in Calcutta. This is really a food that is unique, I am not really certain if any other culture has something as similar. Though one should never make the mistake of biting one…..

  2. hedonist666 Said:

    That reminds me. We tried to make my mom try one 🙂 She kept protesting that it’s too big and wont fit in her mouth. And we said no you have to do it in one go it has WATER in it! And well.. she bit into it anyway. You can imagine the mess that caused!

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