Google is currently commemorating Pani Puri, a beloved street food from South Asia, through an interactive doodle game. Pani Puri, also known as Golgappa, Puchka, or Fulki in various regions of India, is a crispy shell filled with potatoes, chickpeas, spices, and flavored waters. In this game, users can assist a street vendor in fulfilling Pani Puri orders by selecting different flavors and quantities to match each customer’s preferences. The doodle celebration is in line with Google’s tradition of marking special occasions. Notably, on this day in 2015, a restaurant in Indore, Madhya Pradesh achieved a World Record by serving 51 different flavors of Pani Puri, under the guidance of Masterchef Neha Shah. To honor this spicy affair, Google decided to create a vibrant doodle.
Pani Puri’s origins can be traced back to the Indian subcontinent, particularly the northern regions, although its exact beginnings are uncertain. According to the folklore of the epic Mahabharata, Draupadi, one of the central characters, showcased her resourcefulness by creating Pani Puri to feed her five husbands with limited ingredients. The dish consisted of puris filled with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and flavored water, impressing everyone with her culinary skills.
Historically, Pani Puri, known as ‘phulki,’ originated in the ancient city of Magadh, now located in Bihar, India. Initially, it was a snack enjoyed by wealthy and aristocratic families. Over time, it gained popularity and underwent regional variations as it spread throughout the country.
Some accounts suggest that during the 12th century, Pani Puri made its way to the Indian subcontinent through Afghanistan and Persia during Mahmud of Ghazni’s reign. In Bengal, it was referred to as “phuchhka,” while in Odisha, it was known as “gup chup.” In these regions, the puris were smaller and crisper compared to other parts of India.
In the 19th century, Pani Puri gained immense popularity on the streets of North India, particularly in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It quickly became a beloved street food snack due to its delicious taste, affordability, and convenience. Street vendors would set up small stalls or carts offering a variety of ingredients, attracting customers with the enticing sound of crispy puris being filled with delectable stuffing.
Pani Puri has now become an integral part of Indian street food culture, cherished by millions worldwide. It continues to evolve and adapt to different tastes and preferences. According to Google, regardless of the various fillings and flavored waters available to suit individual palates, two things are universally agreed upon: consuming Pani Puri quickly to prevent the puris from getting soggy or leaking, and devouring it in one bite to avoid any crumbly mess.
|Uttar Pradesh||Paani Ke Batashe/Phulki/ Patashi/Padaka|
|Maharashtra||Pani Puri/ Padaka|
|Jammu & Kashmir||Gol Gappe|
Don’t forget to enjoy the Pani Puri game!