Who doesn’t love the variants of the flavours - sweet, sour and spicy, that comes with the Indian street food such as chaats, tikkis, pani puri or golgappa, pakoras, bhel puri, bhajiyas, etc. In fact, it has been favourites for generations. We have so many tempting and mouthwatering choices available in the market and it is perfectly normal to crave for it throughout your pregnancy. But is it safe to eat junk foods like pani puri during Pregnancy? What are junk food effects? Here is what you need to know.
Table Of Contents:
Pani Puri - What Is It?
Pani puri (also called as golgappa) is an absolutely delicious, crunchy, spicy wonder of the Indian food.
Pani puri is made up of deep-fried, crunchy yet hollow puris (which is of about golf ball size) filled with a flavoured water (imli paani), tamarind chutney, chaat masala, chickpeas and potato. Pani is a Hindi word which means water. Pani puri together means a hollow chip filled with water.
Pani puri or golgappa have different names at different states. Here is the list:
Haryana - Paani ke patashe,
Madhya Pradesh - Fulki
Utter Pradesh - Golgappa
West Bengal, Assam, Bangladesh, Nepal - Puchka
Odisha - Gupchup
Gujarat - Pakodi
Bihar, South Jharkhand and Chattisgarh - gup chup
But Puchka differs a bit from pani puri. There is a difference between content and taste of pani puri and puchka. The filling of puchka is made of the boiled gram and mashed potatoes and the taste is tangy and the water is sour and spicy.
Pani puri calories are high. Each plate of pani puri (6 pieces) contains 475 calories and 12.5 g fat approximately.
How To Make Pani Puri?
The puffed puris are readily available in any Indian store or you can prepare it by yourself with the simple pani puri recipes available on the internet.
For the Pani:
Ingredients: Chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander, tamarind, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, cumin seed powder, black salt, salt to taste, chopped jaggery
Soak the tamarind in warm for approximately half an hour. Strain it through a sieve.
Add the tamarind pulp with other ingredients except black salt in a blender and grind it.
Transfer the paste to bowl and add water, black salt and salt.
Since heartburn during pregnancy is common and spicy food can trigger that, you can add jaggery to balance spice level in the pani.
For the stuffing:
In a bowl, add boiled and mashed potato, kala chana, chili powder, chaat masala powder, pani puri masala powder, cumin-coriander powder, coriander leaves and salt.
Mix them together and the pani puri masala or pani puri stuffing is ready.
How to serve:
Stuff the puri with the stuffing and dip it in pani and serve. The tangy, sweet and spicy chaat will make you fall head over heels.
Is Pani Puri Safe During Pregnancy?
Is Pani puri safe for you and your baby or is it one of the foods to avoid during pregnancy? We have clarified it here.
There are absolutely no restrictions for you regarding eating chaat or street foods during pregnancy. But what matter is what you want to eat and where you want to eat. Pani puri or golgappa is not unsafe on its own. But the matter of concern is there are high chances that you might have to encounter the harmful effects such as stomach ache or heartburning during pregnancy due to poor hygiene and unclean water.
During pregnancy, the body becomes highly vulnerable and the chances of you suffering from food poisoning or catching the infections and other ailments is more. And spice in pani puri masala could trigger the acid reflux in your body and cause the heartburning during pregnancy. If at all you catch any of the infections, it becomes inevitable to take medicines and consumption of too much medicines could affect your baby. Hence it is best to avoid eating pani puri or any other chaat on the streets.
However to satisfy your cravings, the best way is to prepare those street foods or chaat at home. You can prepare them with the pani puri recipe given below and also alter them as per your taste buds and your dietary needs. You can use less oil, salt, sugar and make it nutritious by using healthy ingredients.
How To Ensure Street Foods Are Safe During Pregnancy?
There are countless harmful effects of junk food but there is no particular dangerous effect of pani puri or golgappa. Although it doesn’t fall under the category of foods to avoid dring pregnancy, it is best to take a few precautions. Here are a few tips to ensure this heavenly savoury doesn’t affect you or your baby.
Healthy home food is best during pregnancy but if you lack culinary skill or not a crazy fan of cooking and crave for only street food, these tips could come in handy.
1. Search for clean and hygienic place. Get the recommendations from your family and friends or you can even search the food joints online and check for the reviews. It is best to go to the well-reputed eating joints as they are usually clean and hygienic.
2. Testing is always good. If the place is new to you, at first, taste and test a small amount of food. If you are fit and fine after eating as well, you can continue eating there.
3. Water could cause the most harmful diseases and it is best to take precaution about the polluted water. Avoid drinking the water from street vendors. Ensure you carry your own bottle whenever you step out of your house. If you are not comfortable carrying the water bottle from home, opt for packaged drinking water bottles.
4. Avoid uncooked food, partially cooked or raw food because these provide all the necessary environment for the breeding of various microorganisms. And those kind of microorganisms could cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting. So, avoid cut fruits, cut veggies and uncooked food.
5. Avoid raw or uncooked egg items from a street vendor. This could contain salmonella contamination.
6. The Dahi Bhallas fall among the street foods to avoid during pregnancy. Although it seems appetizing and delectable, the sourness in the curd and fermented dal could cause stomach upset and digestion problem.
7. Although aloo tikki and chole bhature could fall in the category of junk food, they pose less junk food effects compared to raw or uncooked food. But they could cause acidity and heartburn during pregnancy.
8. Avoiding the chutneys (pudina, imli chutney) offered by street vendors is best to avoid the harmful effects of junk food.
9. Although the golgappa is many women’s cravings during pregnancy, you should be extra careful during monsoon. During this season, the chances of water contamination are high.
10. Having cheese or paneer related food items from a street vendor is a big no as the quality and freshness of these products are always questionable, especially during your pregnancy.
11. Avoid eating fruits from a roadside stall. Instead cut your favourite and fresh fruits in a home, sprinkle chaat masala on it and give a twist of lemon and enjoy it.
12. Skip the mint and coriander leaves from the street food shops and instead opt for chaat masala instead.
Although pani puri has won millions of hearts till date, you need to take extra care during pregnancy. So, to savour this chaat and also enjoy a healthy pregnancy, opt for home-made panipuri.