Pani puri
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Dubai: A man in the Indian state of Gujarat has come to the rescue of street food lovers in the country, with his Pani Puri or ‘fried crepe served with vegetables and chutneys’ vending machine, which serves the snack without creating stress over poor hygiene, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The video of the machine went viral this week, with Indian Twitter users thanking him for the invention.

Tweep @HardiSpeaks posted: “Now this is real Indian ingenuity! A Pani Poori vending machine. Call it by any name Gol Gappe, Puchka, Batasa - we love it!”

If there is one street food that Indians seem be missing, due to the pandemic, it is pani puris. The snack that goes by various names such as golgappe, puchka, or pani batashe, consists of a ball-shaped, hollow puri (a deep-fried crisp crepe), filled with a mixture of herb-flavoured water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, mashed potatoes or chickpeas.

With the lockdown restricting street food vendors from selling them, many took to trying to make the snack at home. To solve the problem, a man in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat, developed an automatic pani puri machine which works just like an ATM (automated teller machine). The video that demonstrates how the machine works, is being widely shared by street food lovers in India.

You insert money into the machine, just like you do for a vending machine, and a plate of pani puri comes up on the conveyor belt. Apparently, it is safer, because it minimises contact. According to reports, adequate measures are also being taken to make the machine as hygienic as possible.

Twitter user @ash62404291 posted: “Only a food-loving Indian can think and make an innovative machine like this. Congratulations to the person who invented this…”

And, @Kriti_ThatsME tweeted: “I am in love with this 'Pani Puri ATM'. So innovative. An automated machine for pani puri. Now this is called 'Make in India'.”