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Pani Puri machines by Penguin Engineering

Pani Puri machines by Penguin Engineering
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In almost every street corner and across several eateries, there is a person cracking a hole on the surface of a small puri to stuff it with mashed potatoes and chickpeas, Bondi or peas and dunking it in a pot of chilled, spiced and tangy pani. While we are busy popping these pani puris into our mouth to keep up with the speed at which they are made, we ignore the hygiene involved in making and serving this snack.

Back in 2017, when Aakash Gajjar and Devendra Avhad, managing directors of the Ahmedabad-based Penguin Innovative Engineering went out on their break to enjoy a plate of pani puri, they fell ill and decided this was a challenge for two engineers to solve.

Puri cutter machine

Puri cutter machine
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

The solution: automatic pani puri filling and making machines. “These machines ensure a zero-contact process and last year we also came up with an automatic fryer to complete the cycle,” says Devendra.

The pani puri filling machines are reminiscent of the soda vending machines of yore where a tank is filled with liquid and a nozzle dispenses it. Only on this equipment, it is activated by a sensor and is set to fill the desired quantity of the flavoured water.

Whilst being one of the most popular snacks across the country, it is also personal to each palette. “While some might like just the spicy pani, some might want to add a bit of the sweet and tangy one too. So the quantity of the water one would want can be customised and there is a manual button to start and stop as well,” explains Devendra.

Pani vending machine

Pani vending machine
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

This machine starts at ₹12,000, comes in 45 versions with one to 16 nozzles and a container to store the puris. The coin-operated pani puri ATM machine, which is a popular choice among the company’s clients has six nozzles, potato dispenser and gives out puris one at a time. It also makes ready-to-make pani flavour powders that can be used with mineral water. Some variants also come in the form of carts that can be pushed or attached to the back of a motorbike and are battery operated.

There are close to 50 other machines that mix and knead the dough, flatten it into sheets, cut them into puris, fry and store them. “We are also working on a machine that can pack the puris into bags that can keep them from breaking,” adds Devendra.

Puri fryer

Puri fryer
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Close to 150 filling machines are sold every month and are also exported to Canada, Amsterdam and the United Kingdom. While most of these machines are popular among start-ups, the one-nozzle model has also been purchased by several street vendors. “Traditionalists often don’t prefer these equipment but we have collaborated with a few of them that use our machines to make around two lakh puris in a day,” says Devendra.

Along the lines of bringing about a hygienic way of making and serving street food, the company also manufactures a coin-operated automatic bhelpuri machine that premixes all the ingredients before a nozzle dispenses them at a speed of 30-40 plates per hour.

The bhel even comes in a range of flavours, from Jain bhel, Sukhi bhel and special bhel to a ‘Mexican’ bhel, and — hold your breath — chocolate bhel.

The company also makes sugarcane juice machines, automatic tea machines, and robotic serving arms.

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