How colour boosts your perception of food – Pani Puri Revolution.



We need to trigger all our five senses before we start our food. We eat first with our eyes and the rest of our senses follow.

Colour is often the first element noticed in the appearance of a food product. Humans begin to associate certain colours with various types of foods from birth, and equate these colours to certain tastes and flavours throughout life. For example, we may expect yellow pudding to have a banana or lemon flavour. In fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, we rely on the colour to determine their level of ripeness or freshness. If the colour of a food product does not match our expectations, we may perceive its taste and flavour differently.

1) Plating requires the balancing of multiple elements on a single plate:

  • flavour
  • colour
  • texture
  • shape
  • complexity
  • symmetry and asymmetry

2) Vibrant and contrasting colours naturally attract. You want diners to anticipate every bite, and engineering the plate in such a way that complementary textures and flavours enliven each bite ensures that element of surprise.

3) Plating styles are influenced by current trends in cuisine and culture. There are countless plating styles ( will discuss in detail in future blogs) in use today, and it takes serious focus and practice to create or define your own plating style.

4) Guide food into place, and don’t try too hard — you want things to look naturally artful, but not overdone.

In this tutorial we are contrasting colours in a simple Panipuri with bloody Mary cocktail.

The combination of tangy sweet chutney with potato, beans and that green masaledar water, is a taste like no other. The humble pani puri – whose origins are widely contested and mostly unknown – has truly crossed all land boundaries and is a household name in almost any region of the world. So much so that its variations over the years have lent themselves to killer gourmet fusions, alcohol mixers and even some desserts! Here we are doing the best gastronomic transformations of the pani puri with bloody mary. Instead of potato we are using spiced couscous, and for panis( water) green chutney, tamarind chutney and orange juice pani. Puris are readly available in Indian grocery stores.


Spiced couscous pani puri with bloody mary cocktail

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Spiced couscous


couscous- 175 g
cinnamon, cumin- ½ tsp each
vegetable stock – 300 ml
handful cherry tomatoes, halved and raisins
lemon juice only – half a lemon
drizzle olive oil
small handful coriander leaves, chopped


  • Mix the couscous with the spices in a bowl, pour over the hot stock, then cover and leave to stand for 5 mins.
  • Mix tomatoes and raisins into couscous, fork in the lemon juice, oil and coriander. Pile onto puris and garnish with mint leaves
  • Crack the puri with a spoon and fill in the spiced couscous, add panis of your choice and serve immediately.


Orange juice pani
Orange juice: 1 ½ cup
Salt: to taste
Roasted cumin powder: ¼th teaspoon
Paani puri masala: 1 teaspoon
Pudina chopped: 2 teaspoon
Lemon: ½
Amchur powder: 1/4 teaspoon

Combine all ingredients together and orange pani is ready to serve.


Tamarind chutney


tamarind, seeded- 200 grams
sugar – 2 cups
2 cups boiling water
roasted ground cumin seeds –  1 ½ teaspoon
salt – to taste
black salt – 1 tablespoon
red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
ground black pepper – 1 teaspoon
ginger powder – ½ tablespoon

1) Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in boiling water for one hour.

2) Mash it into a pulp and strain, pressing the tamarind into the strainer to remove all the pulp.

3) Add sugar to the pulp.

4) Mix well and add the remaining ingredients.

5) Add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed.


Bloody Mary cocktail

Ice cubes

4 fluid ounces tomato juice

1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka

1/4 fluid ounce fresh lemon juice

4 dashes hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 pinch salt and ground black pepper


1 stalk celery, for garnish

Add all ingredients to list

Fill a short glass with ice. Set aside. Combine tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and 1 cup ice in a mixing glass. Stir until chilled and strain into ice-filled short. Garnish with a celery stalk.

119 thoughts on “How colour boosts your perception of food – Pani Puri Revolution.

    • First of all sorry for a late reply, was away for a while. Thanks for your beautiful bunch of words. Enjoying our for is really an art. So many factors influence on that. From atmosphere to even the weight of our cutlery’s and crockery’s. And very nice meeting you. Can’t get access to your blog for some reason. I am pretty sure your blog should be a very valuable one. Regards Sumith.


  1. Wow what a beautiful click, never ever seen Pani puri clicked in this way. May be I can clear my doubts all about food photography to you. Your blog is interesting, do stop by my blog, hope my blog would be interesting and worth spending your precious time 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to Confess, I’ve never eaten a pani puri, Watch these being devoured in a single bite(on bollywood tv series/movies, haha). This is the 1st I’ve seen this dish so attractively presented, hats off to you. On my to try dishes, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sumith you are absolutely right, colour has a huge part to play in how we perceive food. In European cuisines, blue food is thought of as weird and therefore suspicious….and that would make a diner feel that the food would not taste good. I wonder if any psychologists have studied this, it is such an interesting topic. BTW I really LOVE a good Bloody Mary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Herschelian, you made the it more colourful. I never know about that suspecious facts about blue food. Will keep this in mind for my future reference. That could be an interesting subject for a research. And bloody one of my favourites as well.


  4. Lovely clicks. You have made everyone reading thsi post drool. What a revolution in making pani for the puri, didn’t stop there even in the stuffing you have done a big revolution. Liked your idea and the presentation. Wow you truly are a professional. Like the colour vibrance in the picture.need to learn from you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s a revolutionary fusion, Sumith, Panipuri with Vodka 😮. I am saying, proudly, that I’m a big Panipuri lover.I have tasted many types of Panipuri through out the India. But, have never tasted it with orange juice and Vodka. My mouth is watering to take the taste of it. Beautiful presentation with lovely photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wao Sumith it’s always awesome to read your blog and admire your pictures. You make food looks so beautiful and undoubtedly it will be delicious. I simply love Pani Puri and you know Uttar Pradesh has one of the best shops for Pani Puri & Chaat :).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, what a fantastic post.
    Pani puri itself is mouthwatering and you have added such a new twist to it, this makes me want to try out that orange pani for the puri, awesome ideas put forth, thanks.
    Yup, for me also the food served has to have all the aspects for us to want to go after it, the appearance and aroma draws us towards it, the flavors and texture makes us go for the second bite, loved your post and the food pictures in it, Sumith👍🏻.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ash thank you:) Game in food is amazing!! It’s we choose what we can twist, more your passion in it more you will explore. Few more nice combinations with that pani puri are grape juice pani, guava pani, chass pani etc…Let’s explore it more😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Sumith for suggestion of more combinations, but first need to try the orange pani:) and see how it tastes and whether accepted. One gets used to the regular tastes of any particular food and trying out something new is successful only if accepted by those who are gonna eat it, (read kids), hence will first try out the orange 🙂 and maybe the grape too. The sweet chutney may not be required for the orangepani!
        I absolutely loved this pani idea of yours :), hence thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Very interesting article, actually right this morning I was thinking what a shame it is when people only focus on flavour when cooking (even though it still is the most important thing) instead of considering colours, texture etc. as well. I just need to fall in love with my food even before I taste it… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I remember being taught in my first Home Economics (as cookery was called in the 70s) that the LOOK of the food was the most important thing. I was uncertain that this was true but eventually conceded that if it tasted as good as it looked and it looked fabulous then it was sure to be a winner. Your tutorial is SO much better …. Because you begin with the fact that FIRST it must look good and boy oh boy this looks amazing! Stunning in fact and I am certain the taste doesn’t disappoint

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Osyth, thank you. Flavour and presentation should float in the same boat. I remember in my cruise ship life we used to deliver this in a great way. We used to switch off the lights in the captains midnight buffet after a 10 minute wait in the restaurant, Just to drop their sense organs down and trigger them one by one in order with lights – for eyes, music for ears – grills for nose, touch -by the warm welcome and finally the taste with the food. Food always used to be the winner!! We does that ever week. But still we used to get goosebumps in that introduction. I have done a previous post on that in my blog – cruise ship midnight gala buffet.


    • Hi Divya, thank you. If you have a passion you will enjoy food plating. Creativity is just connecting things!! After a while of close observation of food you will start connecting things. Looking forward to see your accomplishments😊


  10. Sumith, fantastic article. would like to explore every recipe. Moreover, Panipuri reminds me of the movie”Queen”. Kangana could hv earned more if she had read this blog 👌👌.
    But, I must say one thing, Panipuri or Phuchka( in Bengali) tastes best in Kolkata only. Sumith, again…Howrah bridge+ Puchka…soch lijiye😆😆

    Liked by 4 people

  11. What an excellent article you wrote, loved the lines “We eat first with our eyes and the rest of our senses follow” When my wife makes Biryani she does separate out some rice which she would color and then mix it with the big lot, same with the essence. These are so big value add, the color and aroma are so important factors in food. Keep posting, wish someday could get to try some cooked by you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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