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.