Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Masala Puri/Poori

Masala Puri/poori is a popular south Indian chat/street food you will find in every nook and corner of the city. It is not only restrained to south, but spread over into rest of the country gaining its distinct local name. It is now popular in Pakistan and Bangladesh. We, Kannadigas call it ‘Masala Puri/poori’. Chats are an endless craving for anyone and hard to resist as you walk past the street filled with warm, rustic aroma! So now you know what to savor next time you are in the IT capital of India, Bangalore. Trust me you will thank me for having said this. It is a favorite with everyone irrespective of age group.

Masala Puri is deep fried crushed crispy puris soaked in scrumptious, spicy, thick gravy with green peas and garnished with sev, onion, and grated carrot, finish it with by sprinkling a pinch of chaat masala to add that extra spark with a dash of lemon in it. ‘Masala’ is ground fine paste (or powder) of spices/herbs, ‘Puri’ is unleavened deep fried Indian bread. There are two mainly two versions of pooris- soft and crispy. Soft pooris/kachoris are made with flour/whole wheat flour similar to chapathi but are deep fried and commonly served for breakfast or as light meal. Crispy puffed puri goes to the making of chats/snacks.

My cousin’s fight over the last bite and bargain with mom for that little extra pamper as she was youngest in the group and to wipe the bowl clean is all the joy to savor this delicious, rustic dish. Our evening walk to the stall a few blocks away from home and gossiping in the group, waiting in queue decades ago is long gone make me feel nostalgic now. Home delivery services have made things easier.

 It is a wholesome filling meal in itself as it has all veggies, peas, and fried puris though it is consumed as snack. I tried to recreate this deliciously rich, scrumptious savory snack at the comfort of my kitchen to match the unbeatable taste of our street vendors, I think I can confidently claim I succeeded in this but slight variation is always acceptable.

Pooris are readily available in Asian stores or you can make ahead at home and store in airtight container. I make my thin, crispy pooris from scratch simply because the result is fresh, crispy, homemade puris and that’s the fun of cooking at home. If you would like to try your hands on it click here for recipe Puri/Poori  .
    For Paani Puri/Golgappa recipe click on the link paani-puri/golgappa/puchkas  


For Garnish

20-25 Puris
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 tbsp grated carrot
½ cup sev
1tsp chat masala

For Masala

1 inch ginger, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic
2 green chillies
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
½ bunch coriander
Spices (1” cinnamon, 3 cloves, 8-10 peppercorn)
2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste

1 large potato
1 cup dry green peas (soaked overnight)


Step1: Pressure cook soaked peas and potato adding 2 cups water and salt for 1 whistle, strain, set aside to cool. Don’t discard water.

Step 2: Dry roast spices and transfer to blender/mixer. Add 1 tsp oil to the same pan and fry ginger, garlic, chilies, onion, tomato and until raw aroma vanish for 2-3 minutes in medium heat. Let it cool, add to blender with spice, coriander and grind to fine paste using the strained water.

Step 3: To the above paste add ½ of cooked peas and peeled potato and whiz everything to fine paste.

Step 4: Transfer the ground paste to sauce pan and add the saved water to make medium consistency masala. We need slightly thick consistency gravy, please refer picture below.

Step 5: Bring it to boil, add coriander powder, salt and cook for 8- 10 minutes in medium low heat. Add the remaining green peas, adjust consistency, cook for 2-3 minutes, and turn off.

Step 6: To assemble, place 5-6 pooris on plate, gently crush them by pressing with your palm. Pour a ladle full of masala over the pooris, garnish with onion, tomato, carrot, sev and sprinkle chat masala, serve hot with lemon wedges. Be generous with masala and enjoy!