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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Celebrating Poori - Bhaji

Celebrating Poori Bhaji

Anita of A Mad Tea Party has asked us to enjoy poori - bhaji declaring it as the national favorite. I second that, with no guilt. In spite of being a greasy item, the puffed, fried bread tempts every Indian from little tykes to old ones. (If you do avoid pooris, to be healthy, then GOOD for you).

Poori has been a favorite food, all my life. From my student days - to this day, my love for these puffed balls has remained unchanged. During my student days, I used to eagerly wait with my mouth watering for the lunch period when I had a box of pooris and also remember very well how I hated to share that yummy stuff with my friends. Now, my little one shares the same enthusiasm. When I am preparing the pooris, my little one peeks into the kitchen and asks with an anticipation 'Mama, what are you doing? Pooris ?'. When I give answer affirmatively, she goes with the next one 'For me, mama?'. I nod and she immediately hugs me and thanks me, which she really means. :)

My kasoori methi pooris and potato bhaji are ready for the party.


Kasoori Methi Poori

Note: Indian wheat flour sold under the name chapathi / roti atta at Indian grocery shops works best for most of the Indian breads including this poori. We generally knead dough by hand, but a food processor can also be used. The quantity of water added to make the dough also depends upon the flour used. While making the dough, never add the water to the flour at once. Instead go adding water little by little till you reach the required consistency. Also allow the dough to rest at least for half an hour. Pooris are generally smaller in size compared to rotis. They are deep fried in hot oil till they puff up into small balls. They are quite soft when eaten and taste best when hot. They are usually fried in a karhai - Indian version of a wok. If you don't have one, use a deep sauce pan.

Atta (wheat flour) - 2 cups
Kasoori methi (Dried, crushed fenugreek leaves)- 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp (Optional)
About a cup of water (for an idea)

Oil to fry the pooris

Preparing dough and cooking:
Combine the flour, kasoori methi, salt and oil in a mixing bowl and rub together well. Then gradually add the water and form a firm dough. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes more until it springs back when touched lightly. Cover it and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into equal portions and shape each into a small ball. Work with each portion at a time, keeping the rest covered. Take a ball, flatten it a little with your fingers and roll it into a thin circle, 4 -6 inches in diameter. To prevent sticking while rolling, lightly dust the circle with flour. I usually keep rolling and frying at the same time. Beginners can roll all the circles, spread them on a work surface / counter and cover them and then fry them.
Heat sufficient oil in a deep frying pan. Drop a pea sized dough into the oil and if it sizzles and immediately comes to the surface of the oil, then the temperature of the oil is the right one to fry the pooris. Carefully slide a circle into the oil and keep submerged lightly with a slotted spoon until the circle puffs well, rises to surface of the oil and is golden brown underneath. Gently turn the circle without piercing surface and cook second side until it turns golden brown as well. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining circles.


Potato Koora

This is one of my favorite versions of potato curry which goes well with pooris and as stuffing for masala dosas as well. There used to be a fast food center in my husband's hometown Kadapa (formerly Cuddapah in Andhrapradesh) near the main bus stand. That was a new establishment then and those fellows used to serve this koora (Telugu word for bhaji) when you ordered poori, masaladosa or ravadosa. I liked this new version, flavored with tomatoes, carrots and peas more than the poori palya (kannada poori bhaji) served at the Bangalore restaurants and started to prepare at home.

Ingredients for the potato koora:
4-5 large potatoes
Chopped onions and tomatoes - One cup each
Green peas (Fresh or frozen) - 1/4 cup
Carrot peeled and grated - 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds and Chanadal - One Tsp each
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 6 ( I used Serrano peppers. Depending upon the spiciness preferred and the chillies used, this quantity need to be adjusted).
Oil - 2-3 Tbsp
Cilantro for garnish (Optional)

Peel the potatoes. Cut each potato lengthwise into four pieces and then chop them crosswise twice or thrice so that you end up with big chunks of potatoes. Put them in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and sufficient water and cook them till you hear two or three whistles. When the valve pressure is gone, drain all the water and keep aside the potatoes.
Mean while, heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and chanadal. When chanadal turns red, add green chillies and curry leaves. Saute the green chillies for 30 seconds and add the onions. Fry them till they turn translucent and then add tomatoes, carrot and peas. Cook till the tomatoes turn almost into a mush. Then add the potatoes, lightly mash them with back of the spoon and add the required amount of salt and mix well. If the curry appears to be very dry, you can add one or two Tbsp of water. Let it remain for a couple of minutes more on the flame and then turn off the stove. Garnish with cilantro.

Post a Comment


Mallugirl said...

i have been seeing the kasoori methi puri every where now..gotto make it.ur little one is so sweet!

Anita said...

Hey, Suma. Methi poori looks great and the koora is made healthier with the addition of peas and carrots - nice touch. We now have so many ways with the potato bhaji!

Thanks for coming to the party!

Roopa said...

wow the puri and bhaji looks awesome, check out my blog you have something to pick up :)

Vcuisine said...

Lovely twist Suma. Viji

Srivalli said...

Suma, thats one yummy looking pate you have there...am sure your kid enjoyed it ...


Cinnamon said...

Yummy Yummy.. Poori-bhaji!!!

Sharmi said...

its raining pooris every where!! yummy bhaji!!

Sandeepa said...

hey Suma
Such yummy Pooris. You know I liked your tip about "springing back", thats what happens to my luchi dough too.
But I was unsure if that was expected of my dough :) now I can update my guide

Manasi said...

Oh! I wish I could have that!! I was so tempted to make puri-bhaji, but the battle of the bulge and hubby won :(.. maybe some other time!

Suma Gandlur said...

I love the flavor of methi and use it wherever I can. Thanks, my little one is sweet & surprisingly well mannered most of the time.:)

Thank. Waiting for the different versions.
You are welcome.

Thanks for the award. You made my day.

Thanks. Pooris with a touch of methi were really delicious.

Thanks. She enjoyed them and when I was posting the recipe, she was again asking whether I made pooris.

Suma Gandlur said...

Cinnamon, Sharmi

That 'springing back' action is more with luchi dough, if I am correct. Even when you are trying to roll luchis,they try to kind of 'spring back':)

Good for you. Temptation always wins over the bulge factor in my case. :(

TBC said...

You made it! Methi poori looks great!

Suganya said...

Lovely pics Suma. The bhaji particularly looks very colourful!

Saju said...

yummmmmmmmmm! methi puris, look so yummy, I am putting on pounds just looking at them.

Bharathy said...

Wow!nice pics!!Lovely looking pooris!!So you made it!!before the deadline..I couldn't:(

You got one from roopa,what abt the other??;)
Come and pick both the ones from my JFI-post,Suma...of course when time permits!!:)

Sreelu said...


I havenot seen poori's ith kasoori methi, my friend adds ajwain. this is a nice otuch, i add kasoori methi to all my dishes will try it next time

musical said...

This is such a wonderful platter, Suma. Kasuri methi pooris look so great and so does that koora, so pretty and colorful and healthy as well :).

Rajitha said...

yum! looks really good. adding the kasoori methi is a nice touch.. will do the next time i make puris ( which may be next year!)

Mandira said...

the kasuri methi poori looks divine, I need to make it soon :)

Asha said...

Suma, I am driving back home today,thought I would say quick hello!:)
Poori bhaji is mouthwatering, so good to see those right now,I am drooling!:)
Announcing RCI K tomorrow.

Coffee said...

Methi is puri sounds great Suma! :) That it will be next time. :)

Kribha said...

looks yummy. Never tried methi puri before. BTW, something awaits you in my blog. check it out.