Poori Masala, to me, comes across as a recipe that will not fail to impress any guests, regardless of their origin. It is such a widely loved dish and beyond doubt one of the favourites in my family. Not to mention, the fact that the poori is deep fried makes it an occasional treat in my household, but when it is on the menu, it just flies. Poori is a deep fried Indian bread. Some make it using refined flour (maida/all purpose flour) while many make it with wheat flour and I prefer the latter. There are a few tips and tricks to have in mind to make pooris that puff up and remain so for a reasonable amount of time. For a start, the dough should not be as soft as one would make for chapattis. It should be a pliable dough and not more. One of the reasons for this is that, if it has too much water, then you will need too much flour to dust it and they will become little black things when you fry. Next, the addition of little sugar and sooji (semolina/rava) along with wheat helps it stay puffed up even few minutes after frying. If you do not have sooji, don’t bother. Once the poori is put into the heated oil, it has to be pressed down and this is key to making puffy pooris. Do not keep turning the pooris, put in, press, turn, wait and out. For the masala, I know some do not like to add tomato, you could skip it if you prefer. I do not add channa dal to the tempering but you could do so. After all these details, here is my poori masala recipe
2 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon sooji
1 teaspoon sugar
Bring together the flour, sooji, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add cold water to make a pliable dough. You should not need more than a cup of water for the given quantity of flour. When you have added 80% of the water, just keep sprinkling it as needed so you do not add too much
Rest the dough for ten minutes and divide into lime sized balls. Roll each ball into flat discs and try to avoid flour for dusting. The discs should neither be too thick nor too thin.
Heat oil and once it is ready (put a small piece of dough in and if it readily comes up, it is ready), add the poori, press down, once brown, turn and again once brown, take out and put on kitchen paper to drain excess oil. Sometimes, once you drop the first or second poori, the oil becomes cooler and poori does not puff, increase the heat and keep going.
2 large potatoes, boiled well
1-2 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup peas
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 teaspoon sambar powder or ½ teaspoon chilly powder
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Salt to taste
Heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the onions, green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder and asafoetida
Once onions are well cooked, add peas and tomatoes and cook until mushy
Add salt and coarsely mashed potatoes (do not puree it just press it by your hand and it would break down coarsely) and curry leaves, sambar powder (I added little chilly powder too as sambar powder was not hot enough), some water and simmer until as thick as you like
Serve with hot pooris!