“Poori-Bhaji”

“Poori-bhaji” or puffed Indian bread with potatoes is a very popular Indian hot-breakfast meal. It is as staple as rice and lentils in many Indian households.

“Poori” is yet another version of Indian bread made from dough consisting of whole wheat flour, semolina, a pinch of sugar and salt for taste. The dough is rolled into small circles and deep fried in oil. While frying, the “poori” puffs up and this is its defining characteristic. “Bhaji” or vegetables, in this case, is generally boiled potatoes and spices.

Note: This dish does use a lot of oil. The potatoes tend to absorb oil while cooking them.

Ingredients for potatoes “bhaji” : Serves 4

  • 5 potatoes – boiled ( I used “Yukon Gold”)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida/hing
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds/rai
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies- chopped in big pieces (cut each chilly in half to get 4 big pieces)
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro/ coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for pooris: makes appoximately 15 pooris

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour “chappati aata”
  • 1/2 cup semolina “sooji”
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons hot oil – to knead the dough
  • 3/4 cup water- approximately, required to knead the dough
  • oil for frying

Method for making potatoes:

Boil potatoes until tender. I like to boil and cook them to a point until they are tender but not falling apart. Drain the water and keep a kitchen towel on top of the vessel, so the potatoes can steam a little more, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Then peel the potatoes and chop in big cubes and set aside.

Heat oil in a vessel. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds. Wait for the mustard seeds to crackle. Then add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and turmeric.

Add the potatoes and gently mix. Add sugar and salt to taste.

Cover and keep on very low flame for 5 minutes, till all the flavors get mixed.

Now add the chopped cilantro and coconut (if using) and cover again for 5 minutes on low flame.

Serve hot with pooris and slice of lime wedge. Enjoy!

Method for making pooris:

Mix the flour, semolina, sugar and salt in a large plate or shallow bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a vessel and add this to the above mixture.

Mix it in, gradually add water and start to knead. Add enough water so the dough comes together. Knead until firm, it should not be a soft dough (used to make “chappati”). It has to be firm.

Make 15 equal round portions. Roll each one in 3 inch diameter, round.

Heat oil in a vessel. Once the oil is hot, slide in the poori. Gently press down on one side of the poori with a skimmer. This allows the poori to puff up.

Quickly turn it over and fry the other side.

Drain it on a paper towel. Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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