September 4, 2007

Poori Bhaji

Anita had invited all of us to a party. But I couldn't attend it. I was busy with guests at home and then I was off to Mukteshwar. When I returned, I had to tend to S and then it was time to travel yet again. I was off to Madras and then to Kallakurichi to attend a wedding. Since I was going via Madras, I extended my stay a bit so I could spend my parents' 44th anniversary with them. And I also jumped at Amma's suggestion of poori bhaji at breakfast.

I have never been able to eat pooris for breakfast. It was regular breakfast at my place when I was growing up. We'd probably have it once or twice a month. And it was Friday morning breakfast at hostel too. I once told a Punjabi friend that most Tamilians would think of Poori as a Tamil dish. Wherever you may go in Tamilnadu, from the big cities to the smallest of towns or villages, this one item is a must-have on the menus of eateries. You'll get pooris starting from 4 or 5 in the morning. And I remember when I was studying in Pondicherry, you'd get 2 pooris for 5 rupees if you wanted potato bhaji, but if you were willing to have it with sambar, you'd get 3 pooris for the same price.

I have never(save one instance) attempted to fry pooris. The closest I have come is biscuit rotis. This time was no different. I stood next to Amma as she rolled the pooris and I fried them. There is a technique to frying pooris. You drop the first one in hot oil. When it puffs up, you turn it and then drop the next one. When the second one puffs up, you turn that and then remove the first one from the oil. And then add the third. This timing works very well and all the pooris turn out to be evenly brown. Now, that's expertspeak!


1 cup Wheat flour
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp oil
Water to make the dough
Oil for deep frying


4-6 Potatoes, boiled
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli paste
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
7-8 Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

To make the pooris:
Mix the salt with the oil and add the wheat flour to this misture. Add enough water to make a firm dough. This must be significantly harder than the dough that is made for phulkas. Make small balls of the dough.

Heat oil in a kadhai.

Dip each ball in the hot oil and then roll into a small circle on the work board. This ensures easy rolling without the use of flour.

Fry these circles in the hot oil in the manner described above. Drain the excess oil in another kadhai and transfer the pooris to a dish lined with a paper towel.

For the bhaji:

Heat oil in a pressure pan. Add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves. Add the onions, chilli and ginger pastes, turmeric powder and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and salt and fry for another minute. Add the boiled potato pieces and water and cook for 1-2 whistles.

When the pressure is released, open the pan and mash the potato pieces lightly with the back of the spoon.

Serve the pooris along with the bhaji and enjoy the meal with your family. Just as I did. It brought back so many memories. Thanks Anita.


Anita said...

Daer aaye, durust aaye! Welcome...what a nice festive breakfast.

The bahji is looking good! You have been traveling an awful lot. I bet your parents were happy to have you with them on their anniversary.

Vcuisine said...

Hope you had a nice Raaga. Pooris are my all time favorite too. When I prepare my mom always asked me to brown it little more :) She likes it in that way only. Viji

Raaga said...

Thanks Anita. I will try and make this totally by myself sometime soon.

The vacation was just great and being there on their anniversary was the best thing that could happen!!

Raaga said...

@Viji: Even I love them nicely browned... and yet fluffy :-)

Pragyan said...

Thats a nice helpful tip on how to multi-fry Poori :) I wish I could grab them and have for breakfast right now!

Raaga said...

Pragyan: The only thing I know about Pooris... I had to put that down :-)


Rajitha said...

mmm.. poories, i think this is one thing everybody loves..

Asha said...

Thanks for all the RCI entries Raaga.I just opened the PC today for few hrs,still need to rest!:))
Poori is always welcome here in my house for me at least:)

Happy cook said...

Hey better late than never. i was also late for this party. But still did it.

TBC said...

I love poori-bahji.Made it the first time ever for the event.
Now you've gotta try it yourself sometime. But nothing beats having mom make it for you! ;-)

Raaga said...

@Rajitha: I agree :-)

Raaga said...

@Ashakka: get well soon first... you have plenty of time for RCI :-)


Raaga said...

@Happy: Thank goodness for company :-)

Raaga said...

@TBC: I will try this soon... myself :-)

sunita said...

Love poori-bhaji...don't you think it tastes better when you've got someone(especially mom :D) to do it!btw, that was a great tip on frying multiple pooris:)

Swapna said...

I made puri-bhaji yest..I was feeling so bad for having missed the event..and it was too tempting..Even more tempting was the puri-bhaji..I forgot to take pics:))

Pooja V said...

pooris is always a total YES, netime of the day. I didn't knw abt poori - sambar cobo.

Kumudha said...

Now, I'm craving to make some pooris after seeing this wonderful pictures.

Nags said...

even i cudnt take part in the party :) but good one !

Raaga said...

@Sunita: anything that my mom makes I love... and yes I agree... its always nice when someone makes the stuff for you!

Jyothsna said...

Poori bhaji tastes better when someone else makes them for you :)

Raaga said...

@Swapna: As long as you enjoyed it... that's what Anita's intention was :-)

Raaga said...

@Pooja: Thanks :-) Even I didn't know... that's why I thought it funny enough to put down :-))

Raaga said...

Kumudha: At least my pictures are getting better now... earlier, they used to not tempt anyone... not even me :-)

Do try it :-)

Raaga said...

@Nags: Thanks :-) I hope you try it too :-)

Cynthia said...

I am so hungry right now and your poori bhaji would do me just well.