The day after Anita beckoned on us to party, we did just that ! Puri's definitely need no special festive occasion to find their way into our plates. My mom made them may be once in a month or so when we were kids. Like many have mentioned on their blogs, I loved to poke into the puffed up puri's well aware that the steam is going to hurt my hand ! I always ordered chole-bhatura at the chat places, the huge bhatura's with the tangy chole was too enticing to pass up. Even if I attempted to try something else seeing a plate of these beauties on the next table would be enough to change my mind :) I have made puri's a couple of times here and it surely is not too labor intensive. Infact a lot more easier than making chapati's and paratha's dosa's even. And there is the added bonus of frying up some papads and other sun-dried delicacies just so the oil is not wasted ;)
At my place my mother mostly paired puri with Bombay chutney. And before you think chutney !! let me clarify, its a potato gravy, neither from bombay and definitely not a chutney ! Why the name stuck I have no idea, its probably a common pairing in Bombay, but the chutney I have never understood. Its a simple but heavenly combo. And going by the other posts I have read through the week its a universal choice. Whats in a name, I say !
For the puri, I use just wheat flour, salt to taste, a little oil and required amount of water to make a stiff dough. My mom never allows the dough to sit for a long time as it absorbs more oil that way. So make the dough only when you are all ready to flatten it and fry. I follow no particular method, but blindly flatten them out into thin circular rounds. While frying them, keep pouring oil over the top surface with the slotted spoon and gently press the puri surface coaxing it to the puff up. It have always worked for me.
- 3 nos - Potatoes, medium size
- 2 nos - Green chillies, slit
- 1 nos - Red Onion, sliced
- 2 tsp - Ginger, finely chopped or a 1" piece crushed
- 2 tsp - Besan/Gram flour
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp - Oil
- 2 tsp - Mustard seeds
- 2-3 tsp - Chana dal
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- A pinch of turmeric
- Coriander leaves/cilantro for garnish
- Lime juice for a final touch
- Scrub the potatoes and pressure cook them in water and salt until soft but not mushy. You can do this in the microwave too by adding a few spoons of water, salt and cook for a 8 mins covered. Once cooked peel and cut into cubes or simply crumble into chunks with your hands.
- In a pan heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next add the channa dal, as it turns golden add the curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric and green chillies.
- Saute for a min and add the onions. As they turn translucent, mix in the ginger and potatoes. Add 1 cup of water, salt if needed, cover and cook for 8-10 mins until the flavors blend well.
- Taste to check for the seasonings and add the besan mixed in a Tbsp of water. Let it come to boil and thicken.
- Garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Serve hot with puri, chapati or dosa. It does not pair so well with rice though.
We had half a gallon of milk lying the fridge nearing its death and so we decided to relieve it of its pain. I made Rasgulla's as they are one of the easiest sweets you can do out of the chenna. They did not fluff up as much this time but were just as good. With these juicy lil mouthfuls and some sweet and slightly sour Shrikand the brunch was super satisfying. Food plays such an important roles in our lives that we fail to take notice of it. Nourishment is just a side effect, its the nostalgia, the peace that it fills you with and the way it connects you to people building relations to cherish all through our lives that puts it in the spotlight (not to forget it becoming the center of most conversations :D)
Thank you Anita for getting all of us to pamper ourselves and our friends with this dish. And a huge thank you to my roomie who actually prepared this, I just blurted out the my mom's recipe and she got it to perfection !