August 15, 2007
Independance Day and Puri-Bhaji
Happy 60th Independence Day to everyone!
As Saffron Trail pointed out, Hindustan Times has a nice article on K2K Food Court for foodies. Check out the 60 K2K (Kashmir to Kanyakumari) food classics that celebrate the way we are. Additionally, there is an amazing list of 60 desserts for the Independence Day!
Also, in blogosphere, Anita of the A Mad Tea Party fame has nominated or rather declared Poori or Puri Bhaji as the National Favorite with every region having its own version of it. I support this having eaten puri bhaji in myriad forms, from Delhi to Trivandrum. While my version (my family recipe) is a southern style one flavored with mustard seeds and curry leaves, I have relished the dry potato subji and puri in my Punjabi friend's house, loved the puri chole- halwa version at Kanchak and enjoyed the watery potato curry with oily puris and pickle, served in a plate made of dried leaves (Truly organic food) at different train stations. The puris varied from whole wheat ones to pure refined flour ones to those with a mix of both.
I truly appreciated Puris only after I left home for college. During my stay in the hostel, the puris were fried early in the morning and stacked in a giant bamboo basket. So if we were late for breakfast, we used to get the ones left in the dredges of the basket....flat thick puris which resembled super oily papads. Of course, we chewed it quietly while imagining it to be the fluffy soft ones made at home. Hostel food teaches you forbearance, doesn't it?
Now it is a weekend breakfast or a lazy weeknight dinner when you need some rich comfort food. I had blogged about this earlier, but when Anita asked us to blog about it, this week itself, decided to republish it. So here is my version of the classic and I am off to join Anita's party.
You'll need: For about 10-12 puris
Whole wheat flour- 1 1/2 cups
Water- ¾ cup more or less.
Oil -1 tbsp
Oil for Frying-1-2 cups
1. Add salt and oil to the flour and make it crumbly. Add water a bit at a time to make dough. Knead well for about 5 minutes till everything comes together.The dough should be smooth but medium hard in texture. Knead it well to make a smooth roll. Cover with a plastic wrap and keep aside for 15 minutes. Divide into even sized balls...about the size of a very small lemon.
Roll it out to a small circle and fry it. Do not roll out more than 2-3 at a time as it hardens if it is not fried immediately. Heat oil in a wok/kadai/cheenachatti/ and when it is hot, slide one puri in from the side. Press down with the slotted spoon to allow it rise completely and then turn over and cook the other side till golden flecks appear on both sides. Remove and drain onto paper towels.
P.S: Do not roll it out too thin. Test the temperature by dropping a speck of dough in the oil and seeing how fast it comes up. The heat should be medium hot consistently.
Potatoes-2 big ones diced into small pieces.
Onion-1 cup chopped coarsely
Green Chilies-6-7 chopped.
Ginger- 1 inch piece, chopped finely
Salt-3/4 tsp or to taste
Curry leaves- 1 sprig.
Mustard Seeds- ½ tsp
Heat the oil in a heavy pan. After a minute, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds and cover till it finishes spluttering. Keep a safe distance if uncovered. Now add the curry leaves, and onions, green chilies and ginger.
Stir fry for a minute and then add the potato cubes, turmeric and salt. Add 1 cup water (enough to submerge the potatoes), and let it come to a boil. Now cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Open and add more water if the potatoes are not cooked. When the potatoes are cooked, mash them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Check seasoning.
Serve hot with the puris.
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