Monday, August 27, 2007

Aloo poori

Anita's call to make poori-bhaji is how I got in the craving mode for pooris! I saw her invitation, and then these golden wonders started puffing up all over the blogosphere. I knew I had to make them!

The taste of poori soaked in tari-wale (tari = rassa = gravy) aloo always takes me back to my grandma's dining table. When we would visit her, the days would start at 8 am on the breakfast table with some yummy treat. Different types of parathas, poori-aloo, sandwiches etc. and a glass of milk are the clearest in my memory. By the time the table was cleared out, everyone was given a say in what we wanted for lunch. More often than not, lunch would be some kind of tari wali sabzi like rajma, chole, kaale chane, lobia, kadhi etc along with one dry side like bhindi, alu-gobhi, baigan ka bharta, dahi and rotis. We almost always had a tea time snack. You would think we didn't need dinner after all that! But we always had dinner!! And that would be some kind of whole grain lentil like ma ki daal, chana, urad, masoor and tuar occasionally and a vegetable. It's funny how I love talking about these things!

Poori aloo would always remain my favorite lunch item. My wonder-mom used to make it so fast I can hardly believe it! She would slice raw potato. Heat oil, add jeera, red chilli and turmeric, add potatoes and salt. Cover and let them cook and added a pinch of amchur (dry mango powder) when they were done. In the meanwhile she would fry 4-5 pooris in 4-5 minutes and there it was! My favorite lunch. A slice of pickled mango always went in with the aloos in my sectioned lunch box. So by the time I ate my lunch the oil from the pickle would be soaked by the aloos. Yum yum yum, those were the days when excess oil was a delicacy :p My dad would never eat pooris, may be that's why they hardly showed up outside of my lunch box. Except for the end of navratri when we would eat pooris with very lightly spiced kaale chane and sooji ka halwa. And yea, sometimes she would make them when papa was on a tour :p Those would be tari wale aloo that we would eat for dinner with pooris. That is the recipe I used this time. I can remember this one time when mom made this sabzi and it was sweet! We couldn't figure out what happened... finally we blamed it on the extra sweet tomatoes and somewhat sweet potatoes. The mystery was solved when I took a gulp of water from the same water bottle that mom had used to make the sabzi. It so turned out that my little brother who was sugar crazy had made this discrete sugar syrup that he could sip on without anyone noticing. Ha ha we still laugh about it!! Specially when I see how my brother avoids excess sugar now :)
That's a little too much rambling now.... Here's the recipe.

For tari-wale aloo -
1. Boil/microwave 2-3 large potatoes. Cool, peel and dice them.
2. For the tari/gravy - Heat a little oil. When hot, add some mustard and cumin seeds. As they begin to splutter, add a pinch of heeng (asafoetida), 2-3 curry leaves and a green chili slit into 4 parts (seeds et al.).
3. Add pureed tomatoes (about 2 cups of puree if using fresh tomatoes). Half of that should be sufficient if you are using concentrated puree.
4. Saute and let the tomato puree cook well till it begins to leave sides.
5. Add a pinch of turmeric, a tsp of red chili powder, a tsp of coriander powder and salt to taste.
6. Add boiled potatoes and mix well.
7. Add 1.5 cups water and simmer till you get the desired consistency.
8. Add a tsp of dried methi (kasuri methi).
9. You might need to add a pinch of sugar if your tomatoes are too tart.
10. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

For the pooris - This is not the first time I made pooris but I did experiment a little bit. Here's my lesson for what not to do :)
1. Take 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour and 0.5 cup of rava (sooji/semolina/cream of wheat). Knead into a firm dough with some oil and salt.
2. Roll into small circles and deep fry in hot oil.
3. Result - great looking pooris but they were too crispy to be eaten with a curry. I like my pooris softer than that!
4. Lesson learnt - Do not add rava if you are planning to eat them rightaway. And if you want to add rava, don't add so much!

We had our aloo-poori dinner with boondi ka raita and while we were in the mood to indulge, Parthiv fried some papad too :)



Neha said...

Mast blog hei yaar!! You are sounding a bit professional.Thoda ajeeb lag raha hei....but achachha hei continue!!!!!!!!!!!!

Neha said...

Mast blog hei yaar!!!!!!! You sound a bit too professional to thoda ajeeb laga, but still a nice thing!!
Chalo all the best and hope the blog is live and fresh all the time.........

Anonymous said...

saara hindustan hi america pahuncha do ge kya. poori aur aloo, mast breakfast, lunch aur dinner mein khoob khao, guru ke gun gao. MAMA

Aakriti said...

Great picture there! The food looks extremely delicious... Will try out the recipe, am wondering whther its the same kind thats made in temples... The bhandarewale aloo? Would love to see that recipe as well...