Friday, February 17, 2012

Aloo Puri

Aloo and Puri goes together like love and marriage ;). It is just a perfect combination. My mom used to make super delicious Aloo Puri for us and we all loved it. She also made Kheer along with this meal but since I'm not too crazy about Kheer, I've never made it before. She usually made the puri out of atta flour, which produces softer puris but since my husband likes little chewer version, I use mixture of all purpose flour and atta to make them. The Aloo subzi has a little tangy flavor from tamarind and good aroma from black onion seeds. This is fairly an easy dish but does require deep frying the puris.

Aloo Subzi

Serves: 2 to 3
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon brown whole mustard seed (rai)
1 teaspoon black onion seed (kalonji/kala zeera)
1/4 teaspoon hing (optional)
1 1/2 cup of onion - finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger - grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic - crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 pounds potato - diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup tamarind (adjust to taste)
Salt to taste

  1. To make tamarind pulp, in a small bowl, soak tamarind in enough lukewarm water to cover it. Let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes to soften. With your hand squash and squeeze the tamarind so that it mixes well with water. Strain, discard the solids and keep aside the liquid/pulp for later use.
  2. In a pot, add oil and heat over high heat. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds, black onion seeds and hing. Fry for few seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add chopped onion, a pinch of salt and stir well.
  3. Fry the onions, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes until they are lightly golden in color.
  4. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric powder and stir for few seconds.
  5. Add potatoes, salt to taste, stir well and cook for about a minute.
  6. Add about 1 1/3 cup of water or enough water to cover the potatoes, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and soft. It is okay for some of the potatoes to be little mashed as this will create thicker gravy.
  7. Add tamarind pulp (2 tablespoon or to taste), more water if required (about 2/3 cup), stir and cook for further 2 to 3 minutes. Make necessary adjustment to taste and consistency of the gravy by adding more water if required. Serve hot with fresh puris.
  • I prefer using tamarind for this dish but you can substitute it with lime juice as well.
  • Amount of tamarind used for this dish will depend on the sourness of the tamarind itself and the amount of water used in making the pulp. Add few teaspoons at a time and adjust according to your desired sourness of the dish.
  • Unused tamarind pulp can be frozen in ice cubes trays and store the cubes in Ziploc bag or airtight container in freezer for few months.

Makes: 16 puris
Preparation and frying Time: 30 minutes
Dough resting Time: 30 minutes

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup atta flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup water (more if required)
Oil for deep frying

  1. In a large bowl, mix all purpose flour, atta flour and salt together. Add oil and mix with hand until oil is incorporated into flour. It will look like wet flour or coarse bread crumbs and when you pressed flour in your fist, it should partially hold the shape.
  2. Add milk to the flour mixture and start by adding half of the water and continue to add more until the dough comes together. The dough should be little tight and not very soft, so be careful not to add too much water.
  3. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes until it is smooth.
  4. Lightly coat the kneaded dough with oil, cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes or so. Tip: While dough is resting, prepare Aloo Subzi.
  5. Once ready to make the puris, divide the dough into 16 equal portions and roll them into smooth balls.
  6. Heat deep frying pan with few inches of oil over medium heat, to 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Prepare a large plate or pot by lining it with some paper napkins to keep the fried puris and keep this aside.
  8. Take each dough ball and roll out into thin circles about 4 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter. You should be able to roll out without dusting any flour if the dough is at right consistency. However, if the dough has more water than needed and it is sticking to the surface, you can dust some flour while rolling.
  9. Roll few and keep in a plate in one layer while the oil is heating. (Keep the unrolled dough balls covered with a plate or towel.)
  10. Once the oil is hot slide one puri at a time in hot oil. It will initially sink to the bottom of the pan but within few seconds, it should rise up. With a slotted spoon, lightly press the puris so that it puffs up. Once puffed, turn over and fry the other side for few more seconds until very lightly golden in color on both sides and remove from oil. Fry all the puris and serve hot with Aloo subzi.
  • Having a second hand in making puris will be very helpful. While one person rolls, the other person can do the frying process. Before starting the frying process, have 5 to 6 puris rolled out ahead of time.
  • If you're making it alone, just work in few batches rolling and frying 5 to 6 puris at a time. While you're rolling, just reduce the heat of the oil a little to maintain the temperature.
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