Poori and Aloo Jhol, a quintessential childhood favorite of every Indian. A winter morning ritual at my home – spicy,fragrant and slightly tangy potato stew served with hot deep fried puffed flatbreads or poori as its called in India. If you must learn only one Indian comfort food, let it be this. Loved by adults and little adults alike, this will make you a hit with everyone.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”.
Isn’t this really the most magical time of the year? I know..I know!! Santa has long gone home, New year is over, having gone by in a daze of good old wine and great company, and yup the Holiday Season is over too. But as long as winter is here, my heart will remain happy..giddily so!! I might sound like a giddy twelve year old witnessing the headiness of the Holidays for the first time but the weather just makes me so happy! If you lived in a part of the world where the dreaded summers reached 47 C you would too 😛
#MeatlessMonday started on a desi note this week.
Its cold, there’s fog in the air, my feet are always freezing ( yup,inspite of the cute socks!!) and my heart’s calling out to all things piping hot and fried!!
There, I said it!!
Watch me actually FRY A POORI ON MY INSTAGRAM FEED!!!
2016, resolutions, diet are hogwash to me. I always,always eat what I feel like and go run a little extra that night to balance it out. The key here, is Balance.
The dish I am sharing with you tonight is one of the top ten dishes of almost every Indian worth his salt. If someone says the don’t like this, or have fond memories of this dish I will find it REALLY difficult to trust them. Heck..let’s just say there’s a lesser chance of getting on as friends or you being my BFF. Imagine waking up to the smell of a tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida and red chillies…mouth watering is it?
And then you sit down all bundled up in your woolens while mom brings you a bowl of piping hot Aloo jhol ( potato curry/stew). But it isn’t over yet. This potato curry needs a perfect companion and there is no flatbread in the world that can compete with the absolute awesomeness that is these puffed up deep fried golden poori-s. One quickly tears a part of the garma garam(hot) poori and dips it in the aloo jhol, and relishes it with some chatpatta (tangy) mango pickle and some cool peach mint lassi.
What I feel when I savour this simple meal is inexplicable. But here’s what I do know. This meal takes me back to my home, transports me to that nostalgic route where laughter and innocence rules and the love of simple good food trumps every styling trick we now give in to. This is still the comfort food I give in to on cold,rainy nights, on winter mornings, on special days when I am feeling rather forlorn and on happy occasions too! Master this one meal and no guest of yours will go disappointed. So if you must learn only one Indian curry, let it be this. And these instant No Yeast Garlic Naan!!! SO SO good.Impressed my entire in laws clan single-handedly with this naan, proof its really good 😛
Talking of simple home cooked meals, this is what a “Thaali” or platter at my home looks like. Typical Indian fare : pulao, dal (lentil), paneer butter masala, this aloo jhol, raita , matar kachori (peas stuffed poori) and slow cooked rice pudding( kheer).
Takes hardly 30 mins to finish both, is amazingly flavorful (thanks mustard oil) and very child friendly. While you are at it, you can also try my Green peas & dry fruits Pulao (its really easy, quick and so delicious).
So quit fretting about your weight or the diet. Remember, life is too short to not eat what you want. The key is balance. So eat these, and exercise!! Now go make these fabulous puffed deep fried ( gasp!) pooris and the best EVER Aloo jhol (spicy potato stew) and don’t let ANYONE ever stop you from eating or doing what you want.
Its mid- January already..Let’s make it count!
- Recipe for aloo jhol:
- Boiled potatoes,diced - 2
- Onion 1- chopped
- Tomato - 1, chopped
- Garlic ginger green chillie paste - 2 tbsp
- Mustard oil
- Kashmiri red chili powder,- 1 tsp
- Turmeric -1 tsp
- Garam masala powder- ½tsp
- Salt - acc to taste
- Hing or asafoetida - a pinch
- Mustard seed or Sarso - ½ tsp
- Cumind seed or Jeera- ½ tsp
- Dry red chili -2
- Sugar- ½ tsp
- Kasuri methi or drief fenugreek leaves - 2 tsp
- Coriander leaf for garnish.
- For the poori:
- Whole wheat flour - ½ cup
- All purpose flour - ½ cup
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Kaal jeera or nigella seeds - ½ tsp
- Ajwain or Carrom seeds - i big pinch
- Water to knead.
- Salt - a pinch
- For the potato stew:
- Heat a cauldron. Pour some mustard oil, add the mustard (sarso) and red chillie, once it sputters add the jeera.
- Start by sautéing the onions with ginger garlic green chili paste for 1 min,
- Add the red chillie powder and haldi, sauté for 30 secs.
- Add tomatoes and sugar. Sauté well till the masala leaves oil. Add the Kasuri methi and potatoes, just a bit of water and mix well.
- Cover and cook till the potatoes are covered in masala.
- Add a cup of water, garam masala and let it come to a rolling boil till gravy reaches require consistency.
- Garnish with coriander leaf and serve hot with pooris.
- For the poori:
- Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix.
- Next slowly add enough water to it and start kneading it
- Knead for 5 mins or so till the dough is soft and smooth .
- Cover and leave for 5 mins.
- Meanwhile, heat a cauldron with about 3 inch of oil to deep fry the poori.
- While the oil is heating, start rolling out the pooris.
- Rolling & frying poori :
- Make small 1 inch sized balls of the dough. Then dip the edge of the ball into the oil and press on the surface.
- Roll it carefully to a 3-4 inch sized disc.
- Once the oil is hot, (should have started smoking lightly), carefully put the poori in the oil and immediately press on it lightly with a slotted spoon.
- It should start puffing up in 5 secs!! Let it fry for 10 secs till golden brown then carefully turn it over and fry the other side for 5 secs till done.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on tissue before serving.
- Best consumed immediately.