Fluffy Puffy Pooris- Indian Fried bread


2 cups of whole wheat flourimage(2)

1 Tbsp Semolina/ Ravaa

1 Tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Jaggery/Brown sugar

1 pinch of Love

1 cup of water or more as needed

Oil to fry

Mix the semolina in the whole wheat flour, add salt and sugar, mix with a fork or your fingers. Make a well in the middle

Heat 1 tbsp oil and pour it in the well, on the flour.

Let it cool, then mix well and gradually add water, with one hand, soft knead the flour , bring it together with the other hand.

its best not to add all the water at once, because every cup of flour reacts differently.

when there is no dry flour left, start kneading the dough together, into a tight ball, pliable but not too soft.

put a few drops of oil on your fingers and smooth out the dough.

cover it with a bowl, and set aside to rest for 15-20 mins.

Heat oil in a frying wok, on low heat, while you roll out all the pooris

you will not need flour to roll because the dough doesnt feel sticky, after the hot oil treatment. smooth it out once by kneading softly.

break off dough into the size of a small donut hole, and role it between your palms firmly and flatten.

roll out pooris and keep them ready on a platter, to be fried 2-3 at a time or one at a time, as per the size of your frying wok. the pooris will not stick to each other.

drop a tiny ball of dough in the oil to check, if it pops up right away, the oil is ready.

gently release the rolled poori in the oil from the side, so that the oil doesn’t splash.

it will start coming up to the surface and puffing up, press it gently with the slotted spoon, to let the steam building inside it spread edge to edge,

flip it to the other side and let it fry till golden pink,

scoop it with the slotted spoon, rest it on the side of the wok, to drain off excess oil.

place it on a platter or a colander to cool, repeat till all the pooris are fried.

Once you get the hang of it, you can fry 2-3 at a time and alternate, flipping the first one in.

serve hot with anything you like.

Kids love those with a dusting of cinnamon sugar too :)






Classic Uppama

Classic Upama-
This all time favorite, instant snack, classic dish was also my launchpad into the culinary world, forced by my grandmothers.
1 cup fine Rava ( semolina)
1 medium onion fine diced11782397_875783222495813_124461850175308971_o
1 small red tomato (roma)
2-3 red chilli peppers
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp Urad Dal( butter lentils)
5-6 cashews halved
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch Hing ( asafoetida)
1 pinch of love
1/2 lemon for juice
2 sprigs of kadhi patta( indian curry leaves)
1 1/2 cup of warm water
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Fresh grated coconut 2 tsp
Roast the semolina and keep it aside
Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok
Add the Urad dal and let it fry till pinkish
Add the cumin and mustard seeds and let them bloom, add cashews.
Add the chili peppers, grated ginger,diced onion and fine diced tomato, followed by curry leaves.
Add hing and briskly stir once.
Add the roasted semolina and stirr well folding it outside in and bottom of the pan to up
Roast for 2-4 mins
Add salt and sugar, and pour the warm water from the sides, with one hand while stirring with the other. Smoothen the lumps if any
Make a indented well in the centre and drizzle the ghee in. Fold the mix on top of it
Lower the heat and cover the wok
Let it steam for 3-5 mins.
Stir once and squeeze the lemon juice on top, mix.
Plate it in a nice mound, with an upturned bowl
Garnish with fresh fine chopped cilantro and fresh coconut
You can also add crisp Sev on top if you like.


An all time favorite veg dish.
8-10 cubes of paneer fried lightly
4 cups of Paalak/ spinach11745965_865332813540854_9187731946754653155_n
7-8 cloves Garlic
1″ piece of fresh ginger root
( make a paste of ginger n garlic or grate it)
1 medium onion ( yellow)
1-2 medium tomatoes ( Roma)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp coriander seeds powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 black pepper corns cracked
Salt to taste.
Blanch spinach till the midriff becomes soft
Dice it fine and let it cool
Fine dice onion and tomatoes.
Make a paste of ginger garlic or grate it on a braiser
Make 1″x 1″ cubes of Paneer and fry it light golden. Set aside one cube of plain paneer, un-fried.
Heat oil in a shallow pan
Add cumin seeds and cracked pepper. Let it bloom
Add ginger garlic paste flash fry
Follow by quickly adding all the dry ingredients- turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
Quickly add the fine diced onion and tomatoes and fry till the onions look glazed.
Add diced blanched spinach and stir well till all is uniformly blended.
Cook for 3-5 mins on low heat
Add salt to taste. Be easy on the salt as spinach has its own saltiness.
Add the fried paneer cubes and stir.
Turn the heat off.
Transfer to a serving dish and grate the un-fried cube of paneer on top for garnish
Serve with roti or rice.
Makes enough for 3-4 people


for bhalla- (dumplings)
1 cup Urad daal
1/2 inch fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp salt11173367_864945353579600_8913508873625740546_n
Oil to fry.
2 cups water for soaking the fried bhallas,
1 tsp ground black salt

For Dahi-
3 cups plain yogurt ( you can use Nancy’s plain yogurt or greek yogurt too)
1/2″ fresh ginger root fine grated
1/4 cup sugar ( no, the brown sugar doesn’t work)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder

For tamarind chutney-
1/4 cup tamarind
1 cup jaggery
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander seed powder
Soak the Urad daal in hot water for 45 mins- an hour,
Remove water , add ginger & salt and grind to a coarse paste
Set aside
Whisk the yogurt and add the fine grated ginger, salt and sugar and give it one more whisk lightly, add half a cup of water if you like it a bit thinner.
Let it chill in the fridge till you prep the rest

Soak the tamarind in warm water for 30 mins. Crunch it with your fingers and remove the undissolved parts to gain a smooth paste. You can also run it through a grinder.
Add jaggery to the paste and cook on low heat, stirring all the time till jaggery melts.
Add chili powder, coriander seeds powder and salt, stir well.
Remove in a separate bowl and let it cool to room temp

Take two cups of water in a bigger bowl and dissolve th black salt in it.
Heat oil
Wet your fingers n palm, keep a tiny bowl in front of you to do that each time
Take a small amount of the urad paste, size of a golf ball and pat it flat on your damp palm
Slide it gently into the hot oil and fry both sides.
Strain it out and dunk in the salt water.
Pull out each bhalla and squeeze the water out by gently pressing it between your palms
Set aside in a bowl until all the bhallas are done
Now assembly is the easiest
Put 2 bhallas in a plate
Pour the dahi mix on top till it drowns the dumplings
Drizzle the tamarind chutney on top
Sprinkle cumin seeds powder and red chili powder
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve cold


The spice of life and the life of a dish is all in the Masala! (the spices used)

Masala simply means a mix of various spices used in a specific combination and form. The spices used are not used, “Just Because” or in any random order, or just thrown into the pot or the dish. Each spice has a very specific reason for its use and its hierarchy and form, to complement the dish, its taste and its energy. If it is added to the hot oil, it has to bloom and not burn. specific spices are pre roasted and then pulverized, some used raw.

212I have always made my own masalas, and I will be very happy to share those with you here.