Poori, Kizhangu and Anita's Green Chilli Pickles in mustard oil
When Anita, one of my favourite people among the food bloggers called out to us to make pooris, I could not bear to refuse. And let me confess, this is the first time I've ever made them. They puffed up beautifully and were a great colour, but I did not want to handle the camera with oily hands, hence don't have the proof of any puffy pooris.
Just today, I saw a Pictorial in Poori making on Mahanandi. Indira has explained in simple terms - How to make pooris that I don't feel the need to explain. I have seen my people add some rava (semolina) in the poori dough, I did that too. It gives the pooris a slightly crispier texture.
The traditional Tambram accompaniment to pooris is potatoes in gravy and this combination is called poori-kizhangu in Tamil, kizhangu short for urulaikizhangu, which means potato. This was included in my earlier post dedicated to potatoes - Potato in Tambram cuisine.
I have fond memories of my granny preparing this occasionally, as a special tiffin (a 4 o' clock mini meal). She would place the smaller one-burner stove on the floor and sit down to deep fry the beautiful pooris and the potato gravy simmering on the other stove would be lovingly ladled into kinnams (small bowls) as she served out the pooris as soon as they came out of the frying pan.
Serves 4 people
- Dice half the potatoes and roughly mash the other half. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed wok. Splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Put in the lentils (udad and chana dal) and fry till golden. Add a pinch of asafoetida powder, slivered ginger and green chillies - saute for 30 seconds.
- Next, put in the sliced onions, a pinch of salt and saute the onions of medium flame till they are soft. Add the mashed and diced potatoes, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and blend well with spices for about a minute.
- Mix the gram flour in 1 1/2 cups water with 1 tsp with a fork/whisk so that there are no lumps.
- Pour in this mixture over the potatoes and let it come to a simmer. The gram flour will thicken the gravy in about 5 minutes. Check for salt and add the sambar powder and lime juice at this stage.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
The gravy should not be runny. If it is, then mix a tbsp or so of gram flour in 3 tbsp water, add it to the gravy and simmer for 3-4 minutes, till thick.
You can increase or decrease the spice level by adding more or less green chillies, as per your tolerance. The kizhangu will taste as good even without the sambar powder- it just adds some depth to the flavour.
This can be served with plain rotis too, but is a perfect accompaniment with pooris. Serve with your favourite pickle.
Other potato posts on Saffron Trail