Thursday, February 5, 2015

Masala Puri (#wonderswithleftovers)




"Sitting down to a meal with an Indian family is different from sitting down to a meal with a British family."
(~Roland Joffe)


I totally agree with that. Having been brought up in a very formal, very 'Brown Sahib' manner, our manners were under scrutiny all the time and more so around the table. Table etiquette was very important. It seemed quite normal to me then, however when I hit the terrible teens, things had changed at home and we were a lot different at the table...more Indian! The forks and spoons and knives were in place along with the stiff etiquette (most of it) but we were more relaxed and conversations were a bit louder, a bit merrier, and the laughter was unrestrained. I could pick a drumstick with my hand and a finger tip could and would be delicately licked, if it had to, with no objections from either parent. We were now a typical Indian family at a meal and I realized how "sitting down to a meal with an Indian family" was so different from a British one! Somehow mealtimes became joyous, hearty and times of sharing: quality family time.

To come back to our dish of the day, today: Masala Puri with Carrot-Cabbage sabzi and Acelga-Potato sabzi (Swiss Chard-Potato vegetable)

Masala puri per se is made with fresh ingredients but I use the original recipe to recycle leftover vegetable from the day's meal. Dal (lentils) are good to use too. My preference in dals are: Masoor (red lentils) or mixed dal of Masoor-Yellow Moong (Red-yellow lentil)The best leftover vegetables to re-use are: Spinach-potato/ Spinach-onion-tomato/cauliflower-potato or cauliflower mixed with peas and potatoes/ any potato sabzi/ methi-potato....just go with your tastebuds.


Ingredients

Atta (harina integral)...............................................as required
Besan(chickpea flour)..............................................1tsp heaped, per 1 std measuring cup
Leftover masoor dal.................................................as req
Leftover cauliflower-potato.....................................as req
Butter (salted)..........................................................1 tbs, unmelted, per one standard measuring cup
Garlic......................................................................1 big pod, if you haven't used garlic in the dal
Kasuri methi............................................................a little, crushed
Sugar.......................................................................a little, acc to taste
Red chilli pwdr........................................................acc to taste
Aamchur (dry mango pwdr)....................................acc to taste
Carom seeds (ajwain)..............................................a pinch or as req
Salt to taste
A bit of milk



Sift the flours together.
Add salt to the flour and mix. This needs careful handling. The leftovers are already salted.
Add sugar, aamchur, ajwain and kasuri methi. Mix into the flour. I sprinkle a bit of flour on my tongue to test for a balance of flavours!! You do what works best for you!
Cut the butter into small cubes. If it is hard, allow to soften a bit. The butter should not be melted.
Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour. As you progress the butter softens and integrates with the flour.
Now take as much dal and vegetable you need, equal amounts of both. Blend them together in a mixer without adding any water.
Pour the blended mixture into the flour and knead. Add milk. The amount of vegetable mixture should be just a hint short to provide for a little milk, about 1/4 cup for 3 std measuring cups of flour.
Do not over knead. Just blend well into a soft dough. The dough should be soft and smooth, not sticky. Add more flour, a little at a time, if needed. Keep aside to stand for about 15-20 minutes.
After the dough has stood it's time, give it a good turnover with the palm and it's ready to roll out.

Heat oil in a deep pan.
Using a bit of dry flour, make equal sized balls of the dough.
Use more dry flour while rolling out. If the flour is kneaded right, you wont need much dry flour.
Dust off extra flour. Fry in hot oil.
Serve hot. 

These delicious puris can be eaten plain, or with curd. I teamed it up with a bit of carrot-cabbage and acelga-potato.

I love having afternoon's leftover masala puris, if any do remain, with my morning tea the next day. Talk about leftover leftovers!!

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