Contrary to the usual Punjabi tastes, I’m not a big fan of Pooris, or unleavened fried bread. Delicious as it is, it’s a bit too heavy for my taste. But AK loves it. So we compromise once in a while and I make them for him atleast once a month.

But this time, the compromise went one step further. Instead of making it with the traditional bhaaji (generic term for cooked vegetables), i.e. potatoes in tomato gravy, I talked AK into letting me try Dahi-ke-Aloo, or potatoes in yoghurt curry. One of my colleagues in office brings it for lunch very often and I love it. It’s best had with rice, but turned out to be delightful change with the pooris as well. Here’s what made up our lunch last weekend:

Here’s what I used for 2 people:

Dahi ke Aloo -

5 medium-small potatoes

4 tbsp yoghurt

2 tbsp besan/ gram flour

1 tsp whole jeera/ cumin seeds

3 green chillies – slit in half length-wise

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1/4 tsp haldi/ turmeric powder

Pinch of asafoetida

Salt & Red Chilli Powder to taste

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Chopped Dhaniya/ Cilantro for garnish

Pooris -

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp ajwain/ caraway or carom seeds

Water, as required

Vegetable Oil to deep fry

First I boiled & peeled the potatoes. They can be slightly under-done since they will be cooked further later anyway! I usually scrub them and put them in a lidded dish and microwave for about 5-6 minutes on High.

I out them on a plate and proceeded to break them up into chunks with my hands.

Then I put the yoghurt in a bowl…

Whisked it a little before adding the besan…

The salt (i used a tsp)…

The haldi…

The asafoetida…

And whisked it all up until there were no lumps left…

Then I added 3 cups water with the ginger & garlic and mixed it up…

I put a saucepan on high heat with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil… When nice and hot, I added the cumin seeds and fried till brown and fragrant – about 1 minute.

Then I added the green chillies…

And fried for another 30-40 seconds.

Then I added the potatoes and friend for about 2 minutes…

Next, I poured in the yogurt mix…

I brought it to a boil and then bent down to sniff the heavenly aroma of cumin and turmeric…!

I checked the seasoning and was ok with the salt, but felt we needed more spice so I added a dash of red chilli powder!

Then I stirred it and covered the pan with a lid, leaving it to simmer for 15 minutes while I got the salad and pooris ready.

In a wide and deep steel bowl, I placed the flour, salt, red chilli powder and ajwain and stirred it with my hands…

Then adding a little cold water at a time (as much as would fit in my upturned palm), I incorporated the water into the flour and kneaded it till the soft dough came together…

Once it started coming together, I punched it flat and then pulled together. Punch and pull. Punch and pull. I can go on… And on… But 2 minutes of this is enough.

Then I divided it into sections and rolled it into balls…

I initially rolled them into approx larger than golf ball size… But decided later that they were making HUGE pooris. So I re-did it to make them smaller. This pic is of the larger ones…

The dough made about 10-12 pooris. Depends on how large you want them. Anyhow, I let these rest while I heated some oil in a kadhai/ wok. When it was nice and hot, I took out my chakla-belan (rolling stone and pin)…

Then dabbing the dough ball with a little oil so it doesn’t stick to the stone or the pin, I flattened it slightly in my palms and then placed it on the stone. I rolled it out as thin as I could without causing it to tear…

Now most people slide it into the oil like this, which results in nice puffed up pooris. But AK and I like them to be a little crisp, so I poked it with a fork about 4 times…

And then slid it into the hot oil, carefully because I didn’t want to splash oil all over myself…

I reduced the heat slightly to medium-high and fried it for about 30-40 seconds on each side, flipping carefully with a slotted spoon…

When golden, I carefully lifted it out of the oil and drained the oil for a few seconds before placing on paper towels to drain a little more…

(The pics make the pooris look more yellow than they were. I assure you they were golden. Just the direct sunlight playing tricks!!)

Anyhow, I served it up with the bhaaji, some sliced onions doused in chaat masala and lemon juice, as well as some achaar/ pickle and grated carrots!

Bon Apetit!!