Masala Puri

Street food culture exists everywhere around the world, and each culture has its own street food delicacies. The most popular Indian street food is chaat. For those who don’t know, chaat is not a dish in itself, but a group of savory dishes that are sweet, spicy, tangy, crunchy, all at once.

Across India, there are a variety of chaats, each with their own flavors and twists. One such chaat from the southern Indian state of Bangalore is Masala Puri. Although this chaat is like none other, it is still quite similar to a Ragda Patties or Aloo Chole Chaat. The dish is a flavor explosion and textural delight in the mouth. Starting with the earthy flavors of cinnamon and clove, followed by the freshness of the mint and cilantro and ending with the crunch of the toppings. This dish is an experience in itself.



For me, this dish even more special because it has special memories associated with it. My favorite place to eat Masala Puri was at a chaat joint called Ice Thunder. It was located in a bustling market in Bangalore. As a kid, everytime I visited India, shopping at that market was a must. And eating at Ice Thunder was a ritual after the shopping, it was not to be missed. My grandpa would walk me through the markets as my mum would shop and eventually when I would get cranky, we would all go and enjoy a plate of Masala Puri. Food memories are what drive me to re-create many of the dishes that I post.

This dish seems complicated the way I am explaining it. But, it is straightforward if you are patient and follow instructions 🙂 There are no special ingredients needed, just everything you have in your pantry, except the papdi/puri (not sure how many people store papdi at home regularly).

Do try this recipe. It will not disappoint.

Prep time15 minutes
Cook time25 minutes
Serves2-4

Ingredients

Masala Paste

  • Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1 small, finely chopped
  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Mint – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies – 2
  • Clove – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1 small stick or 1/2 tsp ground
  • Cardamom – 2 pods or 1/4 tsp ground
  • Salt – As per taste

Vegetables

  • Potato – 2 small
  • Green Peas – 1 cup (Fresh of frozen)

Toppings

  • Onion – 1/4 cup, finely shopped
  • Tomato – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Carrot – 1/4 cup, grated
  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Dates/Tamarind chutney – A few teaspoons
  • Sev – A handful
  • Papdi/Puri – A handful for each serving

Ingredient notes

  • The original recipe calls for dried white peas (safed matar) that are soaked and pressure cooked. But the recipe works just as well as fresh or frozen green peas
  • Sev is basically an Indian snack item made of Chickpea flour, which resembles noodles, except these are cut into tiny pieces. Sev is easily available at any Indian grocery store or it is easily available online on Amazon

Method

  1. Boil potatoes and peas. If using the Instant Pot, place the peas and potatoes in the pot, close the lid, set the vent to closed mode and select the pressure cook option with the timer set to 10 minutes. If using a regular pressure cooker, pressure cooker for 2 whistles
  2. In the meanwhile, prepare the masala paste. For this, add oil to a pan. Once it has hot, add the cinnamon, cloves, green chilies and onions. Saute until the onions are translucent. At this point, add tomatoes and cardamom. Saute until the the mixture is completely cooked. Take it off the heat and set it aside to cool
  3. Add the masala paste mixture to a blending jar. To this jar, add the cilantro and mint. Add a splash of water and blend into a smooth paste
  4. Add the paste back to the pan, add salt and bring it a gentle boil. At this point, add the boiled potatoes and peas. Now, using a masher or the back of a wooden spoon, carefully mash the potatoes and peas. Try not to mash them completely, leave a few chunks
  5. Now add water for the desired consistency and boil for 3-5 minutes. Then take it off the heat and set it aside
  6. To prepare a serving of masala puri
    1. Crush some papdi or puri and place it at the bottom
    2. Spoon a generous amount of the masala puri sauce
    3. Top with chopped onions, tomatoes, carrots and cilantro
    4. Add a few swirls of dates/tamarind chutney
    5. Garnish with sev
  7. Enjoy the hot and spicy masala puri 🙂

You can also follow me on Instagram to be up-to-date with what is cooking my kitchen. If you like this recipe, do share your comments below. Don’t forget to post your version on Instagram using #foodformyloveblog.

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