Masala poori

Masala poori

Pooris with spices

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

A masala as we all know by now is a combination of spices and condiments and naturally an item with the word masala attached to it is open to variations. This is a typical recipe for crispy-spiced pooris, but you can experiment and try it out with different flavoured spicing.

A poori, poorie or puri is a fried chapatti of sorts. Poori comes in various shapes and sizes but they are always fried. They can be soft or crisp – it all depends on the recipe and what you wish to serve them with. It can be a snack or it can be part of a main meal. Also, pooris are a matter of trial and error so do not give up simply because you did not get them right the first time. I can assure you that I am no champion myself, and my wife can make them better by a mile than me any day. It’s all a matter of practice and the first few will not always look good or even shapely for that matter but they’ll still taste good!


Quantity Ingredient
400g wholemeal flour
1 level teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
2 green chillies, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground anardana, (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and crushed
1 tablespoon melted butter, ghee or oil
200ml water
sunflower or rapeseed oil, for deep-frying

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sweet chutney
or potato bhajee


  1. Sift the flour with the salt in a large stainless steel bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except the butter, ghee or oil and water, then rub in the fat.
  3. Gradually add water a little at a time, kneading by hand or in the machine to form a firm dough. You may need more or less water depending on the flour. It is important that it is not sticky at all.
  4. Wrap in clingfilm or a damp cloth and leave to rest for around 15–20 minutes.
  5. Heat 5–7.5 cm oil for deep-frying. At the same time get ready a sieve, some kitchen towel spread on a tray and a slotted or holed frying spoon. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible, on a lightly floured surface if absolutely necessary. Cut out 5–7.5 cm discs of dough (brush off any excess flour if any was used for rolling).
  6. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop in one poori. It should rise to the surface immediately and cook quickly to golden brown. Fry no more than 2 or 3 discs at a time. The best technique is to hold them down whilst spinning each one in the hot oil for a few seconds and then release them, flip them over as soon as they bloat and colour lightly. Remove quickly as they will cook in seconds.
  7. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Enjoy with sweet chutney or potato bhajee. They make a superb dessert if served with crushed cardamom-flavoured mango pulp.
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