Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow storm and a warm lunch - Poori & Saagu

So, when we moved to the Pacific Northwest from the midwest, we thought we were done with the snow, every one we talked to whined about how rainy the area is and gloomy it becomes in winter. I am 'romantic to the core' and was completely in awe of the beautiful surroundings, mountainous terrain and the sky reaching ever greens and fell in love with my new home. I love the slow rains (unlike the thunderstorms), moderate temperatures (warm summers and cool winters) and was happy when the old timers said 'It doesn't actually snow but gets gloomy', I was done with snow and so settled in happily at my new home :-). Well.. looks like somebody had different plans, Seattle area is seeing the snow storm it hasn't in 27 years, so we are home bound, working from home and school is closed. But I am not complaining, I just realized again that I love snow especially when I don't have to maneuver the roads.

When the three of us are home on a week day which is a rare occassion, it is lunch time and cold outside, what do we collectively wish for? Something hot, deep fried (sinful), which is exactly what we had for lunch when it was snowing outside - poori (deep fried Indian bread) with potato saagu and maagai (an Andhra delight made with raw mango).

We eat Poori with potato saagu or vegetables saagu or potato palya (dryer version of the saagu) or chole (a North Indian delicacy made with garbanzo beans) and always with maagai (I know this is the second time I said that name on this post, I promise I will post the recipe soon). The potato saagu I have here is not very spicy but flavorful and usually what you get in Mysore restaurants if you happened to order pooris.

Amma got married when she was just out of high school (yes, it was a child marriage :-)), she left the sheltered life at mother's place for the first time and moved to the unfamiliar place with her new husband. My FIL got her samosas to snack when he came home from work and amma wondered it was poori-bhaji but didn't dare ask her new husband why it was packaged like that :-), she broke open the samosa and ate the outer shell with the stuffing like she would eat poori-bhaji at home. She has learnt to eat samosa now and loves her poori-bhaji any day. So this one is for my lovely amma.

What do you need to make Pooris?
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup water
1 Tsp salt
Oil to deep fry
1 Tsp ajwain seeds/om kalu/vamu (optional)
wheat flour, salt & ajwain seeds

Poori dough resting

Dough made into small balls, ready to be rolled

Rolled out discs, ready to be fried

How do you make Pooris?
  1. Make a stiff dough with the flour, salt, ajwain(if using) by adding water little by little.
  2. Keep it covered to keep the moisture intact for 15 minutes
  3. Heat oil to deep fry
  4. Pinch off a small lime sized dough, smoothen it and roll it into circular discs of about 1/2 mm thickness. 
  5. Deep fry the discs one by one in the hot oil, slowly turning it over till both sides becomes light golden
Puffed up poori

Poori turned over to cook on the other side
  1. Do not keep the dough for more than 20 minutes as pooris absorb more oil.
  2. The dough should be stiffer than regular chapati dough. 
  3. Ajwain seeds not only give a nice flavor to the pooris but also help in easy digestion of the deep fried stuff.
What do you need to make Potato saagu?
4-5 medium potatoes - boil, peel and mash them with some chunks 
1 medium onion - choped into thin, long slices
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 inch of fresh ginger root - cut into thin julienne
a small bunch of cilantro/coriander leaves
2-3 green chilies - slit vertically into half
1 cup of water
1 Tblsp of cooking oil
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp cumin

How do you make potato saagu?
  1. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin, let mustard crackle
  2. Add cut chilies and chopped ginger and let it roast in oil for a minute
  3. Add chopped onions and let it become light pink
  4. Add the boiled, mashed potatoes in with salt and add in the water to bring it to a gravy consistency
  5. When the saagu starts to form small bubbles, add the chopped cilantro and let it all boil together for a couple of minutes
  6. Switch off the stove
Potato Saagu

Ready to bite into..
  1. Add frozen green peas to the saagu if you like.
Teaser about Maagai: 
This is a summer special pickle from Andhra, BH just loves it. It is preserved and used the whole year. It is a concentrated, spicy pickle and we make pachadi (chutney) using the concentrate with seasoning and mix it with home made yogurt/curd while serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi your really fantastic....and HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU