Poori Halwa is a very popular breakfast in the entire Indian subcontinent, particularly at weekends when it is sold on almost every street corner like hot cakes. Be it rain or shine, people throng around the poori halwa stalls like bees.

In monsoon and winters many people prefer to make poori halwa brunch at home. They also have guests over to enjoy the delicious meal and weather together.

In different parts of the subcontinent pooris are made with slight variations in method and ingredients. In Punjab whole wheat pooris are popular, whereas in Bengal luchis are made Maida ( refined and bleached wheat flour).

This is a tried and tested, fool-proof method that I’m sharing with you. The pooris will fluff up like a ball and at the same time stay nice and soft…semolina and oil help them keep soft. Though I don’t really like deep frying, it is a necessary evil in this recipe. This meal is loaded with calories so don’t get addicted to it even if you fall in love with it 🙂

For Poori ( puri)

1+1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons wheat semolina (suji)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Warm water for kneading
Vegetable oil for deep frying

This Is What You Do :

Place whole wheat, semolina and salt in food processor. Add oil, start the processor. Drizzle warm water slowly through the opening in the lid till the mixture forms a firm ball of dough.
If you are doing it by hand in a big mixing bowlIf doing it by hand make a whole in the middle of the flour and add oil, slowly add water and keep mixing and kneading till the mixture forms a firm dough ball.
Brush the surface of dough with a little oil. Cover and set aside for ten minutes.
Meanwhile heat oil (2 inches deep) in a wok or deep frying pan on medium heat. Throw a little piece of dough in the oil to check the temperature, the dough should immediately rise to the surface. If the oil is not hot enough poori will not fluff up, if its too hot poori will go brown on outside and will stay raw inside.
Make lemon sized balls with dough, flour the work top lightly, roll out the dough balls into tiny rounds. For nicely fluffed up pooris, roll them evenly.
Slip one into the hot oil, press down with a slotted spoon for a 2-3 seconds. Leave it to rise to the surface, turn and let the other side get golden too. Take it out on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Serve immediately with its traditional accompaniments; spiced potatoes, chickpea curry and semolina halwa.

Makes 7-8 small pooris

For Spiced Potatoes:

4 medium Potatoes, boiled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon onion seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

This Is What You Do :

Boil potatoes till they are done but still firm, not mushy. Peel and cut into bite size cubes. Heat oil on medium heat in a frying pan. Add cumin, turmeric ,onion and fenugreek seeds, stir fry till they split. Add ginger-garlic paste and chilli flakes. Add potatoes and stir another 2 minutes. Sprinkle salt, squeeze lemon juice and garnish with coriander and green chilli peppers.

For Chickpea Curry :

2 cups boiled chickpeas
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/4 teaspoon onion seeds (kalonji)
1 teaspoon red chilli pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

This Is What You Do :

You can boil chickpeas a day ahead and use when required or you can use canned chickpeas…just rinse them before use to get rid of extra salt.
Heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Add onions, stir fry till they are opaque, add fenugreek seeds and onion seeds. Add ginger-garlic paste, coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric. Add a little water(1/2 cup) and keep stirring the masala. Add chickpeas, mix with masala, season with salt. Serve hot with pooris.

For Semolina(suji) Halwa :

1/2 cup wheat semolina
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
5-6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil

This Is What You Do :

Boil water in a small sauce pan, add sugar. Cook till sugar melts, take off heat. Add a pinch of yellow food colour, if you wish, to the sugar syrup. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan, add cardamom seeds. Stir a few seconds, till you can smell the aroma. Add semolina, stir till it turns a light golden colour. Don’t leave it for an instant or it will burn. Add the sugar syrup, reduce heat. Let the semolina soak up the liquid and expand. Add the remaining oil and stir. Garnish with almonds and serve hot.

You can prepare all or any one of these accompaniments with pooris. If cooking for a bigger gathering prepare these a day ahead, cover and refrigerate.

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