Monday, September 24, 2012

Kitchen Utensils - 101 - Poori Press (Recipe for Poori with Potato Masala)

What do you want for breakfast? My mom asks the DDs in the mornings when we are visiting in India. The response invariably is pooris, the puffy deep fried piece of wheat dough. When I was growing up pooris were far more common than chapathis ever were. Pooris were a favorite weekend breakfast item as it was too much work for a weekday rush and not enough time to experience the joy of eating those deep fried beauties. This is South India where rice is the staple and rolling out dough does not come as naturally as swirling out a dosai!

Rolling pin and board is used by some to roll out the pooris but that is somewhat of a time consuming task. I have seen most people using poori press to roll out the dough so the most of the energy can be spent in deep frying and that one person can easily do the cooking.

Using the poori press is very simple. Roll out a small lemon size piece of dough. Oil both the plates of the press and place the dough ball between the two and press down on the handle. The pictures should give an idea of how it is done.
Once you have the poori press on hand the rest is simple. The dough is similar to the chapathi dough. Just be cautious while adding water, add just enough water for the dough to come together, sprinkle the water do not pour. If the dough is watery the pooris tend to absorb too much oil.

Here in our house we move the deep frying to the backyard to avoid oil fumes inside the house and most times it becomes an impromptu backyard picnic.

Poori Masala
For the Poori
  1. 3 cups of wheat flour (I used the Indian whole wheat kind *)
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. water as needed
1. In a wide mouthed bowl (like a cake batter mixing bowl) take the wheat flour and salt and add about 2 tbsp of water. Incorporate the water into the flour, sprinkle more water 1/2 tbsp at a time till the dough comes together. Do not add any moisture than required. Cover and set aside.

For the Potato Masala
  1. 4 Medium size potatoes washed and cooked till soft. I use the pressure cooker
  2. 1 cup of onions sliced lengthwise
  3. 8-10 green chilies slit
  4. 2 tbsp of roughly chopped tomatoes (optional)
  5. 1 tbsp grated ginger
  6. seasonings : mustard , curry leaves and a few methi seeds
  7. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  8. 1 tsp of oil
  1. Peel the cooked potatoes and roughly chop them and set aside.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan (wok) heat the oil and when hot add the seasonings
  3. Add the green chilies and onions and saute till the onions become translucent.
  4. Add in the ginger and saute for a few more minutes.

  5. Add the turmeric powder and mix it.

  6. Add the tomatoes and salt and let it cook till the tomatoes become mushy.

  7. Add the potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Turn off heat.

* use the regular aata for light colored poori but I prefer the whole wheat kind.
Use a bit more water if you like the potato masala to be runny

Variations of the Potato Masala
Potato Masala with Peas
Potato Masala Delhi style - Delhi Aloo


  1. Hey Indo.. that looks yummy!! How do you fry in your backyard here? Do you have a big grill cooking system with a stove or something? But yes, that's a great idea to avoid oily fumes.

    1. SS, not that fancy. We have a camping stove which is used for deep frying. You can see it in one of the pictures.

  2. I have a porri presser here which i bought some 15 yrs ago,i can never use them good, so i do the old fashioned way, but mom was always using this presser


  3. LOve poori masala. its been long time i tried this. u made me drool ;)

  4. Your post made me nostalgic :). There was one Puri press in my Grandma's house.
    I dont have one yet cos I don't make puris that often but yes it would be nice to have one..

  5. Hey Indo, curious to see if the press works for chapatis as well.. have you tried that ? I like homemade phulka's but its the process that makes it a rarity :(

    1. Priya, I do not use the press for making chapatis. It is easier to just roll them out. You have to use oil on the poori press so it defeats the purpose of making phulkas don't you think?

      With hot oil on the stove rolling out the pooris don't seem to be fast enough and this poori press makes it fast.

  6. Where did you purchased that backyard burner stove?

  7. Hi.. from where you purchased that backyard burner stove?

    1. If you are in the US, it was bought at Home Depot I think. Any store that sells outdoor cooking or camping stuff should have it.

  8. Thanks for the recipe. Soon going to buy one.


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