Masala ni Puri (spiced crackers) and chai pair so well that they seem like a match made in heaven. The crisp/kadak masala ni puri along with sev, mamra/puffed rice, Kakhra are always to be found in the Gujarati larder. You have all heard about Gujju love for carrying their thepla, Khakhra, chevdo along on their foreign sojourns but, you wouldn’t have heard of the humble masala puri that we never miss to take along. It is our most loved and cherished travel buddy! The petit and flavorful cracker fits in our luggage with same ease as it does in many of our meals. Given its small size and a finger food avatar we love to take it on picnics and trips to be dunked in chai or enjoyed with a cup of milk any time of the day. One box it is always found in is the kids lunch box packed alongside a small container that carried pickle or chunda. These days kids lunch boxes have become very cumbersome for the parents as well as the kids but, when I was growing up no one bothered to see what we had in our tiffins and did we finish the whole tiffin or not!! The attention given to kids meals is a little too much these day. Today, no mother would dare to pack just masala puri and pickle even it the child loved and enjoyed it more than roti-subzi!! But when we were kids we did that. And we ate so much of these puris that I remember my mother had to stop making it so that we would eat the regular khana and not just snack on puri and sukhdi!! I still remember the evening when my mother-in-law had declared that dinner that day was tea and masala ni puri!! We were newly engaged and I was surprised to know that puri can be had as dinner as well 😍 Our family loves to snack on it and I particularly like the way my mother-in-law makes it. Small, thick and ballooned discs and not the thin and very crispy ones with sharp edges.
A confession I need to make here is that I can’t roll puris ( I don’t know how to), I can make Roti, Bhakhri but not puris 🙄 so I use a puri press my grand ma-inlaw had gifted to me some 21 years back❤️ she knew I can’t roll puris and that her grand son loved puris so to ensure he continued enjoying it she gifted us with a puri – press when we were relocating to another city after our marriage!!
Coming back to the recipe here, I have included sooji/semolina in the dough just because my precious cooking lady did it that way, to ensure extra crispness. If you do not have it handy replace it with same amount of whole wheat flour. While frying the puris keep the flame gentle so that you do not burn them from outside. Be very careful because once it has turned pale brown it becomes dark brown very soon. Do not skim on the oil to be added to the flour. Oil will ensure flaky puris. Don’t worry if you do not get them right the first time, it takes a little bit of practice to perfect it.
Always enjoy the Masala ni Puri with a cup of masala chai…..they are made for each other 💕
Masala ni PuriPrint Recipe
- 1+1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 table spoons shooji/semolina
- 2 teaspoons haldi/turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons mirchi powder/red chili powder (more or less as you like)
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons oil for the dough, preferably groundnut oil
- A pinch of ajwain/carom seeds
- salt to taste (should be on the higher side)
- 3/4 cups or less water
- oil for deep frying
In a large mixing bowl or parat/flat plate add the flour, semolina (if using) spices, seeds, salt and oil. Mix the oil in the flour very well. The oil should coat the flour particles rally well.
Add 1/2 cup of water to begin kneading the dough. Try bringing all the flour together. Now if you need, add a tablespoon of water at a time. You might require around 4 tablespoons of water. The quantity of water will depend on the flour you use. So practice caution here.
Bring everything together, and knead a very tight dough.
Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes.
After the dough has rested for mentioned time, divide the dough in strawberry sized portions.
Roll and press each dough ball.
While you are rolling the balls, put enough oil in a wok/kadhai on medium to slow flame.
Using a rolling pin or puri/tortilla press roll each ball into a small cookie sized puri.
Keep stacking them on a side.
Once you have rolled enough puris, begin frying them.
Carefully, place 4-5 puris in oil and fry them on gentle heat until golden brown on both the sides.
Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Repeat until you have finished rolling and frying all the puris.
Once it reached room temperature, you can store it in airtight container for a week.
The key to crisp and flaky puri is a tight dough. So be patient and do not get tempted to add more water to bring the dough together. Use some muscle power to bind the dough together.