Puris are the ultimate Indian indulgence. They are generally made with wheat flour and fried to golden perfection. The most common kind is the plain or salted version which is eaten as a bread with any curry. This post is about the TiKhaT MiThachi puri or Masala puri. TikhaT is pepper and MiTh is salt, so this is salt and pepper puri, the pepper here being cayenne pepper, which is more common in Indian cooking than black pepper as a spice.
This is a typical marathi dish and a family recipe. This is/was pretty common as food to be taken along during travelling. This is because these puris stay good for a long time and do not spoil easily. I remember many a long train journey ( 20-30 hours) when I used to have a pack of these with some sweet lemon pickle and curd rice, lovingly prepared by the ladies – mother, aunts, grandmas – and it provided enough nourishment for a pack of hungry kids on their way back to college.
Every family generally has their own version, with some secret ingredient passed on down the generations. Our recipe is as follows -
2 cups wheat flour
half cup besan or chickpea flour
1 tsp turmeric or haldi powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper or mirch
2-3 cloves fresh grated garlic
1 tsp Ajwain seeds /carom
salt to taste
2 Tbsp oil for dough
oil for deep frying
flour to coat as needed
1) Mix together the flours and seasonings. Add the 2 Tbsp oil.
2)Add water very slowly and knead to make a thick dough. You can use the food processor, but be careful not to add too much water. Keep pulsing patiently to form a thick dough
3) Make small puris of even thickness using a rolling pin and a platform or your ‘chakla belan’. You can make a big roti and then use a cookie cutter or jar lid etc. to cut out the puris. This will make all of them the same size and shape. This is just a suggestion if you are big on unformity and are a novice in this.
4) Heat oil in a wok or kadai. As the oil starts smoking, add the puris. Do not crowd the oil. Add 1,2 or 3 puris at a time depending on the size of your wok and the amount of oil you have.
5) Serve hot with any pickle of choice and plain yogurt.
This is an elaborate item/recipe which is tricky for the likes of me, and we hardly make these a few times a year. But this is a typical traditional dish which used to be pretty easy for the ladies of yore. Happy Munching!!