Friday, July 11, 2014

Poori Bhaaji

Poori Bhaaji is a favourite breakfast snack for not only Mangaloreans but all South Indians. Bhaaji is made in at least half a dozen different ways in Mangalore but his typical South Indian Bhaaji has added grated coconut, making it more yummy.
Meena made this bhaaji after 25 years, since I was reminiscing over my early days when I relished excellent Poori bhaaji at Taj Mahal Cafe, Rama Bhavan(Ayodhya), Madhuvan(Moti Mahal), Welcome Hotel(Karkala old Bus Stand), Bus Stand Canteen(Hampankatta old Bus Stand Mangalore) and at Vijaya Vihar(Chickpet Bangalore). They all added grated coconut in bhaaji which is a rare sight today. Taj Mahal cafe even stuffed their oval shaped masala Dosas with this bhaaji and the dosas tasted different. Welcome Hotel and Bus Stand canteen Poori Bhaaji were the best. It was good when it lasted.

In the early Seventies, my father used to send me to Bus Stand Canteen to get good snacks. There the specialty was Poori Bhaaji. Father's friend Shinna Baalo(M Srinivas Baliga) the owner used to call his favourite waiter and shout "Shivananda bechcha bechcha poori bhaaji korlayaa"(Shivananda, give him hot poori bhaaji). He also used to send me into the kitchen to see if they give freshly fried hot pooris with bhaaji. While we travelled from Mangalore to Shimoga in the mid Sixties, the Jog Express bus used to halt at Karkala Bus Stand at around 11.00AM, where Welcome Hotel welcomed us with excellent Poori Bhaaji. I can still remember the flavour of the bhaaji they served. Blissful days!

It's not too late and you don't miss the goodness of the same bhaaji that Meena made the other day. Follow the recipe and pamper yourself with yet another simple but authentic traditional bhaaji brought to on Garam Tawa.

Onions - 3 Medium, sliced thin
Potatoes - 2 Medium, boiled peeled and Cubed
Coconut Oil - 2 Teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Urad(Black Gram) Daal - 1 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Green chillies - 4 Chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt - To taste
Freshly Grated Coconut - A handful

In a thick bottomed kadai/wok, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
Allow to splutter and then add black gram daal. Allow to get golden.
Add chopped curry leaves and green chillies and fry well till green chillies look opaque and get dehydrated.
Now add the sliced onions and fry till the onions become slightly golden.
Add turmeric powder and salt, mix well.
Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for 2-3 minstill onions are tender.
Now add the cubed boiled potatoes and freshly grated coconut and saute.
Check for salt and serve hot with hot pooris with or without thick coconut chutney.

Here's the Poori recipe.

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