The world’s largest producer of chilies, India has many delicious dishes and snacks that deserve your attention.
Known as the “Land of Spices” due to its rich biodiversity, this country offers thousands of varieties of spices and other flavorings.
From curries to pickles, from chaat to desserts, there is something for everyone here!
What Is Masala Puri?
Masala puri is an appetizer made from deep-fried puff breads stuffed with spicy mashed potatoes or sweetened with sugar syrup.
It originated in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) but can be found throughout India today.
Puri literally means “deep-fry.”
The word comes from the Hindi language where it refers to the frying process itself. But what about “masala”?
“Masala” is a term used by cooks across South Asia to describe any spice blend they use in their recipes.
In fact, you’ll find multiple variations on how people prepare masala puris depending on regional preferences and availability of certain ingredients.
For example, some people add chili powder instead of cayenne pepper while others prefer curry leaves over green onions.
In addition to being an easy snack to eat, masala puri is also one of the most affordable appetizers available at restaurants.
You won’t have to spend too much if you’re looking to bring back home a tasty treat from your next trip to India.
What Are The Ingredients In Masala Puri?
Masala puri, also known as masala doughnut or simply masala dumpling, is one of India’s most famous snack foods.
It consists of a deep-fried crisp pastry covered by a spicy mashed potato filling (or sometimes cheese).
Its origin dates back to the British era when it was introduced as an alternative to traditional English tea cakes and scones.
Nowadays, it is widely available all across the globe thanks to globalization and increased popularity among tourists.
Although masala puri can be found everywhere in India, some regions have developed their own specialties.
For instance, in New Delhi, they are called khakra puris while in Mumbai, they are known as bhel puris.
In addition to the usual masala puri ingredients like flour, baking powder, salt, oil, sugar, etc., these types of puris often contain local herbs, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and even eggs!
Here is a list of what makes up a typical masala puri:
- Wheat flour
- Baking powder
- Gravy mix (optional)
- Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, peas, corn)
- Herbs (turmeric, coriander, cumin, red pepper)
- Fruits (apple, banana, cherry tomatoes, pineapple)
- Nuts/seeds (cashews, almonds, pistachios)
- Eggs (optional)
This recipe will show you how to make masala puri at home using only basic kitchen equipment.
How Do You Make Masala Puri?
Masala puri (also known as puri ki bhaji) is one such snack found throughout India.
It originates from Mumbai (formerly Bombay), but it can be found all over the country now.
This deep-fried snack consists of a crispy puff pastry filled with spicy mashed potatoes.
The dish is commonly eaten at breakfast time or after dinner, when you feel like having some extra spice in your system.
It is not only healthy and delicious, but also very easy to prepare.
You can get ready-made masala puris from most grocery stores nowadays, so don’t worry about making them yourself.
- 1 cup flour
- 4 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 6 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons ghee (or any cooking oil)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10–12 dried red chillies
- 8–10 cloves garlic
- 1 green chili pepper
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium potatoes
- Salt to taste
Mixing up the batter: In a bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Slowly add more water if needed until the mixture forms into dough. Add another ¼ cup of flour if necessary to avoid lumps.
Kneading the dough: Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes, adding additional flour if the dough becomes too dry. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Making the stuffing: Chop the onions finely using a knife. Peel and chop the potatoes. Remove the stalks from the garlic bulbs, then cut each clove lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice the green chili pepper and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on low heat in a pan while stirring continuously.
Once hot, add the mustard seeds and wait till they begin to pop.
Then add the cumin seeds followed by the chopped onions.
Fry these two items for 3–4 minutes before adding the garlic and green chili pepper.
Sautee everything well for 15 seconds before turning down the heat to low.
Meanwhile, cover a plate with paper towel and place the diced potatoes onto it.
Using an electric mixer, mash the potatoes thoroughly without crushing the chunks.
Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil along with the salt.
Once the potatoes turn mushy, remove the frying pan from the stove and scrape off the contents using a spatula.
Transfer the mashed potatoes back to the pan and cook for few more minutes.
Turn off the heat once the potatoes have cooled completely.
Adding the stuffing: Mix the mashed potatoes with the cooked onions and season with salt to taste. Spread out the stuffing evenly across the surface of the dough. Roll the dough around the stuffing tightly. Cut the rolled dough into 12 equal portions. Use a rolling pin to flatten the balls into flat discs approximately 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
Deep fry the puris until golden brown.
To ensure even cooking, use tongs to carefully lift the puris out of the oil and drain on absorbent kitchen towels.
Serve immediately with either sweetened yogurt, tomato ketchup, or plain butter milk.
Remember, eating masala puri will give you an extra kick of energy!
What Is The History Of Masala Puri?
Masala puri or Masalasutra Puri (Sanskrit for “spicy food”) was first created in Mumbai by a man named Shri Bhaskar Rao Patel.
Patel sold his business after he moved out of town and settled down in Pune.
After some time, one day while eating at a restaurant, he noticed how hot the puris were but couldn’t understand why they were so spicy.
He asked his wife about it and she told him that the puris had been made with chili powder instead of chillies.
He then realized that he could use chili powder to create a similar dish which would be less spicy than the original puri recipes but still have all of the same flavors.
With this new idea, he decided to start making masala puris using only the ingredients available to him, including corn flour, baking soda, and other pantry staples.
What Are The Different Types Of Masala Puri?
Indian cuisine can be classified into three main categories: vegetarian, non-vegetarian, and vegan options.
Each category has its own set of recipes and ingredients that must be used accordingly.
- Vegetarian – This type of cuisine uses plant based proteins like tofu or lentils in place of meat.
- Non-Vegetarian – Non-vegetarians use animal products such as chicken, fish, beef, lamb, etc., in their meals.
- Vegan – Vegan cuisine does not include any animal product whatsoever.
Masala puri falls under the non-vegetarian category because it includes a combination of chickpeas (chana), potatoes, onions, and spices.
There are several variations of this dish but they all share one ingredient—the spice mix called masala, which consists of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, onion powders, paprika, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, and chili powder.
There are two main ways to prepare masala puri:
1. Traditional method
This traditional way involves soaking dried chickpea flour in water overnight, then mixing it with other dry ingredients and baking it on a pan.
The result is a dense, crispy flatbread that looks similar to tortillas.
To make a batch of masala puris, first soak 1 cup of chickpeas in 4 cups of water over night.
Then drain them, add 2 tablespoons of oil, 3 ½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, and ¾ teaspoon garam masala.
Mix everything together well before adding 1 cup of water.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer until most of the liquid evaporates.
Once the chickpea dough becomes thick enough to hold its shape when dropped onto the countertop, remove the pot from the stove and leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes.
It should form little blisters on top.
Once those have burst, turn off the burner and transfer the dough to an ovenproof plate covered by aluminum foil.
Bake the masala puri at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15–20 minutes.
After the masala puri is done, cut it into small squares using a pizza cutter.
When ready to eat, put some vegetable oil on a frying pan, and fry each piece individually until golden brown.
Serve hot alongside spicy dips and sauces.
2. Instant method
This alternative approach requires no cooking time and therefore makes instant masala puri.
To start, combine 8 ounces of cooked chickpeas, 1/4 cup of grated fresh coconut, 2 tablespoons of chopped green sweet peppers, 1 tablespoon of chopped red bell peppers, 1 tablespoon of minced jalapeños, 1 tablespoon of minced white onion, 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds in a big bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice while stirring vigorously.
Divide the mixture among four bowls, press down firmly so that the batter fills up the entire container, and bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
If desired, sprinkle more lime juice and cilantro leaves after serving.
How Do You Serve Masala Puri?
Masala puri is one such snack found in almost every city or town across the country.
This delicious treat originated in Mumbai and was originally made out of flour and water but over time it evolved into a deep-fried puff pastry filled with spicy mashed potatoes.
These days, masala puris can be found at any roadside stall or even on the streets of most big cities.
They are usually sold by vendors who use an iron rod to shape them while they wait for customers to buy them.
There are two main kinds of masala puri – sweet and savory.
The former comes in three flavors, namely mango, banana, and kesar (rose), while the latter comes in four variants – chicken tikka, mutton tikki, paneer tikka, and vegetable.
They all have their own distinct taste and texture.
Here’s how you make each type of masala puri.
- Mango Masala Puri Recipe: This is very similar to sweet puri except that it uses less sugar. It also includes jaggery which gives a slightly bitter aftertaste to the dish.
- Banana Masala Puri: This variant of masala puri differs from the previous one because of its unique aroma. You will find the bananas used in this version have been soaked overnight so they release more moisture than fresh ones would.
- Kesar Masala Puri: This is another variation of sweet masala puri that uses saffron instead of rose essence. Saffron adds a subtle floral note to the dish.
- Chicken Tikka Masala Puri: As the name suggests, this variant features minced pieces of chicken meat inside it along with chopped onions, tomatoes, and green chili peppers.
- Vegetable Masala Puri: This type of masala puri has no meat and only contains vegetables like carrots, peas, cauliflower, cabbage, and mushrooms. There is also garlic powder added to give a bit of tanginess to the dish.
- Mutton Tikka Masala Puri: This is yet another kind of masala puri that involves stuffing minced lamb pieces inside the puffs.
- Paneer Tikka Masala Puri: It is not just about eating masala puri but also about making it! These little puffs contain shredded cheese inside them. And if you want to add a bit of extra spice to the dish, try adding red onion, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper too.
For those looking for new ways to eat these tasty treats, we recommend checking out our list of 15 best healthy vegan breakfast foods and 12 healthy lunch ideas.
What Are Some Popular Masala Puri Recipes?
Masala puri or also known as paal paneer or just paneer in English, is one such snack which can be easily found on any street corner in India.
This is a deep-fried ball of dough stuffed with spicy mashed potatoes (or sometimes cauliflower).
The taste is similar to samosas but it is much more crunchy and savory instead of sweet and soft like samosas.
You will find several variations of masala puri across different parts of India.
Some may call them paal paneer while others refer to them as sambar puris.
However, all have a common origin – they are deep-fried balls made with flour, water, salt, oil, and spice powders.
Here are some popular recipes for masala puri that you should try at home:
- Chicken Masala Puri Recipe
- Lemon Masala Puri Recipe
- Kashmiri Chicken Masala Puri Recipe
- Mumbai Paneer Masala Puri Recipe
- Punjabi Potato Masala Puri Recipe
- Rajma Masala Puri Recipe
- Besan Masala Puri Recipe
- Vegetable Masala Puri Recipe
Recipe Tip: How to make masala puri without using an oven?
If you don’t own an oven, there are ways to make these tasty treats without having to use one.
Here are two simple methods that can help you get started:
1. Make a batter out of chickpea flour and water
This method doesn’t require any special equipment.
You can simply mix chickpea flour with enough water until it turns into a thick paste.
Then, let it rest for about half an hour before proceeding further.
2. Mix dry ingredients first, then add water
For this second method, you need to start by mixing together 1 cup of whole wheat flour (all purpose), ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoons black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Afterward, place this mixture inside a bowl and slowly pour 3 cups of warm water over it.
As soon as everything gets mixed well, cover the bowl and let it sit overnight.
What Are Some Tips For Making Masala Puri?
If you want to make perfect masala puri at home, then follow these simple steps below.
- Use oil or ghee for frying if possible. It gives it a crispy texture while keeping it soft inside.
- Add in enough salt so that they taste good on their own without adding more during cooking.
- Batter should be smooth but not too thick.
- When frying them, keep an eye on them. Remove them when they start getting golden brown and crisp around the edges. You can also use tongs instead of fingers, which will prevent burning.
- While frying, avoid overcrowding pans as it may lead to unevenly cooked puris.
- After cooling down, wrap them in plastic bags until you are ready to serve them.
- You can eat masala puris plain or add toppings like chopped onions, cilantro, green chili peppers, etc., depending on what type of meal you are having.
How Do You Store Masala Puri?
Masala puris have an extremely short shelf life, especially if they’re not properly stored.
But luckily, it doesn’t take much effort to keep these tasty treats fresh for longer periods of time.
- Keep them in airtight containers or bags at room temperature (20-25 degrees Celsius).
- If you want to freeze them for later use, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap before placing into freezer bags or zip lock baggies.
- In case of frozen puris, thaw them out completely first before using.
What Are Some Common Ways To Eat Masala Puri?
As one of the most famous Indian snack foods, masala puri (also known as kachori) is not only tasty but also nutritious.
It can be enjoyed in various forms, which means it is an excellent choice for those who want to try out new recipes or expand their taste horizons.
- Puri – This is a deep-fried ball made of flour and water. The dough is then stuffed with spicy potato filling before being coated with chickpea batter. These balls are sold by vendors on streets all over India and have become so popular that they are now exported worldwide.
- Masala Chai – Masala chai is a sweet beverage made with tea leaves infused with black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. You may find these ingredients either separately, together in a blend, or in combination with other spices like mace.
- Gulab Jamun – These sugary treats originated in Uttar Pradesh, India but nowadays you will see them everywhere — from grocery stores to fast food chains.
- Chakki Bajji – Chakki bajji is a savory dish cooked using whole wheat dumplings, often flavored with cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, garlic, onion, and chili powder. They are eaten plain or dipped into yogurt sauce, tamarind sauce, or even mustard sauce.
- Khichdi – Khichadi is a rice gruel made with lentils or split peas, commonly used by Indians living in rural areas. It comes in different flavors such as almond and coconut.
- Mithapalli – Mithapallis are small sweet cakes made with maida (wheat flour), jaggery (raw sugar), ghee (clarified butter), and ground nuts. They are usually flavoured with saffron, rosewater, cardamom, and pistachio.
- Kheer – Kheer is a creamy dessert typically made with milk, almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, and dates. Sometimes, mango pulp, nuts, and dried fruits are added too!
- Dal Makhani – Dal makhani is a slow-cooked stew made with red kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and spices. It is considered a national dish of Pakistan and India.
- Sambhar – Sambhar is a tangy vegetable soup prepared using soybean paste, vegetables, and spices. Though traditionally served at breakfast time, you could serve sambhar any time of day.
- Rasoi Methi Tikki – Rasoi methi tikki is a crispy flatbread filled with potatoes, cheese, and herbs. A traditional way of eating rasoi methi tikkies is to dip them in curry gravy.
- Aloo Palak – Aloo palak is a warm salad made with spinach, boiled potatoes, tomato chunks, and fresh mint.
- Besan Laddu – Besan laddu are soft, spherical sweets similar to halwa made with besan (chickpea flour). They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes depending on what region they hail from.
- Idlis – Idlis are steamed fermented barley dumplings. Made with a thick batter, idlis are very starchy and chewy. Some people prefer them when they are cold while others enjoy them hot.
- Vada – Vadas are crisp, round, and slightly flattened fritters made with gram flour, oil, and salt. They are generally fried until golden brown and served piping hot.
- Paratha – Parathas are unleavened flaky flatbreads. Traditionally, parathas are made with unleavened chapati flour. However, today, you will find parathas made from wheat flour, cornmeal, buckwheat, or combinations of both.
- Naan – Naans are leavened flatbreads made with wheat flour. There are several types of naan including roti, phulka, paratha, and pita.
- Lauki ka Pulao – Lauki ka pulao is a hearty chicken rice dish made with tender young jackfruit (want to know what jackfruit tastes like, read here). Jackfruit is a tropical fruit native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. In Hindi, lauki means ‘young jackfruit’ and pulao means ‘rice’, making this dish perfect for vegetarians who cannot eat meat.
- Jhalmuri – Jhalmuri is a sweet dish originating from Rajasthan, India. It consists of deep fried semolina cake covered with syrup and garnished with chopped walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and raisins.
- Halva – Halva is a sweet confection made from roasted and shredded raw cane sugar mixed with ghee (clarified butter). Commonly available in different flavours, halwa can be found in supermarkets around the world.
- Khoya – Khoya is a dense, smooth pudding made from grated dry cow’s milk solids and cream. It is sometimes referred to as khirsoor.
- Chhena Doi – Chhena doi is a sweet treat consisting of a thin pancake layered with melted chocolate and topped with crushed peanuts. It originates from the state of Punjab in Northern India.
- Shahi Paneer – Shahi paneer is a classic Punjabi dish made with cottage cheese, which is simmered in an aromatic mixture of spices, yogurt, and cream.
- Kadhai Ka Bharta – Kadhai ka bharta is a type of vegetarian stir fry made with finely diced vegetables and spices. It is best paired with basmati rice.
- Tandoori Chicken – Tandoori chicken is marinated in a fiery mix of spices and grilled until caramelized. Originating from Punjab, this dish is widely consumed across North India and parts of West India.
- Palak Paneer – Palak paneer is a mild curry made with spinach and paneer cubes. In addition to the usual ingredients, this dish includes cashews, almonds, poppy seeds, and pine nuts.
- Garlic Butter Chicken – Garlic butter chicken is another popular dish from northern India. It is made with boneless chicken thighs braised in a flavorful mix of onions, garlic, ginger, coriander, and garam masala.
- Mughlai Fried Rice – Mughlai fried rice is a fragrant dish made with rice, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and spices. It is served with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with fresh parsley.
- Chicken Tikka Masala – Chicken tikka masala is a delectable meal made with tender pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt seasoned with cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, and other spices. It is often accompanied by naan.
- 1 Pan
- 7-8 Crispy Puris
- 1 cup Dried Yellow
- 1 Potato
- 1 Carrot
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Masala Powder
- ½ teaspoon Chilli Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- ½ teaspoon Amchoor Powder
- ½ teaspoon Black Salt
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery Powder
- 2 teaspoon Oil
- 1 Onion
- 1 Tomato
- ¼ cup Coriander Leaves
- 10-15 Mint Leaves
- 1 Cinnamon Piece
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Cardamom
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 7-8 Garlic Pods
- 2 Ginger Piece
- 1 Green Chilli
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- Give the peas a good 10 hours or overnight soak in water. The soaked peas should be rinsed out before being added to the pressure cooker with the diced potatoes and carrots.
- Cook under pressure for 5–6 whistles, then release the pressure before opening.
- Heat one teaspoon of oil in a pan with a thick bottom. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom seeds as the onions are cooking. Cook the onions until they are transparent.
- Then include the tomato chunks. Remove from heat after they are soft and allow them cool fully.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the masala, including the green chillies, mint leaves, and coriander leaves. Add 1 ladle of the cooked peas and all of the boiled carrots.
- Make a smooth paste by grinding.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the same pan before adding the ground masala paste. Water should be added to both the pan and the mixer jar.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, red pepper flakes, black salt, amchoor powder, chaat masala powder, and any other spices you think the gravy needs as it gently starts to boil.
- Cook this for 5 minutes on low heat, watching to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Add the jaggery powder and garam masala powder.
- Add the potatoes and pressure-cooked peas mixture as soon as it starts to boil. Mash the peas and potatoes if necessary.
- The gravy should be simmered for 5-7 minutes to achieve a good boil. Get rid of the heat.
- Crush the puris on the serving platter before putting the Masala Puri together.
- Pour hot pea masala over the puris, coating them.
- On top, sprinkle grated carrots, finely minced onions, and coriander leaves. Sev is then added on top. similarly prepare the other plates.
- Serve right away.