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Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu | Poori Masaal

#Comfortfood #Nellaicuisine

Poori Khizhangu‘ is a magical combination that instantly satisfies our taste buds. For us, it’s one of our comfort foods. It fills our tummy and soul alike. Though, there are many versions of this delectable recipe popular across India, each one is unique in its own way. One such kind is Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu.

It is one of the most sought-after breakfast menus in eateries and households in Nellai district, Tamilnadu. Silky soft pooris are served with Urulai Khizhangu (potato) side dish called ‘Masaal’ which is super delicious and rich in flavour.

How to make Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu?

The localites say, the secret ingredient of this recipe is ‘Tamirabarani’s water’, a perennial river that is the lifeline of the Nellai district. This may be true because whenever we had a chance to relish their local food, it was absolutely appetizing, scrumptious and out-of-the-world dishes that are prepared using simple, locally grown ingredients.

For over many years, I have tried replicating Nellai’s poori khizhangu recipe that I have relished many times in my native place, Kallidai Kurichi in Nellai district. Poori came out perfect in one or two trials, but I couldn’t
get the exact taste of the Khizhangu like the original one. After many try-outs, l understood the proportion of onions to potatoes and the handling of onions in this recipe. Here’s the recipe that tastes similar to Nellai’s recipe…

Ingredients

For Poori

  • Wheat Flour / Aata – 2 cups
  • Maida – 1 tbsp
  • Sooji – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1/2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

For Poori

  • Mix wheat flour, maida, sooji, ghee, oil and salt.
  • Add water little by little and knead it to a firm dough, not too hard and also not too soft like chapathi dough.
  • No resting time is required for poori dough. So, we can start making poori as soon as the dough is kneaded.
  • Heat oil in a kadai. The oil should be hot but not smoky.
  • To check the temperature of the oil, just drop a small piece of the dough in the hot oil. If the dough rises to the surface immediately and puffs up, then that is the correct temperature to fry pooris.
  • Lower the flame slightly and start rolling the pooris.
  • Take a small lemon-sized amount of dough and roll it into a round shape. Roll it from one side evenly without putting any pressure on the rolling pin to get a smooth rounds without any cracks.
  • Slide one poori at a time in the hot oil. When it raises to the surface, press the edges gently using the back side of the spatula. This step helps poori to puff up nicely. Flip it once and fry both the sides till it is golden in colour.
  • Using a slotted spatula, remove it from oil and drain it in an oil absorbent napkin.
  • Serve hot with potato masaal / khizhangu.

Notes

For Poori

  • Don’t knead the poori dough for a long time like chapathi dough. While kneading, the gluten content in the dough gets released and thus makes roti / chapathi /paratha soft and silky. For poori, the dough has to withhold the gluten content intact so that we get crisp, puffed up poori.
  • Do not fry the poori for a long time. They may become hard and dark in colour. Ensure the correct oil temperature throughout while frying. If the oil is too hot, the outer layer of the poori gets fried and the inner layer remains uncooked. If the heat is low, the poori doesn’t puff up and absorbs more oil.
  • Once fried, either serve the pooris immediately or store it in a wide bottomed vessel. Do not store it in a casserole as it makes the pooris to sweat and lose its crunchiness. Consume the hot pooris within 10-15 mins to enjoy the silky but puffed up poori!

Ingredients

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • Potato – 3 medium-sized
  • Onion – 4, large
  • Green Chillies – 3 to 4 
  • Ginger – 1/2 tbsp, grated
  • Curry Leaves – few leaves
  • Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably sesame / til oil)
  • Mustard / Rai – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Haldi – 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Besan – 2 tsp

Method

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • Boil and mash the potatoes coarsely. Cube the onions, finely chop the green chillies, grate the ginger, roughly tear the curry leaves. Mix 2 tsp of besan in 1/2 cup of water and keep it aside.
  • In a kadai, add 2 tbsp of til oil, add mustard. When it splutters add urad dal and channa dal. Fry till it turns golden.
  • Add grated ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for a second.
  • Add onions and saute till it looks translucent. Add a glass of water, haldi, salt and sugar.
  • The water should be just enough to immerse the onions. Cover it with a lid and give a good boil till onions are soft.
  • Add mashed potato and chilly powder. Mix the mashed potatoes with the onion well.
  • Add the besan paste and keep on stirring till the besan gets cooked. If required, we can add little more water, say 1/4 cup.
  • When the khizhangu looks glossy, switch off the flame.
  • Serve hot with Poori.

Notes

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • The amount of onion should be more than the qty of mashed potatoes.
  • Ginger and green chillies should be used adequately. It enhances the flavour.
  • Using sesame or til oil boosts the flavour of this recipe, but I always feel that cooking oil preferences are entirely based on one’s choice. Til oil can be substituted with any suitable refined oil.    

For similar interesting recipe Laccha Paratha, Paneer Butter Masala, Pindi Chole, Dal Baati Churma, Palak Paneer Paratha, Butter Idly, Crème Anglaise with Caramalized Banana .

Happy Cooking!

3 thoughts on “Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu | Poori Masaal

  1. Excellent recipe super taste👌

  2. I <3 your recipe!!

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