Puris are a favoured afternoon tea snack in Maharashtra that can be relished with a tasty pickle or chutney. Along with serving as a flatbread during lunch or dinner, the puri dough is mixed with vegetables or light seasonings to roll them into crispy, puffy snacks that are ideal for tea-time. Read on below for some puri variations that are popular in Maharashtra.
Puri, or the fried Indian flatbread is a quintessential breakfast or lunch dish enjoyed across multiple regions across the country with spicy vegetables or lentils. In fact, aloo puri is a favoured breakfast in many cities and towns, where the warm, freshly fried puri is devoured with soft, mushy potatoes seasoned with onions and chillies. In Maharashtra, puris are served hot during a meal or made as a snack to be had with afternoon tea. So, along with the crispy, puffy wheat puri, there are other variations of this flatbread which are fried frequently across households as accompaniment with a steaming cup of chai.
Chaha-puri is a much-loved combination, but the puris which are lightly spiced and made from several different ingredients like spinach or millets are equally relished with some homemade pickle or chutney. Read on to know more about the different kinds of puris that are popular snack numbers in Maharashtra:
Spinach or palak is added to puri dough to make a variation concocted to ensure that little kids eat their greens! Spinach puree is mixed with the dough which is rolled into small, circular puris and deep fried until it acquires a nice golden brown hue. The puri is served hot and enjoyed with raw mango pickle or groundnut chutney. Other vegetables like beetroots or methi (fenugreek) can also be used similarly for a variation of this veggie loaded puri.
This literally means a puri lightly seasoned with salt and chilli powder. A recipe invented in household kitchens to finish off leftover puri or chapati dough, this puri is simply made by adding some basic seasonings like salt, chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and ajwain to the puri dough and deep frying it into a puffy flatbread. This puri is a popular as a snack or a light dinner particularly on festival days.
Bhajani is made from millets, legumes and pulses and is an extremely rich source of complex carbohydrates which boost energy and are just as nourishing. The multigrain bhajani peeth or flour is mixed into a dough with water, green chilli paste, some cumin and coriander powder and a bit of garlic. Small balls of the dough are flattened into puris or vadas and deep fried to attain a delicious flavour. In Maharashtra, there are two varieties of bhajani, one of which is especially made for fasting days. Choose the right bhajani variation on upwas days if you are keeping with the fasting ritual.
A regular wheat puri is a popularly made flatbread on festive occasions. Shrikhand-puri is a delightful combination of the cream cheese dessert paired with the puffy, white puri. This meal nicely brings out the sweetness of the smoothly churned shrikhand flavoured with eelaichi or cardamom, saffron and even mangoes. This variant is known as the aamrakhand and is a favourite dish enjoyed with warm puris and aloo subzi.
Crispy Puri/ Jar Snack Puri
This is a puri variety that is used in chaat recipes as well as for dipping into chai at tea-time. Made from semolina dough, wheat flour and maida or white flour, it is a deep-fried snack that is lightly flavoured with salt and cumin. In some variations, a bit of chilli powder is also added to the dough. Asafoetida or hing mixed in the dough helps in digesting this fried goodness. Still, enjoy it in measured quantities!