Poori Masala: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners


    Learning to cook is like learning any other art form; the more you try, the better you’ll get. I keep thinking about this when I take a cooking lesson from Sujaya. We made dahl during our first cooking lesson, and in that lesson, everything she pulled from the cupboard was new. Since then, we’ve made sambar, lemon riceIndian prawn fry, and upma, and with every lesson, the seasoning and the cooking style become familiar. 

    My point is, keep trying! It gets easier, and before you know it, you’ll proudly present your homemade dish at your friends’ Diwali party.

    Today’s lesson was Poori Masala. This recipe is my favorite so far because of the simplicity of the poori. I see myself making it often. I’ve had masala at restaurants before, but this recipe takes the win by far. “Home cooking is just better.” – Sujaya.

    Try it! Comment below and let us know what you think.

    Poori Masala: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners


    • 3 large Potatoes (peeled, diced into 1/4 inch cubes)
    • 1 large Onion (diced)
    • 2 tsp Chana Dal
    • 1.5 tsp Urad dal
    • 2 tsp Mustard seed
    • 1 sprig Curry leaves
    • 2 medium Tomatoes (diced)
    • 1 pinch Hing
    • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp Chilli powder
    • 2 tbsp Oil
    • Salt to Taste


    • 1 cup Wholewheat flour
    • 2 cups Water
    • 2 cups Oil for deep frying
    1. Masala Instructions:

      Place the potatoes in an instant pot or pressure cooker and cook for one whistle or 4 minutes. Once cooked, manually release the pressure.

      In a. pan, heat the oil and add the chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, add the pinch of hing. Put the onions into the pan and fry till translucent. Add 1 tsp of salt, turmeric powder, and tomatoes. Let fry until the tomatoes turn mushy, and then add the potatoes and stir. Mash the potatoes while stirring, leaving some larger chunks. Add half a cup of water and let simmer until the water evaporates and turn off the stove.

    2. Poori Instructions:

      Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Fill the well with water and begin to mix the dough. Keep mixing and adding the water till you have a smooth dough that is not sticky. Cover and let stand for 10 mins.

      Take a 1-inch ball of dough and roll it out of a floured surface to a round 1/4-inch thickness. Do this with all the dough. Heat a pan with the oil, take a small piece of dough, and test the oil heat by dropping it in; it should rise immediately without browning. Once this happens, you can drop the rolled pooris in one by one, allowing them to puff up before turning them over and removing them from the oil.

    Poori Masala: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners
    Poori Masala: Cooking with Sujaya, Indian Cooking for Beginners

    Dinner, lunch
    Masala, Poori, Poori Masala

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    Olga Rosales Salinas is Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms. As a freelance writer and journalist, her articles have been published nationally by Palabra, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Her debut collection of poetry and prose, La Llorona, was published by Birch Bench Press in August of 2021. Her monthly column "Thriving While Anxious" is featured @ Jumble & Flow. In 2019 her philanthropy and activism began with a non-profit benefiting first-generation and immigrant students, The Rosales Sisters' Scholarship. She has had spotlights in the following podcasts and radio stations; Los Sotelos Podcast, The Hive Poetry Collective @ksqd.org, Walk the Talk Podcast, "Making a Difference with Sheetal Ohri" on Bolly 92.3 FM, and Roll Over Easy @BFFdotFM Radio.


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