I have always had a passion for cooking as early as my childhood days. I love cooking a great meal for my family and friends. My cuisine is inspired by Kerala, where I was born. Kerala is in the Southern region of India. While growing up in Kerala, my family exposed me to all kinds of cuisine. From Syrian Christian, Jewish, Mapilla and Ayurvedic vegetarian, food was a big part of my home life. One of the traditional dishes is this poori recipe I’m sharing below. I tried out recipes in my home kitchen, and fed my family. I learned a lot in the process. Cooking is meditation to me.
From Electrical Engineering to Food
Although, I am an Electrical engineer, when I arrived in the US 20+ years ago, I pursued my interest in hand painting. I earned a degree in Surface Design from the Fashion Institute in NYC. However, food was always my passion. In recent years, I worked at a Jean George’s kitchen. It was an experience that elevated my skills significantly. Today, I combine all of my creativity and experiences to produce fashionable food on a plate. I established my own brand, Creative Rajni, where I share recipes (including this Poori recipe) and my current projects.
Philanthropy is also important to me, and especially charities that involve children. My dream is to fundraise through cooking, and donate the proceeds to orphans in Costa Rica and India. I currently work with Recipe for Humanity, where you can learn more about my passion project.
A Popular Dish In Kerala – The Poori Recipe
One of the popular dishes in Kerala, when I was growing up was Poori. Poori always came with masala- a potato dish and another one called inji thairu (ginger with yogurt). I saw your feature on Priyanka Chopra’s restaurant Sona. Like her rendition, you can serve this poori with caviar too! I’m excited to share this poori recipe with you.
2 cups + 1 tbsp-Whole wheat flour
2/3 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
½ tspn icing sugar
1 tbsp ghee
5 cups of safflower oil for deepfrying
- In a kitchen aid mixer add in the whole wheat flour, icing sugar and salt and mix with a spatula.
- Add in the hook attachment and start the mixer. Add in melted ghee and mix well. Now slowly drizzle in the water to make a dough not too thick nor too sticky but soft.
- Make a doughball, cover it and let it rest for an hour.
- Once the dough is rested, take small portions and make small balls. Flatten each ball into 5” thin discs using a rolling pin and oil.
- In the meantime, heat up(to 350 degree F) a deep pan with safflower oil and add in one disc. Slowly press down on the disc with a slotted spoon. The poori will puff up. Now flip it onto the other side until light brown.
- Drain it onto a paper towel. Enjoy it with a potato dip.
Potato Masala Dip
2 cups russet potatoes, diced
½ white onion, diced
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp salt
1 tspn Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tspn asefoetida
2 tbsp curry leaf, julienned
1 tspn, jalapeno, finely diced
1 tbsp ginger, julienned
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup water
- Heat coconut oil in a saute pan and add in asafoetida and curry leaves. Let it splutter.
- Now add in onions, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger and saute well for 5-6 minutes on medium heat until translucent.
- Now add in all the spices (chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt) and potatoes, cover and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add in 1 cup of water and cook until the potatoes are very soft.
- Transfer the potato mixture into a mixing bowl and mash it very well. The potato masala dip is ready.
Ginger Yogurt Dip/Inju Thayir
1 ½ cup thick Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ginger paste
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp jalapeno, minced
2 curry leaves, julienned
- In a mixing bowl, add yougurt and all other ingredients to combine thoroughly.
- Garnish with grated ginger and julienned curry leaves.
Enjoy the poori recipe with the dips. It’s the perfect snack for anytime.