Masala puri is a flavor-intense dish that originated on the streets of Bangalore. Crispy puri is covered with ragda curry, then topped with fresh vegetables, chutneys, and crunchy sev. This is one chaat recipe you need to taste to understand!
What is masala puri?
Masala puri is a popular south Indian chaat, which is a type of snack food. It’s made up of fried puri (or poori), ragda curry (peas and spices mixed together), and fresh garnishes like onion and tomato.
With the addition of sev (chickpea flour noodles), tamarind chutney, and green chutney, this dish is crunchy, creamy, tangy, spicy, and bold! Serve it as-is or alongside a warm masala chai.
Although masala puri originated in Bangalore, it’s popularly served in many large cities across India. Today, I’m showcasing this vibrant, flavorful, and healthy recipe for you to try at home. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
Is masala puri vegan?
All of the ingredients incorporated into masala puri are plant-based and suitable for a vegan diet. Sometimes, ghee is added before cooking the gravy. But, it’s just as common and easy to use oil (as I did).
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Onions: For a savory base, add white onions. You can also use yellow onions.
- Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes impart a bright, juicy, and zesty flavor to the paste.
- Serranos: For a touch of heat. Feel free to use green chilis for more spice, or omit the serranos for a milder paste.
- Garlic & ginger: Both ginger and garlic add aromatic, spicy, and intense flavors. Make sure they are fresh as dried ginger and garlic don’t work as well in this recipe.
- Avocado oil: To sauté the spices and vegetables. You can also use olive oil if that’s what you have on hand.
- Herbs & spices: Seasonings include cumin seeds, anise seeds, fresh mint, and cilantro. The cumin and anise are sautéed to open up the oils while the mint and cilantro are added fresh.
- Peas: Use either white or green peas, but make sure they are dried. You will need to soak them for 8 hours, so plan ahead!
- Potatoes: Regular white potatoes work best for this recipe. Once they are pressure cooked, you will be mashing them to create a creamy curry consistency.
- Spices: I add a whole cinnamon stick, turmeric powder, chili powder, black salt (Kala Namak), regular salt, cumin powder, and garam masala. This is my preferred combination, but add the spices that you can based on their availability.
- Avocado oil: To sauté and open up the cinnamon stick oils. Again, you can use olive oil or another neutral vegetable oil.
- Water: To thin the gravy consistency. Add water until the gravy reaches your preferred thinness.
- Puri: Both store-bought and homemade puri work well for masala puri. They are crushed up to form the base on the serving plate.
- Fresh garnishes: Add more fresh onions, tomatoes, serrano peppers, and cilantro on top of the curry for a vibrant garnish.
- Chutney: Masala puri is served with both Green Chutney and Tamarind Chutney. They are easy to whip up before making this recipe.
- Sev: Made from a base of chickpea flour, these crunchy noodles are sprinkled on the top for an extra crunch!
- Chaat masala (see note at the bottom)***
Step 1: Prep the peas and potatoes
- Submerge the peas in a bowl of water, and let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Once the peas have soaked, add them and the peeled potatoes to an Instant Pot. Add 3 cups of water, then pressure cook them for 10 minutes on high.
- Once the peas and potatoes are soft, remove some of the skin that surfaces above the water. Mash the potatoes and set both aside.
Step 2: Make the masala paste
- In a medium-sized pan, heat the oil over low-medium. Sauté the cumin seeds and anise seeds until fragrant and sizzling (this takes about 10 to 15 seconds).
- Add onions and sauté them until translucent, then toss in serrano peppers, garlic, and ginger for another 30 seconds.
- Lastly, cook the tomatoes until softened. Let the mixture cool slightly, then blend it along with mint and cilantro until it forms a paste.
Step 3: Make the curry
- Heat more oil over low-medium, then add the cinnamon stick and cook it until fragrant. Once it is fragrant, add the masala paste along with 1 cup of water.
- Stir in the other spices: turmeric, chili powder, black salt (Kala Namak), cumin powder, and garam masala.
- Add the cooked potato and pea mixture, salt, and another 1½ cups of water. Mix the curry together well, then set it aside until you are ready to assemble.
Step 4: Assemble the masala puri
- Start with a layer of crushed puris on your serving plate. Pour hot curry over the crushed puris, making sure there is enough to submerge them all.
- Sprinkle on the following layers: onions, tomatoes, serrano peppers and chaat masala. Drizzle with Green Chutney and Tamarind Chutney. Finally, garnish with fresh cilantro and sev.
Once assembled, masala puri is best eaten right away. If you end up with leftovers, follow these simple storage instructions:
- Fridge: Once cooled, transfer the curry to a separate container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend storing it with fresh vegetables mixed in as they will change in texture and flavor.
- Freezer: I also don’t recommend freezing masala puri. There are too many layers of ingredients that will significantly change in texture once they thaw.
- Reheating: To reheat, add the curry to a pan over medium-low and cook until warm. Assemble it the same as before.
- Prep ahead: You can prep the curry ahead of time, then heat it up prior to eating. All you have to do is assemble it, and it’s ready to go.
- Adjust the consistency: Adjust the gravy consistency to your liking by adding more or less water.
- Use dried peas: For the best flavor, texture, and consistency, make sure to cook the peas from dry.
- Taste and adjust: Because this is a heavily spiced recipe, I suggest using the spice measurements as listed in the recipe card. You can always add more later.
- Crisp your puris: Deep fry your puris for the best texture, or use ready-to-eat pani puris.
No, I don’t recommend using frozen peas as they will turn soft and soggy. If anything, use fresh peas in place of dried peas.
If you enjoyed this masala puri recipe, be sure to check out more flavor-packed mains like these:
- Samosa Chaat: Crispy samosas are served over spice-infused chole masala, then layered with toppings packed with bold and beautiful flavors.
- Aloo palak: A flavorful Indian recipe made from potatoes, spinach, and fragrant spices.
- Vietnamese pizza: Crispy rice paper pizza topped with Just Egg and veggies.
- Moong masoor dal: A protein-rich soup made from red and yellow lentils.
- Vegan ramen: Ramen noodles and tofu submerged in a lemongrass broth.
- 1 cup onions roughly chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes roughly chopped
- 3 whole serrano peppers discard stem
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- ½ cup mint fresh
- 1 bunch cilantro fresh
- 1 cup green peas
- 4 whole potatoes
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon black salt (Kala Namak)
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon jaggery optional
- 1 teaspoon salt or per taste
- 5½ cups water add more for thinner consistency
Assembly Ingredients (quantity various per person)
- onions diced
- tomatoes diced
- cilantro chopped
- Green Chutney (cilantro)
- Tamarind Chutney
- sev puri
- chaat masala
- serrano peppers minced
- lemon juice fresh
To make prep green peas and potatoes:
- Submerge green peas in a bowl of water and let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Peel and wash potatoes and place them in the Instant Pot along with the soaked green peas and 3 cups of water.
- Set the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook and cook for 10 minutes on high.
- Once the Instant Pot is ready to unlock and open, remove and discard some of the pea skin that floats over the surface of the mixture. Use a potato masher and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
To make masala paste:
- In a medium size pan, heat oil at low to medium. Add cumin seeds and anise seeds and sauté till seeds are fragrant and sizzling (about 10 to 15 seconds).
- Then add onions and sauté till translucent. Then toss in serrano peppers, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and cook till softened. Then remove from heat and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer sautéed mixture to a blender along with mind and cilantro.
- Blend till it forms into a paste.
To make the curry:
- In a medium sized pan, heat oil on low to medium heat. Then add a cinnamon stick.
- When cinnamon is fragrant, then add the masala paste along with 1 cup of water.
- Stir in turmeric, chili powder, black salt (Kala Namak), cumin powder, garam masala and jaggery (optional).
- Add cooked potato and pea mixture, salt and another 1½ cup of water. Properly mix together till it forms into a curry. Set aside till ready to assemble. Note: Add more water, if you prefer a thinner consistency.
To assemble Masala Puri:
- Start with crushed puris on the serving plate.
- Pour hot masala curry over the crushed puris. Make sure to pour enough to submerge all the puris with the curry.
- Sprinkle the following layers: onions, tomatoes, serrano peppers and chaat masala. Drizzle with green and tamarind chutney. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sev puri and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Prepare the rest of the serving plates in the same fashion.
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