Masala Puri is a spicy and tangy lip smacking chaat. This street food is perfect for those chilly or rainy days when you want something piping hot and delicious. Of course, you can have it any time of the year, whenever your heart yearns for something spicy, something tangy & sweet, with a kick of many unique flavors. Indians love their chaat: spicy, sweet, tangy and all the flavors in between. And we’ve made others fall in love with these foods, too!
They evoke the memories of fun times spent together with family and friends. These are perfect foods for get-togethers and potlucks. This dish is no different — has all the elements and hits the right notes on the taste scale.
What is Masala Puri?
Masala puri is a delicious Indian street food where flavorful green peas curry is served over a bed of crushed crisp puris, garnished with onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and sev. Sometimes tamarind chutney is also served over the peas curry.
Masala puri is a famous food from Karnataka, and especially loved in Bangalore and Mysore. You’ll find street vendors serving tasty versions that subtly differ from each other. If you love to try different varieties of chaats, specifically the ones bursting with multiple flavors and fillings, you’ll enjoy my recipe immensely.
Bearing many resemblances to ragda, this masala puri is equally delicious but with a completely different flavour profile. Both use dried peas, the Bangalore masala has green peas while the Mumbai version contains white peas.
About this recipe
My recipe is made the authentic way with the use of dried green peas, green chili and herbs. While this dish isn’t spicy like misal pav and is kid friendly, make a much milder version by leaving out the chilies.
You’ll find two styles of masala puri served at food stalls. The standard green gravy with coriander and mint. The less common variant has peas and carrots cooked in an orangish gravy. This one uses less of herbs and more of red chili powder.
In a lot of eateries in Bangalore, you will also find the plain mushy cooked green peas being assembled instantly with a green or orangish gravy and then topped with garnishes. So there are so many ways masala puri is made and served.
This savory snack also makes for a light protein-rich dinner and works as a meal prep option. Prepare the gravy 2-3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator and serve hot with puris and other garnishes.
This Bangalore masala poori recipe uses ingredients that are available in most plant-food kitchens.
Dried green peas: This ingredient is the heart of the recipe and gives it substance, flavor and so much more. Masala puri won’t taste the same with white peas or other beans/legumes.
Potato: Boiled and mashed potato thicken the gravy, provides volume and consistency to the masala gravy. You can skip it, but the gravy will be watery and require another thickener.
Onion & tomatoes: As much as in any other Indian curries, these 2 ingredients add flavor and punch to the dish. They form the masala base and serve as crunchy garnishes. You can skip the onion for a Jain version but not the tomato. Use juicy and ripe red tomatoes.
Coriander and mint leaves: Fresh coriander and mint leaves give the dish its green tinge and improve the flavor profile. They also help in digestion.
Spices: Nothing elevates a simple dish into something delightful like the right mix of spices. Here I am using cumin seeds, garam masala, red chili powder, and fennel powder. Cut back on chili powder to lower the heat levels. You can add chaat masala for the extra tang.
Ginger, garlic and green chili are used to enhance flavors of the dish. I have used them in chopped form, you can also use ginger garlic paste if you don’t have the whole ginger and garlic.
Jaggery: Kannadigas love to balance the taste and flavor of many dishes with a small amount of jaggery. This hint of jaggery makes the recipe as authentic as it gets. What’s more jaggery provides a nice balance to the spicy and tangy elements.
To assemble: You will need fried puri (or papdi), onion, tomato, carrot, coriander leaves, tamarind chutney, lemon juice, and sev/farsan. You may skip carrots and lemon juice based on your preference.
How to make masala puri (stepwise photos)
Preparing the dried peas
1. Rinse and soak 1 cup of dried grean peas in a large bowl for 6-8 hours or preferably overnight. Drain the water and rinse the soaked peas that have now doubled in size.
2. Pressure cook the peas: Peel the potato and add it with green peas to a pressure cooker. Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric and 3 cups of water. Close the lid and pressure cook for 15-20 minutes or until you hear 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. The peas should be well cooked and softened.
If cooking in Instant pot, pressure cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Make the masala
3. While the peas are cooking, prep the other ingredients. Chop tomatoes and onions for the gravy. Finely chop onions and tomato for toppings.
4. Add 1½ to 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan or pot & heat it. Reduce the heat to low and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and stir to prevent the seeds from burning. When the seeds start spluttering, add 1 chopped green chili, 1 inch ginger slices and 2 to 3 sliced cloves of garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
5. Add the chopped onion (about ½ a cup) and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it turns translucent.
6. Add the chopped tomato (about ½ to ¾ cup) and ¾ to 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes turn mushy. Stir frequently to ensure the food doesn’t stick to the bottom.
7. Move the onions tomatoes to a side in the pan. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon of red chili powder and ¾ to 1 teaspoon of garam masala.
8. Mix to combine and cook for a few minutes to let the flavors blend. Turn off and cool this completely.
Make masala paste
9. Check if the peas and potatoes are done. Peas should be slightly mushy, partially holding shape and fully cooked.
10. Add the sautéed onion tomatoes to a grinder jar along with ½ cup of coriander leaves (with tender stalks) and 15-20 mint leaves. Also add 2 tablespoons of boiled peas. I usually take the top portion of the cooked peas from the bowl, which mostly has the loosened skin from the peas. Adding peas to make the paste provides thickness to the gravy.
11. Grind the cooled masala to a smooth thick paste. Do not add water at this stage.
Make masala puri gravy
12. Add the blended paste to the same pan on medium-low heat and cook for a few minutes until aromatic.
13. Add the remaining peas and the potatoes, along with the stock (water we used to cook the peas).
14. Mash the potato gently & mix well to thicken the gravy. This is the consistency you will get.
15. Add 1 cup of fresh water, jaggery (if using) & 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (optional). Simmer the masala for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir at frequent intervals. In the meantime, prepare the tamarind chutney, using my notes (if you’re making it at home).
16. Taste and add more salt to the gravy if required. The masala should be cooked well and the rawness gone. When the oil specks rise to the top, remove from heat. This is the consistency you should look for. The masala gravy thickens a bit after cooling, so turn off accordingly.
17. I used store bought ready to fry puri papads. Now is the time to fry them. Heat some oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot enough, fry the puris, 3 to 4 at a time. Drain excess oil on paper towels or remove them to a steel colander.
Assemble the masala puri
18. In a serving plate/bowl, crush 6-7 chaat puris for the base.
19. Pour the masala gravy (heat it up if it’s gone cold). Add 2-3 teaspoons of tamarind chutney.
20. Top with finely chopped onions and tomatoes. You can also add grated carrot for a healthier option. Drizzle some lemon juice on top. Sprinkle chaat masala if desired.
Top with sev, bhujia or other farsan. Crush a few puris as toppings for extra crunch or top with puffed puris. Add finely chopped coriander leaves. Prepare the remaining bowls and serve masala puri immediately.
- Use fresh dried peas. Old peas take longer to cook and can lack in flavor.
- Don’t ever use fresh frozen peas! Seriously, you don’t want a gooey, mushy gravy. They taste sweet, tend to go soft and ruin the overall texture.
- Don’t skimp on the spices. They add the zing that makes masala puri such a crowd pleaser.
- Deep fry the puris for best results or use ready to eat pani puris.
- Vatana/dried white peas will do in a pinch. 50-50 works better! Use half green and half white but only white peas won’t give the same authentic masala puri flavor.
- Not a fan of potato? Reduce the quantity of potato and add carrots.
- Skip onion and garlic if you do not eat them.
- Wany to go easy on oil? Microwave dry puris for 30-40 seconds. Use baked chips, tacos, nachos or papdis, preferably unflavored.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup dried green peas
- 1 medium potato
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups water to pressure cook
- 1½ to 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ to 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (adjust to taste)
- 1 inch ginger (peeled and sliced)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves (sliced if large)
- 1 green chilli slit (skip if making for kids)
- 1 medium onion (½ cup sliced)
- 1 medium tomato (½ to ¾ cup chopped)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon chilli powder (kashmiri or byadgi)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ cup coriander leaves with tender stalks (tightly packed cup)
- 15 to 20 mint leaves (Pudina, you may skip if you don't like)
- 1 cup water (to bring to consistency)
- 1 teaspoon jaggery (to balance the taste, optional)
- 30 to 40 puris (or papdi, I use store bought ready to fry puri papads)
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 small tomato (deseeded and fine chopped)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped
- ¼ cup tamarind chutney (or refer notes to make your own)
- ¼ cup nylon sev (or any other like mixture or farsan)
Prepare green peas
- Add green peas to a pot and rinse them well under running water a few times. Cover them with fresh water and soak for 6 to 8 hours.
- Later drain the water and rinse them well with fresh water. Wash and peel a potato. Add that as well to the bowl and pour 3 cups water.
- Pressure cook these for 4 to 5 whistles or 20 minutes on a medium heat.
Making masala for masala puri
- While the peas and potatoes pressure cook, heat oil in a pot or pan.
- Add fennel seeds and cumin seeds. They will begin to splutter, add ginger garlic and green chilli.
- Saute for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out the aroma of ginger and garlic. Then add onions sand saute until transparent.
- Add tomatoes and salt. Saute until the tomatoes soften and the raw smell disappears.
- Slide the onions and tomatoes to a side and add red chilli powder and garam masala. Mix and saute until the masala begins to smell, for a minute or so.
- Cool this completely and add to a grinder jar.
- Meanwhile check the peas. When the pressure releases naturally open and check. They should be soft cooked, almost mushy & partially holding shape.
- Take 2 tbsps of the cooked peas, cool them and add to the grinder. I usually take the top portion of the cooked peas, which mostly has the loosened skin from the peas.
- Grind all of these to a smooth paste without adding water.
- Add this back to the hot pan and saute for a few minutes until aromatic. This takes about 4 minutes.
- Next transfer the boiled peas, potato and stock (the water in which the peas and potatoes cooked).
- Mash the potato with a spatula and mix everything. I don't mash the peas as they are already mushy.
- Pour 1 cup more water and cook on a medium heat until thick. Add jaggery and tamarind if desired.
- Once it came to a boil I cooked for about 7 to 8 minutes. The raw flavor of the mint and coriander leaves goes away by then. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Turn off the stove.
Assembling masala puri
- Before assembling ensure you keep everything ready. Chop onions, tomatoes, lemon and coriander leaves. You can use make without tamarind chutney too. But if you want you can check my easiest tamarind chutney recipe here.
- Crush 7 crisp puris or papdis and add them to a serving plate or bowl. Pour masala puri as much as you want.
- Add tamarind chutney, onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Add sev and more crushed puris if you prefer.
- Serve masala puri immediately as the crunchies soften after a while.
- You can substitute puris with baked chips, tacos, nachos or papdis, preferably unflavored.
- Skip making tamarind chutney and add a bit of tamarind and jaggery to your gravy. But it is easier to make the chutney with my easy recipe. You can check out the link provided in the ingredient list & instructions.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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