Masala puri is a lip-smacking vegan chaat recipe popular in the Bangalore-Mysore regions of Karnataka.
Here is a detailed recipe to make authentic roadside masala puri chaat easily at home.
Serve this as an evening snack or make it for your parties, it sure is going to be a big hit.
Indians and Chaat are like a match made in heaven, right? Most of us love chaat!
Chaat is basically a savory snack with a varied number of ingredients popularly available as a street-style food.
In almost every city in India, you can find food trucks/stalls by the street selling chaats.
Though these basically originated from the northern parts of India, you can find so many regional varieties and versions in different states and cities.
Similarly, one of the most famous chaat dishes that you can find in Karnataka is this ‘Masala Puri’.
What is Masala Puri Chaat?
Masala Puri is an Indian street food made of puri/poori (the one that is used for pani puri/ golgappa), a special masala, raw vegetables, spices, and herbs.
The puris are crushed and placed on a plate or bowl, and this special masala is poured all over it, and then topped with raw vegetables like grated carrot, chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, and lastly sev/mixture/boondi.
The heart of this dish lies in the masala. It is made with dried peas, spices, carrot or potato, onion, garlic, tomato, and herbs.
This masala is what makes the chaat very special and utterly delicious.
The joy of devouring a piping hot bowl of masala puri is priceless!!
Ingredients used to make the Masala
This is the main ingredient in the masala. Remember you have to use ONLY dried peas and NOT fresh or frozen green peas.
Fresh or frozen green peas do not taste good in this, as they are sweet and soft.
And because they don’t release starch while cooking, like dried peas, we will not get the right texture and taste. So please keep this in mind.
You can use dried green peas or dried white peas. Some chaat stalls use green and some use white. I always make with green dried peas, but either way, it is good.
Carrot or Potato–
Along with dried peas, you will need 1 small carrot or 1 small sized potato that has to be cooked.
Furthermore, this cooked carrot or potato will be later ground along with other ingredients to make the masala paste.
The reason why we need a carrot or potato is that it gives a good base and volume to the masala.
If you use a carrot, the masala will not be too dense in contrast to what happens when we use potato.
With cooked and ground potato, the masala will get much thicker as the potato is starchy.
Also, since we will be grinding a ladle full of cooked peas too, I avoid using potato. Both starchy ingredients will otherwise make the masala quite sticky and gluey.
However, this is not really a big issue as we will be simmering the masala later and adjusting the consistency.
So, I would say carrot would certainly be my first choice. In case you don’t have it, a potato will also do.
Onion, Ginger, Garlic-
These three ingredients are extremely important to make the masala, as they add a lot of flavor.
Preferably use pink onions over white onion. The pink ones give a much better taste.
If you do not eat onion and garlic, you can skip it. However, the taste of the masala will definitely be a little different.
Tomato will give a good balance of sourness in the masala along with adding a bit of red color to the gravy.
Mint and Cilantro (Coriander) are also very essential to give a lovely flavor and color to the masala.
The green color of the masala primarily comes from these herbs.
We will use green chilies, a few whole spices and a couple of spice powders to make the masala.
This particular combination of spices is again extremely important to get that authentic Bangalore style masala.
Whole Spices- Cumin seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black Pepper
Spice Powders- Chaat Masala, Red Chili Powder, Amchur Powder (dry mango powder), Garam Masala
How can I make an orange-colored Masala?
In Karnataka, we get two kinds of masala puri. One with a greenish masala and the other with an orangish masala.
Now you might wonder, what difference would this really make, when the main ingredients are pretty much the same?!
But, I know masala puri is an emotion for us Kannadigas and we would definitely want to recreate it exactly the same way we have grown up eating.
If you like the greenish masala, just follow this recipe.
If you like the bright orangish masala, here is what you need to do-
- Reduce the number of coriander leaves (say about 2 stalks), and use 1 teaspoon coriander seeds to get the flavor.
- Secondly, skip green chilies and use more red chili powder, preferably Kashmiri or Byadagi red chili powder since they give a nice color with less heat.
- Use carrot instead of potato to pressure cook.
- Another option would be to use dried white peas instead of dried green peas. This will help the color of the tomato, carrot, red chili powder to pop up.
Once you make this masala, you can use it to make many other street-style chaat dishes, apart from masala puri.
These variations are available in the chaat carts in Karnataka as well.
Potato Masala (Aloo Masala)–
To do this dish, make small holes in the puris, like we do for pani puri.
Fill them with boiled and mashed potatoes. Pour a bit of this prepared masala, and top it with carrot, onion, and coriander leaves.
You can also sprinkle some spice powder like chaat masala, red chili powder, and also lemon juice if you like.
Karnataka style Bhel Puri is much different from what we get in the north.
To make this, mix puffed rice with few tablespoons of the masala, some cooked peas, chopped tomato, onion, and coriander leaves, chaat masala, and sev.
You can also add some mint coriander chutney, and chopped boiled potatoes if you like.
This again is a regional version of the popular north Indian samosa masala or samosa chaat.
To make this, crush the samosas slightly on a plate. Pour a ladle or two of this prepared masala, top it with mint coriander chutney, chopped onion, and coriander leaves, some yogurt (curd), sweet chutney if you like, and sev or mixture.
Other Karnataka Recipes you might like:
I first tried this masala puri recipe from this YouTube channel, and tried again with a few alterations.
After testing and re-testing this recipe, I can confidently say that it is no less than what you get at your favorite chaat cart, or probably even better. 😉
Check the video recipe of masala puri here:
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Important: 1 cup = 250 ml
Masala Puri Recipe Authentic Bangalore Style
- Pressure Cooker
- Deep Bottom Cooking Pan
- Blender / Mixer
To Pressure Cook
- 250 gm dried green peas - can use a little more than 250 gm
- 1 medium carrot - or 1 big potato
- 2 cups water - or as required
To Make Masala Paste
- 1 tsp oil - of choice
- 1 medium red onion - fairly chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves - or 6 small, fairly chopped
- 1 medium tomato - fairly chopped
- 4 nos. green chillies - fairly chopped, adjust numbers as per taste
- 1 inch fresh ginger - fairly chopped
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 4 nos. cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 10 nos. black peppercorns - adjust as per taste
- 8 sprigs fresh coriander
- 8 nos. mint leaves
- 1/2 tsp red chilly powder - adjust as per taste
- 1 tsp amchur powder
- cooked, cooled and mashed carrot - or potato
- a ladleful cooked and cooled peas
- 1/2 cup water
To Make Final Masala
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp jaggery powder
- 1.5 tsp salt - adjust as per taste
- 1 cup water - adjust as required
- prepared ground masala
- remaining cooked peas
- 32 nos. puri - 8 puris per serving
- 2 large carrot - grated
- 2 medium onions - finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes (sweet variety) - finely chopped
- 1 cup fine sev/mixture/boondi - more or less as required
- 1 small lemon
- 10 stalks fresh coriander - finely chopped, more or less as required
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1 tsp red chilly powder
Cooking the Dried Peas
- Soak 250 grams plus little extra dried green peas in enough water for 6 hours at least. They would have swollen up and doubled in quantity.
- After 6 hours, drain the water used for soaking the peas. Transfer peas and fairly chopped carrot or potato to a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water (or as required).
- Cover the lid of the pressure cooker and place the weight. Cook this in medium heat for 4 to 5 whistles so that the peas are well cooked and soft, but not mushy.
Making the Masala Paste (Grinding)
- Firstly, to a pan, add oil. Once it heats up, put in the chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds until the raw smell disappears.
- Then, add 1 fairly chopped onion and saute until it turns soft and slightly brown.
- Next, add tomato and saute until it turns soft but not mushy.
- Transfer the sauteedingredients to a mixer jar once they cool down. Add all other ingredientsmentioned under 'To Make Masala Paste' with water and blend to a smooth paste.
Making the Final Masala
- Heat a deep bottom pan, add a tsp oil. Then transfer the masala paste prepared earlier. Be careful as it can splutter, so keep the heat to low.
- Add some water to the mixer jar and transfer the paste completely.
- Transfer the remainingcooked peas and mix everything thoroughly. Add the ingredients givenunder 'To Make Final Masala', except water.
- Simmer this mixture in low-medium heat for at least 20 minutes. The longer you simmer in low heat, the better it tastes.
- Keep stirring the mixture so that it does not get burnt and add water in steps as the masala starts to get thick as you simmer.
- Add more water if the masala is very thick. Switch off the heat once done. Theconsistency of the masala should be slightly watery.
Serving Masala Puri
- As the masala is getting simmered in the previous step, finely chop 2 onions, 2 tomatoes, coriander leaves and also grate 2 carrots.
- Make a mixture of salt, chaat masala, red chilly powder to use it later while serving. This step is optional though.
- Crush about 8 puris in a bowl or serving plate. To this add 4-5 ladles of prepared hot masala.
- Next add some grated carrot, chopped onion, tomato, coriander leaves.
- Add some mint coriander chutney for that extra flavour and spice if you like.
- Sprinkle a pinch of the prepared mixture of spices (salt, chaat masala, red chilly powder), if using.
- Top with fine sev or mixture or boondi and add some lemon juice.
- Hot and delicious authentic street-style masala puri is ready to serve. Enjoy hot, add more masala if required.
- You can skip onion and garlic if you do not eat them.
- You may replace carrot with potato to pressure cook.
- If you are using small sized garlic cloves, use 5-6 in number or as per your taste.
- Adjust the quantities of green chillies and peppercorns as per your taste.
- Adding a tsp of jaggery balances the flavour. You may skip if you wish to.
- I have used the store bought dry puris and microwave for 40 seconds. But use the deep fried authentic chaat puris (pani puri puris) for the best taste.
This is an updated version of the recipe with a lot more details than the previous version that was published in 2018.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all.