This Poori masala is a delicious hotel style recipe to make the potato masala or gravy that is always enjoyed with poori. This dish gets its name poori masala as it is served as a side dish with Poori (Indian fry bread). This South Indian potato masala gravy is made with boiled potatoes, lots of onions, spices, lentils and herbs. Make this flavorful and tasty potato masala for a comforting weekend breakfast.
About Poori Masala
There are many potato based curries made in the vast Indian cuisine. The poori masala is a special and unique potato masala gravy that is mostly served with poori. But the gravy is so good that it also tastes great with Dosa or poha dosa, Rava Dosa or even phulka.
This combination of poori with a potato gravy is very popular all over India. While the poori recipe remains the same, the potato gravy takes on different flavors and tastes.
This recipe is a South Indian variation of North Indian Aloo Puri and its taste is very different than the North Indian variations. As typically ingredients like mustard seeds, lentils, curry leaves etc are not used in the North Indian variants.
The South Indian variants also include plenty of onions while making this dish. Even in the various South Indian states and regions, this dish has some variations. In the state of Maharashtra, it is made again very differently and known as Poori Bhaji.
The dish is one of those potato gravy dishes that I sometimes make on Sundays. Not that I make poori every time. I also make phulka or dosa to go along with this dish.
Poori masala makes for a good breakfast or lunch or brunch. When I took the pics, I had also made Aamras to go along with the poori. This combination of aamras and any potato sabji with pooris is too good.
You can serve potato masala with Poori or phulka or with a side of chopped onions or coconut chutney.
How to make Poori Masala
1. First rinse 2 large sized potatoes (about 400 grams) in fresh water a few times. Then Boil or steam the potatoes in a stovetop pressure cooker or steamer or Instant pot.
If pressure cooking, then pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles on medium heat adding enough water covering the potatoes. They should be softened and fork tender.
2. When the potatoes are still warm, peel and crumble them. You can also chop them and keep them aside. You should be able to get 2 cups of tightly packed crumbled potatoes.
Sauté Spices, Onions
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan or kadai or wok. You can use any neutral flavored oil. Lower the heat and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Crackle them.
4. Then add the following ingredients:
- 2 teaspoons chana dal (husked split bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram) – optional
5. Stir and fry till the lentils become golden. Ensure that the lentils turned golden but should not get burnt. So stir often on a low heat.
6. Then add 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger, 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies and 10 to 12 curry leaves.
You can reduce the amount of green chilies if you want. The chilies I used were very mild, so I added 2 of them.
7. Then add 8 to 10 cashews, which have been chopped. Feel free to skip cashews if you have nut allergy.
8. Stir and then add 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions (1 large onion, sliced). Instead of onions you can add shallots or pearl onions.
9. Add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and ⅓ to ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
To make a gluten-free dish you can skip asafoetida and serve this poori masala with dosa or roti or poori made from gluten-free flours or millet flours.
10. Stir and mix very well. Saute the onions on low to medium low heat stirring often till they turn translucent.
11. Now add 2 teaspoons besan or gram flour.
12. Stir and mix the gram flour very well with the rest of the ingredients.
13. Add ¼ cup chopped tomatoes (about 1 small tomato, chopped). Tomatoes give a light tang to the dish.
Adding tomato is optional and you can skip it. Stir and saute the tomatoes for 2 minutes.
Make Potato Masala
14. Then add 1.25 to 1.5 cups water. You can vary the amount of water depending upon the consistency you prefer.
For a thicker consistency add less water and for a slightly thinner gravy consistency add a bit more water.
15. Stir and mix very well.
16. Bring this mixture to a simmer without a lid for about 4 to 5 minutes on low to medium heat.
17. Now add the crumbled or chopped potatoes and stir very well.
18. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the potato masala for 4 to 5 minutes on low to medium heat.
The potato masala should thicken and have the right consistency that is not too thick nor thin. But according to your preferences, you can vary the consistency.
19. Season with salt as per taste. Mix the salt with the rest of the poori masala. You can also add a bit of sugar if you want.
20. Lastly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Stir very well and switch off the heat.
21. Serve South Indian potato masala with poori or chapati or dosa or paratha. It makes for a filling and comforting meal for breakfast or lunch.
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- 2 potatoes – large sized, 400 grams or 2 cups tightly packed crumbled boiled potatoes
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions – 150 grams or 1 large onion
- ¼ cup chopped tomatoes – 40 to 50 grams or 1 small tomato, optional
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger – or 1 to 1.5 inches ginger
- 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies 2 to 3 green chilies, reduce the amount of green chilies if you want
- 1 sprig curry leaf or 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons chana dal (husked split bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram), optional
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ⅓ to ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 8 to 10 cashews – chopped
- 2 teaspoons besan (gram flour)
- 1.25 to 1.5 cups water or add as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar or add as required, optional
- salt as required
- Rinse the potatoes very well in water Boil or steam them in a pressure cooker or steamer or Instant Pot. If pressure cooking, then pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles on medium heat with water completely covering the potatoes.
- Cook potatoes until they are softened and fork tender. Drain the water and set aside the potatoes to cool.
- When the potatoes are still warm, peel and crumble them. You can also chop them and keep aside.
- Peel, rinse and thinly slice the onions. Also chop the tomatoes, ginger, green chilies and coriander leaves. Rinse and dry the curry leaves in a kitchen towel. Chop the cashews.
Sautéing spices, onions and tomatoes
- Heat in a pan or kadai (wok). Lower the heat and add mustard seeds. Crackle them.
- Then add the chana dal, cumin seeds and urad dal (optional).
- Stir and fry till the dals or lentils become golden ensuring that they do not burn.
- Add finely chopped ginger, chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
- Then add the cashews, which have been chopped.
- Stir and then add the thinly sliced onions.
- Add a pinch of asafoetida and turmeric powder.
- Stir very well and sauté the onions till they become translucent.
- Now add the besan or gram flour. Mix the besan very well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add chopped tomatoes. Adding tomatoes are optional and you can skip it. Stir and sauté the tomatoes for 2 minutes.
Cooking potato masala
- Then add water. Mix very well.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer. About 4 to 5 minutes on a low to medium flame.
- Now add the crumbled or chopped potatoes and stir very well.
- Cover and simmer the potato masala for 4 to 5 minutes on a low to medium flame. The potato masala should thicken and have a right consistency which is not too thick nor thin.
- Season with salt as per taste. Mix the salt with the rest of the potato masala. You can also add a bit of sugar if you want.
- Lastly add the chopped coriander leaves. Stir very well and switch off the flame.
- Serve potato masala with pooris or phulka or dosa.
- Use starchy potatoes types like russet or yukon gold.
- The potatoes can be steamed or boiled in a pan or Instant Pot or in a stove-top pressure cooker adding water as needed.
- You can choose to skip gram flour (besan) if you do not have it or swap it with chickpea flour.
- Alter the consistency of the gravy a bit by making it thick or slightly thin by adding less or more water.
- For a gluten free version, skip asafoetida. And to make a gluten-free meal, serve the potato masala gravy with dosa or puri/roti made with gluten free flours or millet flours.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerate for a day only. The leftover potato masala can be reheated in a small frying pan or sauté pan adding water as needed if in case the gravy has thickened.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Poori Masala post from the archives (June 2015) has been republished and updated on 3 October 2021.