Kadak Masala Poori| Farsi Poori

Farsi Poori is an integral part of the Diwali celebrations in several Gujarati households. The coterie of Diwali farsaan or savoury dishes is incomplete without these little, crisp pooris. They can be made days in advance, and stay crisp for days on end. They are perfect to fill into jars and bring out when guests are visiting, just right with a cup of chai. They go beautifully with pickle or jam too, if you so prefer!

I know I say this every year, but this year it is especially true – I just can’t fathom how the months have flown by! It feels like 2022 just began. How is it almost time for Diwali already?! Anyhow, I wanted to share with you all recipes for a few sweets and savouries you could make this Diwali, and would like to begin with this one for Farsi Poori. Amma learnt how to make these from a Gujarati neighbour years ago, and they have been a permanent fixture at our place since, festival or not. Did I tell you they are lovely things to send in lunch boxes?

Farsi Poori or Kadak Masala Poori

Some other Diwali special recipes

You might want to check out the recipe for Omapodi on my blog, as well as this Aval Mixture and Chana Dal Namkeen. If you are thinking sweet treats, do take a look at my recipes for Mawa Gulab Jamun, Lauki Ka Halwa, Badam Kheer, and Sitaphal Basundi.

My fellow food blogger Priya Vijayakrishnan has shared a recipe for Namkeen Moong Dal, which I would love to try out this Diwali.

Then, there’s the Diwali Marundhu, the digestive that our wise ancestors would make, using a variety of spices and other ingredients, much needed after all the festival binge-eating.

Farsi Poori – ingredients needed

Like I was saying earlier, Farsi Poori refer to small, crunchy pooris that are typically made using maida and deep-fried. The word ‘farsi‘ means ‘crispy’ in Gujarati, and these pooris are definitely that. These pooris are a dry snack quite popular in Gujarat, especially during festivals like Diwali.

Here, I have deep-fried them as is traditionally done, but have substituted the maida for wheat flour. I think they still manage to be just as crunchy and delicious as the regular maida version.

Farsi Pooris sometimes have spices like carom seeds, pepper, cumin, and coriander powder added in. Sometimes, finely chopped fenugreek (methi) is also added to make them all the more flavourful. I have kept it really simple and added just a couple of basic spices – just some red chilli powder, asafoetida and carom (ajwain).

These are also sometimes referred to as ‘kadak pooris‘ or ‘kadak masala pooris‘. They are lovely as a tea-time snack, as I mentioned earlier. They are just as nice on their own, or dipped into pickle or jam, if you like that.

Vegan but not gluten-free

This recipe for Farsi Poori is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

However, due to the use of wheat flour and asafoetida (which most often contains wheat flour, in India), it is not gluten-free.

How to make Farsi Poori or Kadak Masala Poori

Here is how we go about it.

Ingredients (makes 25-30 small pooris):

1. 1 cup wheat flour plus some more for dusting

2. 2 tablespoons fine semolina (rava)

3. Salt to taste

4. 1/2 teaspoon carom (ajwain) seeds

5. 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) powder

6. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste

7. Oil for deep-frying + 2 tablespoons


Top left: Step 1, Top right and below: Step 2, Bottom right: Step 3, Bottom left: Step 4

1. Take the wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in the semolina, salt, carom seeds, asafoetida and red chilli powder. Mix everything well using your hands.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small tadka pan. Add this to the flour in the mixing bowl.

3. Mix the flour and the oil well together, with your hands.

4. Now, adding water little by little, bind the flour into a dough. The dough should be non-sticky, yet soft and pliable. Knead for 2 minutes.

5. Let the dough rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Top left: Step 6, Top right and below: Step 7, Bottom right: Step 8, Bottom left: Step 9

6. After the dough has rested, divide it into 25-30 small balls.

7. Roll out the balls into thin circles, using a rolling pin, on a flour-dusted work surface. Usually these pooris are small, with a diameter of 2-1/2 to 3 inches. Prick these circles with a fork on both sides, to prevent them from puffing up while frying.

8. Heat oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Meanwhile, keep the dough circles covered.

9. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce the flame to medium. Drop one of the dough circles into the hot oil. Fry till it browns gently on both sides, flipping over a few times. Drain out the oil and transfer the fried dough to a plate. Now, fry the other prepared discs of dough in the same way. Your Farsi Pooris are ready. Let them cool down completely, then transfer to a jar. Store at room temperature for 7-10 days.

Tips & Tricks

1. In many Gujarati households, these Farsi Poori are made using maida. I prefer using wheat flour instead. You could also use a mix of maida and wheat flour.

2. Do not forget to prick the dough circles before deep-frying them. This will stop them from puffing up while frying and render them crispy.

3. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky to the touch. It should be slightly more firm than regular roti dough.

4. Roll out the dough into discs that are thin, for best results. These pooris are usually small, but you can make them in any size you want.

5. Remember to keep the prepared dough circles covered while you are frying. This will prevent them from drying up and getting too hard.

6. You can add other spices like coriander powder, coarsely crushed cumin and black pepper and/or sesame seeds to the dough. I have added only asafoetida and carom seeds, here.

7. To test whether the oil for deep-frying has heated up enough, drop a small blob of the dough into it. The dough should rise up. If the dough does not rise up immediately, the oil needs to be heated up some more.

8. Fry the pooris on a medium flame only. This will ensure that they are evenly fried and turn out nice and crispy. Do ensure that they do not burn or that you do not over-fry them.

9. Use only fine semolina aka ‘Bombay rava‘. The thicker variety of rava does not lend itself well to this recipe. Since the wheat flour available at most places is super fine these days, the addition of rava gives the pooris a bit of texture. Alternatively, you could use wheat flour that is slightly coarsely ground, if that is accessible to you.

10. Adjust the quantity of salt and red chilli powder as per personal taste preferences.

11. You may air-fry or bake these Farsi Poori, but I prefer to deep-fry them the way they are traditionally made. We only occasionally indulge in them, anyways.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


Pineapple Madhura Curry| Sweet Pineapple Curry

Pineapple Madhura Curry is an integral part of the Onam sadya in several households. It is a sweet curry made with ripe pineapple, a beautiful dish from the state of Kerala. It’s a flavour bomb, this curry, with sweet and sour and spicy tastes all rolled into one.

In today’s blog post, let me share with you all my family’s way of making Pineapple Madhura Curry. Do try it out this Onam! This is an absolutely delicious way to use up a ripe pineapple, I say.

Pineapple Madhura Curry or Sweet Pineapple Curry

Are you looking for other Onam sadya recipes? Check out this Nei Payasam, Moru Curry, Cabbage Poriyal, Mambazha Pulissery, Puli Inji, Palada Pradhaman and Dates Puli Inji.

A closer look at Pineapple Madhura Curry

Pineapple cooked into a curry that is potent enough to wake your tastebuds up from slumber – that’s Pineapple Madhura Curry for you. 🙂 ‘Madhura‘ means ‘sweet’ in Malayalam,  which indicates that this curry is, majorly, sweet. However, there are so many other layers of flavours happening here you’d be surprised if you haven’t tried this out before.

There is a version of Pineapple Madhura Curry made with curd, which is prepared in many Malayali families. However, the version I am sharing today, from my mother-in-law’s side of the family, does not include any curd.

This curry is not as popular as Pineapple Pulissery, which almost always occupies pride of place in an Onam sadya. I love this one slightly more than I do pulissery, though. 🙂

When you are not making an elaborate banana-leaf spread, I think this Pineapple Madhura Curry goes very well with rice and sambar or rasam. Especially if you like curries that are on the sweeter side, like me!

What goes into Pineapple Madhura Curry

Chunks of ripe pineapple are first cooked with a wee bit of salt, then further with the addition of jaggery. The sweetness in this curry comes inherently from the ripe pineapple as well as from jaggery.

Coarsely crushed coconut, mustard, cumin and green chillies are added to this mixture, not unlike this Beetroot Poriyal. Then, after a brief saute, the curry is ready. It is served with a simple tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.

How to make Pineapple Madhura Curry

This is how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

To grind together:

1. 1/2 cup fresh coconut

2. 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

3. 1 green chilli

4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Other ingredients:

1. 2 cups ripe pineapple cubes

2. Salt to taste

3. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

4. A little less than 1/4 cup jaggery powder, or to taste

For the tempering:

1. 1 tablespoon coconut oil

2. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

3. 2 pinches of asafoetida

4. A sprig of fresh curry leaves

5. 2-3 dry red chillies


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Step 3, Bottom left and right: Steps 4 and 5

1. Remove the core and thorns from all the pineapple cubes, then transfer them to a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the turmeric powder, a little salt and about 1/2 cup of water. Place the pan on high flame.

2. Mix the ingredients well. Let the pan get heated up and the water start bubbling, then reduce the flame down to medium. Allow the pineapple cubes to cook on medium flame till they are about 80% done, 5-6 minutes. Stir intermittently.

3. In the meantime, we will grind the paste this dish requires. Take the coconut, mustard seeds (listed under ingredients ‘to grind together’) and cumin seeds in a small mixer jar. Chop up the green chilli roughly and add it to the mixer jar too. Pulse a few times to get a coarse dry mixture – do not add any water. Keep this aside.

4. When the pineapple nearly 80% cooked and there is still a little water left over, add the jaggery powder to the pan. Mix well.

5. Continue to cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes more. By this time, the water would have almost dried up and the pineapple would have cooked through. Do remember not to overcook the pineapple, but let it retain its firmness.

Top left and right: Step 6, Bottom left and right: Step 7

6. At this stage, add the coconut mixture to the pan. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes or till everything is well incorporated together. Switch off gas at this stage.

7. Now, we will prepare the tempering. Heat the coconut oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Let these ingredients stay in for a few seconds, without burning. Then, transfer this tempering to the pineapple curry. Mix well. The Pineapple Madhura Curry Is now ready. Let it come to room temperature, then serve alongside rice with rasam or sambar or as part of an elaborate banana-leaf spread.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a pineapple that is ripe and juicy, but not overly so. Preferably, the pineapple should be firm and without any blemishes.

2. Adjust the quantity of jaggery and salt as per personal taste preferences. The same goes for the quantity of green chillies that you use.

3. If the heat from the green chillies is not enough, you can add a little red chilli powder. However, this is purely up to you. We keep this curry mildly spicy by adding just one green chilli, and do not use any red chilli powder.

4. Do not grind the coconut mixture to a paste. Just pulse it a few times in the mixer to get a coarse, dry mixture – that’s the texture that works best.

5. If the curry gets too dry while cooking, you can add in a little water. I didn’t need to. The end result should be a mostly dry, very slightly wet curry.

6. You may add in a small knob of ginger along with the coconut, while grinding. We usually don’t.

7. Do not cook the curry too much after the coconut mixture has been added. Just saute for 1-2 minutes for everything to get well assimilated.

8. You can also add in some cashewnuts, to make the curry richer. If so, use broken cashewnuts and add them raw, along with the jaggery.

9. You can also add a handful of grapes to this curry. Use seedless grapes, green or purple, and add them in while you add the coconut mixture to the pan.

10. Do not overcook the pineapple. It should be just cooked through, retaining its firmness.

11. Coconut oil goes best in the tempering for this curry, as in case of several dishes from Kerala. The tempering is done at the end, to ensure that the fragrance of the coconut oil remains intact.

12. This recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to people who follow a plant-based diet. It is not, however, gluten-free because of the use of asafoetida. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, to a greater or lesser extent, and are therefore best avoided whilst following a gluten-free diet. So, to make this Pineapple Madhura Curry gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Seeni Sambol| Sri Lankan Caramelised Onion Relish

Seeni Sambol is a beautiful condiment from the island nation of Sri Lanka, made using onions.

I made a batch of Seeni Sambol recently for a blog challenge I am participating in, and it turned out so, so good! I am glad I found an authentic recipe on the Internet, and made it with some little deviations. In today’s blog post, let me share with you all how I went about making this flavour bomb of a condiment, or relish if you want to call it that.

Seeni Sambol – it’s finger-lickingly delicious!

Exploring Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is robust and flavourful, with ample use of fragrant spices, curry leaves, rice, coconut, tropical fruits, seafood, poultry. meat and local vegetables. Many assume that Sri Lankan food is just the same as Indian food, but it is definitely not – Sri Lanka has a distinct, unique and wonderful cuisine all of its own. Parippu (dhal) Curry, Polos (baby jackfruit) Curry, Kiribath (milk rice), Idiyappam (string hoppers), Appam (rice and coconut milk pancakes), Mallung (stir-fry), Wambatu Moju (eggplant pickle) and Pol Pani (coconut pancake) are some traditional vegetarian dishes from Sri Lanka. Different types of dry condiments (called ‘Sambol‘) are also an integral part of Sri Lankan cuisine – Pol Sambol (made with coconut), Amu Miris Sambol (made with green chillies), Lunu Miris (using red chilli), Gotukola Sambol (made using Asiatic pennywort), Karapincha Sambol (made with curry leaves), Katta Sambol (which is tangy) and Seeni Sambol (which is sweet and spicy) are a few examples.

Aided by a colleague of the husband’s, who is more like a friend, I have had the chance to try out some lovely Sri Lankan dishes, such as this Dhal Curry and Pol Sambol I made some time ago and absolutely adored. I am no expert in the country’s cuisine, but I love how this exploring brings me a little bit closer to the place and makes me feel what it would be like to visit some day!

What is Seeni Sambol?

Any dry condiment or chutney is called ‘sambol‘ in the Sinhalese language, and ‘Seeni Sambol‘ means ‘sambol that is sweet’. The sweetness comes from the slow caramelisation of onions, and along with the sour and spicy flavours that are added in, the Seeni Sambol is quite a force to reckon with.

Seeni Sambol is quite a popular thing in Sri Lanka, from what I understand. It is a hugely versatile condiment that is not just a great accomplishment to meals, but can also be used in several other ways. The Seeni Sambol can be stuffed into buns and sandwiches, and also in burgers. It goes well with rice, string hoppers and toasted bread alike. We polished off most of the sambol I made with dosas – it tastes so good that way too! – and then put the rest into sandwiches, along with some cheese.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I am sharing this Seeni Sambol recipe in co-ordination with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, a group of passionate food bloggers. We cook based on a pre-determined theme every month – we decided to explore Sri Lankan cuisine for the month of August 2022, and that’s how this post came about.

For the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, the participants are divided into pairs. Each pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, unknown to the rest of the group members. These ingredients are to be used by each member in preparing a dish that fits into the theme of the month. A picture of each finished dish is posted in the group, and everyone tries to guess the two secret ingredients that have gone into them. It’s super fun and challenging, and an incredible learning experience!

Narmadha, fellow food blogger at Nams Corner, loves Sri Lankan food, and she suggested we explore the same in August 2022. She has quite a few Sri Lankan dishes on her blog already, and you should definitely check out the droolworthy dessert Dodol she has dished up for the challenge!

I was partnered with Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds for the month, and suggested she make something using chickpeas and Sri Lankan curry powder. She used them in this beauty of a dish, Haath Maluwa or a Sri Lankan 7-vegetable curry. Can’t wait to try out your recipe, Kalyani! 🙂

Kalyani gave me ‘tamarind’ and ‘curry leaves’ as my secret ingredients, and I used both of them in Seeni Sambol.

Seeni Sambol recipe

Here is how I made the Seeni Sambol. I have adapted the proceedure from Top Sri Lankan Recipe, with a few little changes.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

1. 3 medium-sized onions

2. A small piece of tamarind

3. 1/2 tablespoon oil

4. 2 green cardamom

5. A small piece of cinnamon

6. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves

7. Salt to taste

8. Red chilli powder to taste

9. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste


Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 4, 5 and 6

1. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling hot water for 15-20 minutes. Allow it to soften.

2. Meanwhile, peel the onions and slice them thinly.

3. When the tamarind has cooled down enough to handle, extract all the juice from it. Keep the tamarind extract thick and not too watery.

4. Now, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the green cardamom, cinnamon and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a few seconds, without burning.

5. Add the sliced onions to the pan now, along with a little salt. Mix well. Turn the flame down to medium.

6. Saute the onions on medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Stir intermittently. By this time, the onions would have become soft.

Left top and bottom: Steps 7 and 8, Right top and bottom: Steps 9 and 10

7. At this stage, add in salt and red chilli powder to taste. Add in the jaggery powder as well. Mix well.

8. Saute for a minute on medium flame.

9. Add the tamarind extract to the pan. Mix well.

10. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 more minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind has gone. Switch off gas when the ingredients come together into a homogeneous mixture and get a nice dark brown colour. Your Seeni Sambol is ready to use. If you are not using it immediately, allow it to cool down completely and then bottle it up. Store refrigerated.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used regular red onions here. From what I understand, these onions work best in this recipe.

2. You can use sugar in place of the jaggery I have used here. I prefer the jaggery.

3. I have used moderately spicy red chilli powder here. You can use red chilli flakes instead, too.

4. Remember to keep the tamarind extract thick and not too watery. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.

5. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to make the Seeni Sambol. It is crucial to cook the mixture on medium heat, so the onions cook evenly and caramelise nicely, without burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

6. Some recipes suggest mincing the onions for the Seeni Sambol. I prefer finely slicing them, the way I have done here.

7. Some add a piece of pandan leaf and/or a lemongrass along with the whole spices. I have not used these ingredients as I did not have them.

8. You can add a few other whole spices like bay leaves, star anise and cloves too. I stuck to cinnamon and green cardamom only so as not to overpower the dish.

9. Keep the Seeni Sambol refrigerated when not in use, in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle or box. Use a clean, dry spoon only. This way, it stays for up to 2 weeks, but it is best to use it sooner rather than later.

10. This is a completely vegetarian recipe that is vegan (plant-based) as well as gluten-free.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!