Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Phulko Luchi ar Aloor Dom


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Long back Indosungod had asked “Whats a typical Bengali Breakfast ?”. As I munched on my Seven Whole Grain Kashi Bar reflecting on what good the fiber and the flax seeds were doing to me, I tried to give her question a thought. I thought of the times at home when my Ma would cook up amazing breakfasts not only on weekends but also on busy weekday mornings. When I thought such breakfasts were the norm rather than a luxury and turned up my nose at everything that I didn’t like, yes I even had a choice!!!

My Ma was pretty cosmopolitan when it came to breakfast. So even though it would be Macher Jhol and Bhaat (aka Fish Curry and Rice) for lunch, we would have everything from Alu Paratha (North Indian), Uttapam(South Indian), French Toast(Continental), Noodles(Oriental),Chirer Pulao(Bengali version of Poha), Parota-Tarkari(Bengali), Kochuri(Bengali) to Luchi ar Alur Dom (Bengali) for breakfast. Of this Luchi Alur Dom was quintessential Bengali and the one I liked the least for some obscure reason. Things have changed, I crave for some perfectly puffed up pristine white luchis now and spicy alur dom to go with it.

Luchi (ch pronounced as in chair) is a deep-fried flatbread made of bleached wheat flour or maida that is typical of Bengali and Oriya cuisines. It is almost like Puri, but while Puri is usually brown, Luchi is always white.
In order to make luchis, a dough is prepared by mixing fine maida flour with water and a spoonful of ghee, which is then divided into small balls. These balls are flattened using a rolling-pin and individually deep-fried in cooking oil or ghee. A typical luchi will measure 4-5 inches in diameter. (Straight from the Wiki)

Hot puffed up luchis are served with a myriad of dishes according to ones liking and also the time of the day. Luchi with Begun Bhaja(fried eggplant slices), Luchi with Aloo Bhaja(thin strips of potato fried), Luchi with Cholar Dal, Luchi with Payesh, and of course Luchi with Alur Dom are all time favorites. Luchi with Kosha Mangsho(a spicy mutton curry)and at times even Luchi with Aloor Dom is a dinner favorite and served as a dinner menu on special occasions.

So if you have something to celebrate be it a person or an event, a Bengali family will serve you hot luchi with mangsho or al00r dom for dinner accompanied by several other things. They would serve you perfectly puffed up luchis one after the other straight from the fire, while you sit devouring them, losing track of the numbers. The patriarch sitting by your side would show you how to tap the proud puffed up luchi and thus release its latent heat and then wrap it around a piece of mutton or potato and put it to in your mouth in one go. The teenager on your other side might roll up his luchi with sugar preferring it to the mangsho while his Mom might be dipping hers in some sweet brown liquid nolen gur. Do not get distracted, and do not count your phulko luchis, they are more than a blessing, so just enjoy them.

Now me and flour are not the best of friends, but I do give in to luchi cravings now and then and take out my chaki-belun (rolling pin and the flat surface you roll the dough on). My now 3 and ½ year old is pretty fond of luchis and I think for her sake I should brush up my act and roll out this pretty white beauties more often.




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Get this much loved recipe in my Book coming out soon. Check this blog for further updates.
To relive a typical Bengali Jolkhabar, I made Luchi and Aloor Dom (Luchi with a Spicy Potato preparation, the D in Dom pronounced as Th in That) for breakfast over the weekend.For us it went on to be a big brunch though, something that made everyone happy.


Read more...










What You Need
All Purpose Flour/Maida ~ 3 cups
Salt ~ a pinch to add to the flour
Oil ~ 3 and ½ tbsp added to flour as a shortening. Update on Aug 17th: I added 2 tbsp of oil as shortening today and that worked fine too. You can add still less oil but then the luchi will be a little crisp and not soft
Water ~ to make the dough. I use warm water.
Oil for frying

How I made Luchi

In a bowl where it is easy to knead the dough I added 3 cups of All Purpose Flour.
I made a small well at the center of the flour mound and to it I added almost 3 and ½ Tbsp of Oil.(Even 2 tbsp of oil works fine, less the better)
Sprinkled a little salt and then added water gradually, while I mixed the flour with my hand.




Be careful with the water, you don’t want your dough to be soggy. Work on the dough till it does not stick to your fingers and comes out clean. You will get a smooth soft round which is lightly spongy (poke your fingers to see) as seen in the above pic.If you want to save the dough for later use, be sure to cover with a lightly damp cloth or even a lightly damp kitchen tissue
Make small round balls with the dough




Roll out the balls to make flat circles 4-5 inches in diameter. Use little oil to roll out the balls and not flour as you would for a chapati. If you have difficulty making the perfect rounds, roll out to any shape you desire and then cut out the circular shape with a katori or any cutter
The luchi is deep fried, so heat enough oil in a Kadhai. Wait for the oil to be piping hot. It should not be smoking though.
Dip a corner of a rolled out luchi in the hot oil to see how the oil reacts, if you see the bubbles you know the time is right. This test is important as the heat of the oil is an important factor for luchi to puff up.
Release the luchi gently in the oil and press the sides with a flat spatula. The right heat of the oil and the pressing makes the luchi puff up just so.
As soon as it puffs up, flip it on the other side and then take it out with a slotted spatula/chalni which has holes in it.





Alur Dom




What You Need
Potatoes/Aloo ~ 12-14 small round ones. I used the tiny baby red ones. For larger potatoes you need to increase the spices.

For Tempering
Bay leaves/ Tej Pata ~ 2
Asafoetida/Hing ~ ¼ tsp

For the Masala
Onion Paste ~ 1 tbsp heaped
Tomatoes ~ 1 smallish finely choped or blanched
Jeera Powder/Cumin powder ~ 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder ~ ½ tsp loosely packed
Ginger paste ~ 1 tsp heaped
Red Chilli Powder ~ ½ tsp
Yogurt ~ 2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp or less(optional but does lend a good flavor)
Salt
Sugar ~ 1 tsp or less loosely packed .Update on Aug20th: I think all my non-bong readers should go less on the sugar :). Also increase the Red Chilli powder depending on your spice level
Oil

For garnishing
Corriander leaves ~ fresh and chopped

How I Did It

In a boiling pot or pan, bring water to a boil with little salt
Add the potatoes to it. Since we are using small round potatoes, we are not chopping them. It is not necessary to peel the skins either, as it is easier to peel after the potatoes are boiled
Once the potatoes are done, put them under cold running water and peel them. The jacket is out in a jiffy.
Heat Oil in a Frying pan/Kadhai
Add Bay Leaves and Asafoetida
Add the Onion paste and fry with a tsp of sugar till the onion turns a pinkish brown.
Add the tomato and sauté till the tomato is nicely mushed up and well integrated with the onion. Add the Ginger Paste.
Mix the Cumin Powder, Garam masala Powder, Red Chilli Powder with 2 tsp of yogurt and add to the Frying Pan. At this moment remove the Pan from heat for a couple of minutes.
Sauté the masala till you see the oil separate from the masala.
If you are adding ghee, do so at this point
Add the potatoes and mix well with masala.
Sauté till the potatoes take a light golden colour.
Add very little water and salt and cook till the water almost dries up to give way to a moist but dry gravy. There won’t really be any gravy as such and the masala will nicely coat the potatoes.

Note: If you do not want to use onions, for tempering use a couple of elaichi/cardamom and a small stick of dalchini/cinnamon along with the stuff mentioned here

Some other variations of Aloo Dom can be found here.




If you are a Bong or tuned to Bengali food, can you please tell me what is your idea of a Bengali Breakfast ?

Trivia:Though I have highlighted Luchi as a breakfast menu here, ideally for a Bengali Luchi is something that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It holds a highly esteemed position in a wedding feast and also is offered to the Gods as a Bhog during Pujas.

81 comments:

  1. pretty white beauties they definintely are. good to see you posting after a while.

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  2. Aw! You are back Sandeepa. And in full swing :) The photo looks mouthwatering as I am munching cheerios for b/fast :(

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  3. Hi Sandeepa,
    I just bought a book on Oriya dishes and they are very similar to Bengali food! I am making Luchis for Oriya RCI,thanks to that book and now you!:)
    Looks great.Aloo dum is fab too,I always thought it's Kashmiri but probably every state has their own versions too.
    I would make these for dinner,I know Trisha wouldn't like "oil soaked puffy things" aka Pooris but I LOVE THEM!;D
    Thanks girl,enjoy your power bars rest of the week!:)

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  4. Awesome !! Dekhe jeno barir breakfaster kotha mone pore gelo. My other all time bengali breakfast favourite is "Chirer Pulao".

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  5. luchi & dum alu looks so delicious :) am ready for this kind of meal anytime :) dum alu is one of my favs ;)

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  6. I am so unaware of this Bengali breakfast.....wish I could steal some Luchi's and some dum aloo, the photos are really mouthwatering..thanks for sharing.....

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  7. Sandeepa,
    this recipe is very delicious. have had many good bengali friends and roomies after coming to the U.S.- been to many Durga Puja feasts- simply love it. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Alur dom and luchis look great! even nicer is to see you back :).

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  9. Good to see you back! And with a great post like this.

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  10. Yay! You are back :). Luchi-aloor dum...oooh..my all time favorite. Even I give in to the urge of this divine call and trudge along to make my own luchi, but satisfy only with aloo-bhaja.

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  11. I'm carving for phulko lauchi:D. We also make maida puri's but only during particular occasions. Yummy my mouth is watering:D.

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  12. Sandeepa, i love this. Thanks for sharing a detailed recipe so I can give it a try sometimes!

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  13. whoa lady...that's breakfast?? Man...I need to ditch my Gujju theplas and get this one going!

    hugs, trupti

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  14. My 2 girls (6 and 3) love ruti (chapatis) and begun bhaja(fried eggplant) for their weekend breakfast. :-)

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  15. Wow, your mom's pretty industrious, eh? That is some choice, better than my WFFs! Can our generation ever measure up?? :) Missed reading your posts! Hope your break was relaxing!

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  16. You're right, they are pretty white beauties. I have never been a breakfast lover but, I would eat breakfast is someone else prepared it for me :)

    Yours looks too good.

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  17. Hi Sandeepa, good to see you back and posting.. the dish looks awesome. talking about Bengali food, i remember during my chilhood days we had a neighbour who would prepare awesome food one i can't forget was somekind of mild spicy roti it was soft has some unique spices but i cna;t forget the taste. the rotis were so good me and my sis finished it off for dinner. WE could not get hold of the recipe though...just thought of sharing it with you are aware of such rotis.....

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  18. Sandeepa, the puffed up Luchi with the aloo looks wonderful. Thanks for explaining the Bengali breakfast and nice to see back after your self imposed break.

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  19. Sandeepa, your posts are always a delight..Your Luchis are white beauties indeed...Lovely photo!

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  20. wow ... the luchis look awesome ! i am visiting u r blog for the first time .. but i knw i will be coming back for more ! I am bengali myself , and the luchis have triggred a huge wave of nostalgia !!!
    miss bengali food soooo much !

    rupa ,
    sydney

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  21. YOU'RE BACK!!! And how...sigh, my toast and boiled egg turned to ashes in my mouth when I saw these pictures :)

    Yes, you must let the little one enjoy as much luchi as possible, before oils, and fats, and waist sizes and figures become part of her vocabulary. I can still put away plenty of luchis in one sitting, but with a slight sense of guilt!!!

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  22. Hi Sandeepa

    Luchi aalurdam, the thought itself is mouth-watering. While I am struggling with my apple in a working breakfast in office, menu for tonight is done. I am enjoying the 'feel good'. Thanks for that. In any one of your posts can we have your thoughts/ ideas on menu planning? Looking forward to that

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  23. Oh, my MIL would call that a Punjabi breakfast - maidewali poodi aur dum aloo!! :)) Dunno how I missed your post, but great to see you back!! :))

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  24. I can really identify with all that you've mentioned about aloor dom and loosi(that's what we call those 'white beauties' in Assamese)...and also all the other accompaniments that go with it...In felt I was home:)...do you have luchi ar ghugni as well...its one of my favourites.

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  25. Mouthwatering pooris. I think In south, restaurants use maida to make pooris.
    I see dum aloo becomes aloo dom in Bengal. In a way, we all eat same foods with different names. Don't you think so?

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  26. Here I sit eating raw carrots like a good rabbit...dreaming of luchis and aloor dom...

    It looks so delicious Sandeepa...happy to see you back! :)

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  27. aha!!! u r back:)
    i prefer ur luchi with aloor dom to kashi bar san:) no wonder little S loves this little white beauties:)
    girl, u have to post some more bengali breakfast dishes. u r my only source when it comes to bengali cuisie u see;)

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  28. A sigh of relief , for seeing you posting again and also for realizing that I have made a bengali dish without even realising that :) CJJ had a colleague from calcutta, but not a bengali as such, and she taught me to make poori with maida...i did not know that it's luchi :)and the pic of your breakfast is seriously giving me some cravings..they re real white beauties!!

    Shn

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  29. Hi...I am a Bengali and doing my MA in Toronto, Canada. I came across your blog and needless to say, I am fascinated. I have even saved your blog in My Favourites.
    I love your recipes as they are so easy to make. I was thinking of making Alu Dum for a potluck today and lo and behold, your blog features alu dum!
    Thank you and keep up the GREAT work!!

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  30. great presentation...looks great...have to try the aloo dum...great post...thx

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  31. I'm back! Sandeepa, guess what I saw on the way back to the office today. Guess. Guess! :)

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  32. the Pics rock Sandu! I loved the look of Luchi. so well presented. Good to see ur post after long time dear.

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  33. AHH! Bong version of puri bhajji, me likes it! ;)

    Very busy kya these days??

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  34. these look really good. I need to get my husband's family to make these for me. He is Bengali!

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  35. Missed my breakfast today and you throw this mouth-watering photo of luchi-aloor-dom at me??!! Looks delicious. My favorite breakfast (at home, I don't make anything half as complex for my own family breakfast) is luchi-alur-dom and cheeni'r porota my mom's creation (basically replace the alu with sugar while making parathas)

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  36. Oh yes, and luchi with chholar dal too!

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  37. Yummm Sandeepa. I am getting back into the groove myself and what do I see? Luchi!
    In Calcutta our landlord taught my mom this variation. She used to add the sweet syrup from rasgullas to luchi dough. They were great too.
    Bengali breakfast? Leftovers from the previous night's dinner ;-)

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  38. Luchis and aloor dom are a feast for the eyes sandeepa. puffed up white luchis/pooris look great with the aloor dom.. Everybody loves pooris very much in my house. Aloor dom has a lovely colour.

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  39. Dear Sandeepa, We all love luchi alur dom. seshpatey ektu jhola gur holey mondo hoyna. I also love to have it with a little bit of kasundi.
    Your mom seems to be a good cook. Does she know how to make kasundi?
    Thanks

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  40. You and flour are not the best of friends, Sandeepa? Do you mean that you don't like to make breads and cakes, or you don't think you have the "knack" for it? Based on this tasty post, you and luchi should be bonded for life.

    Good luck with your next cilantro plants!

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  41. Nothing like luchi for breakfast. And with mangso tarkari :) Love it! I am an Oriya and Luchi - Aloo Dum also used to be regular breakfast item at our place. The days of luxury! Nice blog.

    - Pragyan

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  42. alur dam aar luchi looks fabulous. Hope you had a good break :)

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  43. I always wondered about the difference between luchis and puris, now I know!

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  44. Simply Awesome! It reminds me another delicious oil soaked item - Radhaballavi ( puri filled with daal)...remember anyone?

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  45. hi Sandu, seems you are real busy. dont blog these days. hope all is fun and fine at your end.
    take care
    Sharmi

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  46. ur last line on ur 3 yr old reminded me of dhaara's ad in india.."alumutter aur garam garam puriyan"..
    we never make puris with maida but will definitely try ur aloor dom.

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  47. Looks yummy Sandeepa, I just got a little more wiser about Bong food... :)... Love the luchis, white beauties of course, but aloor dum looks totally awesome...

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  48. looks yum 'll try out soon
    www.sofeminine.blogspot.com

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  49. Thanks Everyone for your sweet and warm replies. Sorry for not being able to reply to all of you. Shall be back soon

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  50. Sandeepa, I loved this post. It brought back sooooo many memories. Luchi is one of the things I crave the most and eat as soon as I get off the flight in Kolkata. Your other Bengali breakfsts were like a roll call of the stuff I used to eat. Another popular Bengali breakfast was the dimer amlette. With toast. And luchi aloo chechki. Yum!

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  51. hi sandeepa
    this is like puri in our side.the curry looks fantastic.

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  52. Looks delicious, Sandeepa...nice write-up.

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  53. Wow! It was fun to read about Bengali food. :) Thanks for sharing it with us, Sandeepa.

    I'm not a fan of fried food..... usually! But I can surely make an exception to those luchis!

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  54. beautiful. This is my first trip to your blog and am enjoying every bit of it.

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  55. sandeepa,
    the recipe and the photo...both reminded me my baper bari's all time fav.'sunday morning' brekfast...now my 3 yrs old son is so fond of them I make them quite often...and today for dinner i'm making Radhaballavi and chholar daal....another all time fav. breakfast item...though we miss the flavour of 'shaal pata' in the daal.............

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  56. Thanks a ton!!

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  57. I had been back to Kolkata after a span of 24 years. My friend cooked & sent Luchi & Alur Daam for my husband, who could not accompany me. He's become a huge fan of the same & has been prodding me to make it for him. U are a star, Sandeepa, for sharing ur recipe. I can almost feel the taste of alur daam in my mouth. God bless u for this. Elizabeth, Dubai

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  58. Hi Sandeepa,

    Thank you for sharing the recipe...After a long time I found the taste of my mom's aloor dom using your recipe..Definately I was not doing something right but your recipe did it...Thanks...

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  59. I recently discovered your blog from Sra's and then rediscovered it through your Dum Aloo.
    I made it and it was lovely. Would have posted about it, but was serving it to guests and never got around to taking pictures! :)
    Thanks.

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  60. Purrrrrrrrrfect recipe! Just what I wanted. Family loved it!!! Can't thank you enough.

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  61. Hi Sandeepa,
    Just wanted to let you know that put your link in the "Further Reading" column of my new post for dum alu.
    I hope you don't mind.

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  62. You are such a savior... i've tried a couple of your recipes and 'belisimo'!

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  63. Luchi's look yummy......Another favourite breakfast of mine is kachuri (with peas or daal)

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  64. How is the name radha vallabhi or radha ballavi or radha bollobhi evolved? could anyone email me at bharat_gm@yahoo.com about this?

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  65. My husband has been asking about the aloo dum that is available at the puchka stand and made with tamrind. Can you share that recipe?

    umm typical bengali breakfast I always thought was kola, and mura-mura.

    Thanks
    Sathya

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  66. Hi...Tried making luchi& aloo dum yest'day.While AD came out well,the luchis refused to swell until I rolled them out really thin..like small roomali rotis and became almost like shortcrust pastry when it got cold..not soft but stiff & crumbly..I used dough to roll out the luchis coz I cud not bear to add oil & then deep fry too..Cud that be the reason??Cuz I make good pooris & phulkas..Help pls..Tnx..

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  67. Sam
    If you make pooris, luchi should have come out well. There is not much diff between two except that luchi is made of only maida/ap flour.

    The only reason I can think of is that the dough was not kneaded to the right level or that shortening was less. How much oil did you add while kneading the dough ? That is important

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  68. I tried out the alur dum (was looking for a new recipe) the other day and it came out delicious. Thanks. :)

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  69. Excellent recipe and the tip about how to make the luchis gole gole as well as about the temperature of the oil. I am cooking myself for some time and find your recipe of luchi the best. They should indeed be white, not 'golden brown' as I saw elsewhere. Thanks!

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  70. That looks completely yummy... you know, reading your blog is very bad for health.. I am so tempted to make puris/luchis for breakfast tomorrow and this ain't good for a bulldozer like me :-0
    Btw, I love the way you write.. really delightful!

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  71. This is a fantastic recipe. One of my fav!Yummy!

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  72. HI! sandeepa,
    Am a avid follower of your blog,tried your alooor dom for my diwali party..was a hit...All the ladies there..took the recepie.....well:)..gave the link to your BLOG;)...let the recepie keep coimng...;0

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  73. This is a block-buster his at my home! I made it second time today for Sunday lunch and my hubby, who is not a potato-lover at all, just freaked out at it! I could never make alur-dom properly before I got hold of this recipe. Thanks Sandeepa for sharing your expertise!

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  74. This is a block-buster hit* at my home! (Sorry for the typo!)

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  75. i tried luchi for the first time today and it was great... Thanks for all the help...

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  76. you have not added turmeric powder in this dish.Isn't it necessary for a bengali dish?and that too in a niramish aloor dum?

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  77. Sandipa, assuming that is your name --- why call yourself BONG and not Bongo or Bangali --- that aside your recipes ate just great
    Prabal

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    1. The "bong" is for the intended pun. Outside West Bengal, most people would use that instead of Bangali to refer to us. And BONGO is a very bengali word, can't use it in English, then it should have been "Bongo Janani'r Ranna" :)

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  78. Having stayed in Mumbai for so long and the Vada Paw's we kind of miss the Aloo Dum Luchi or the Loochi Ghughni treat. This food also keeps us connected to our Heartland West Bengal. Miss you Janni and your ranna. Happy Pujas to All..

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  79. Dear Maam,

    I love all your recipes but this one is very special...Please send me the recipe for aloo dum & luchi...I tried a search but to my vain didn't retrieve the recipe...it was awesome...kindly upload the same as I cannot do without this mouth watering recipe. Thanks.

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