Saturday, August 18, 2007

Party with Luchi-Alu Charchari

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Luchi-AlurDom pic from my previous post

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Luchi-Alu Charchari from today

I never thought I will make Luchi again and that too in such rapid succession. But with all the deep-frying going on in Blogosphere I was really very hungry. Still, I restrained myself until Coffee came and commented (on my last post) that she thought the Puri I was talking about was Poori.

What Blasphemy!!!

Here I was being all devotional and reminiscing Jagannatha Puri and here comes this Gujju girl and mixes up not only Lord Jagannatha but a big chunk of geographical land called Puri for a flat deep fried 4 inch diameter bread called Poori

This got on my nerves and I thought I better join the gang and chant “Jai Poori-Bhaji” than chant “Jai Jagannatha” before I am relegated to the dungeons or to Blog Hell or something like that

The fact that a 3 year old would be thrilled by my decision helped.

So I made Luchi again, this time with Alu Charchari.

Here's my Luchi-Alu Charchari joining the Independence Day party at Anita’s.

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Luchi with Maple Syrup for little S

Though the Luchi with Alu-Charchari was absolutely yum and the 3 year old had hers with some Maple Syrup too (instead of khejur gur ?), I tell you I am not going to do this again in the near future (which means next month and hope D doesn't read this). Not because it’s going to clog my arteries (What Rubbish!!!) nor for the deep frying smell (which I love) but simply because it’s too much work for me. Really it is.

There is no limit to the number of Luchis I make, they simply disappear as soon as I take them out of the oil. So I go on making them endlessly all the time eyeing them hungrily hoping to get this task over and hog on them, this wait totally stresses me out.
Also the Luchi dough has a considerable amount of shortening so rolling out the luchi is not a very easy thing for me. Next, rolling out the luchi and then frying them at the same time calls for a certain amount of finesse which I woefully lack. So I roll some and then heat the oil and due to my lack of patience half of my luchis don’t puff up well.

Though I am all in favor of making Poori/Luchi the national and even international dish, by if not making it every week at least by voting for it million times.

Here is some Luchi Guide I have come up with which might help the future generation.

Luchi should always be a joint venture. Get someone to fry while you roll or vice versa. Else try to achieve the pinnacle of luchi making and do it all by yourself

For 3 cups of flour 3 tbsp of oil is suggested as mayan or shortening. 2 tbsp works fine though. However if the mayan or shortening is very less the luchi is not soft as it is supposed to be.

The Luchi dough needs to be worked well, this is called “thasha” in Bengali. You need to knead the dough for sometime till you get the smooth end result. The best time to knead the dough is when you are very very angry, kneading vents your anger, therapeutic I tell you.

After making the dough, cover with a lightly dampened cloth or kitchen tissue and let it sit. After half an hour or so proceed to make the balls. (If I refrigerate the dough, after taking out from the refrigerator I just knead it once more with a light sprinkle of flour) Rolling out luchis now is easier.

Use oil and NOT flour to roll out luchis.

The heat of the oil is very essential in the luchi puffing up. Dip a corner of the rolled out dough in the oil, if you see a major bubbly reaction, you know the oil is ready for the luchi

Don't forget to press the luchi with the back of your slotted spatula/chalni. It helps in the luchi puffing up

Eat it hot, don't ever have a cold luchi. Ok you can, when it is part of Pujor Bhog or leftover from your friend's wedding party or leftover from any party if you are a grad student.

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The Alu-Charchari is the quickest, tastiest aloo ever, it is very very simple.
All you have to do is this,

Heat the Oil. You can use Olive Oil since there's not much frying but since I was sending this to Anita's I didn't,
Temper with Kalonji/Nigella Seeds and freshly grated ginger.
Add potatoes and sauté, You are not going to fry the potatoes so sprinkle a little water as necessary and cover and cook. Remember to stir in between
Add the green chillies when you are half way and continue, cover, stir, cook routine till potatoes are done.
When done add salt and pepper powder


  1. Sandeepa they are lovely. The picture is tempting. Viji

  2. Stunning photos Sandeepa. And I know what you mean by too much work!I agree with you.Loved the simple and delicious looking Alu-Charchari recipe.Thanks.

  3. Again I visit you early in the day and I'm ROFL :) Lovely looking luchis - will try them when i'm really angry :)

  4. Hey Sandeepa, thats one gorgeous looking alu charchari! I usually make dry stir fried aloo like this, but without skin, red potatoes look good-so will make them soon :).

  5. Pictures are so inviting!!! Would like to try the luchis soon!

  6. Wonderful, wonderful! Wholeheartedly support you on making luchi a combined effort: more fun too that way!

    So, which oil did you use for the luchi? Kashmiris use mustard oil for it, and probably so do Bengalis,right?

    The alu charchari is so disarmingly simple! (absolutely must check the other version which looks even more delicious).

    Thanks for joining the gang!

  7. the incorrigible coffee strikes again. so how can i annoy you enough to make this again?

  8. Sandeepa, I was expecting Luchis from your kitchen to join the party pretty soon and wa here you are. Totally agree, the persons eating the Luchi/Poori don't really think about the poor soul toiling in front of the stove. Both the Aloo looks totally delicious. Once it stops raining eggplants those are in my list.

  9. Hi sandeepa...totally agree with you when you say that puris should always be a joint venture...better still if you get someone else to make it, and one gets to eat it ;-)...the aloo charchari looks so yum and easy too

  10. Jagannatha Puri or bread poori, it was all in the cause of pet pooja, wasn't it? Just enjoy! Don't worry, be happy!

  11. rock and so re you :))))Not writing anything more...I am still laughing out here :)))


  12. rocks and so re you :))))Not writing anything more...I am still laughing out here :)))


  13. Thanks, Sandeepa, for the great tip to oil when you roll dough. I don't know if it will make a difference w/ my breads and pastries, but I'm going to love experimenting. I don't deep fry much, either, but it's b/c it's hard to keep the temp at a constant high. Hats off to you for making luchi twice in a handful of days!

  14. Sandeepa, I haven't tackled Indian bread as yet... But I am slowly gainning my confidence from your lovely posts. :)

  15. poor coffee..anyway she got u to make puris or pooris, right? love that u cooked the red skinned potatoes as is.:)

  16. ha... As i reading and trying to comment still cannot control my laughter. Coffee really made you to have a poori party gal :)

  17. Sandeepa, its lovely looking alu charchari...loved the pics, glad lil S would have haved with the maple syrup

  18. I want to join Little S and have mine with maple syrup :)

  19. Viji
    Thanks dear :)

    Thnaks for dropping by :)

    How come you are up early on weekends ?

    Try the small red potatoes, they taste so good, a good wash and no peeling either

    Thanks :)

    We don't use mustard oil to fry luchis, originally ghee was used but I use Canola and ma uses peanut Oil

    No way, I am smiling, a big grin, not going to get annoyed soon :)

    Yes there is no stopping when I make luchis at home, they go on to be breakfast, lunch everything, too many of them I have to make. Thats why i don't make them too often

    That definitely is a good idea, sadly a friend heard you and haddropped in when she heard I was frying some :(

    Pet Pooja is my all time aim in life, that is why I live, kind of :)

    You laugh and don't make Mallu Luchi...bad girl :)

    While rolling we use a little oil instead of flour for a reason. Since luchi is deep fried, if flour is used while rolling, the flour falls in the oil and browns the oil. The brown oil is not very good if you are frying a lot of luchis
    If I am not deep frying, then Flour is used to roll

    You should check some of the Pictorial Poori recipes at mahanadi and Aayis Recipes. That will help you to understand better

    Not Poor...very very clever Coffee :)

    Yeah she made me do it right and happiest were the other two inmates at my home :)

    Thanks :)

    It really tastes good with something sweet. We even used to have oit with little sugar as kids. And with liquid Palm Jaggery it tastes heavenly. In absence of that Maple Syrup is a good alternative

  20. Lovely pic. Especially I love that alu charchari. As you commented on my blog, we see the 'springing back' action not only with the dough but also when rolling. I too had the same problem when I recently prepared luchis.
    If I refrigerate the dough, I put it in the MW for 30 seconds and then knead for a few seconds. LOL but this works for me.

  21. the aloo looks so good sandu. its raining pooris every where right??

  22. So simple recipe are good.

  23. The luchis and the aloo look so good sandeepa! the first aloo bhaji looks groovy and the aloo charchari looks crisp and yummy! The party was so fun right!

  24. Sandeepa,
    Thanks for dropping by buddy. I am doing fine but am really busy and hardly get time to blog and am surely missing it loads. My in-laws are here and leaves me no time for anything at all. Hope to catch up with you all very soon. Puri or poori...I love it and Charchari is new to me Sandeepa. I have bookmarked at least a dozen of your recipes by now..hee hee.
    Have a nice week.

  25. la lala lalalala lala....... lalalalla lala lala la!

    I did it again!!
    Yesterday in school I got an award(more of a recognition than award actually) for motivating the absolutely unmotivated students..... and here I see one more!!! Yippie! I did it again :P

    For your comment on adding the oil/ghee to the flour while kneading...... is what we gujju's always do for any bread..... be it chapati or paratha or any bread... and we call is mon (n is pronounced like the n in pani like maharashtrians would say it) I think someone did a post on it too recently.

    BTW, I came here yesterday to comment....... but all those crooked letter didnt show up!! :( I am always irritated by their appreance..... for once I was irritated with them not showing up!! Just a suggestion...... would you consider doing away with it..... after the post on dining hall some of them have removed it and activated the comment moderation feature..... just a suggestion, I leave it to you entirely. :)

  26. I think I skipped your mayan part the first time....... that means you also follow the same principle.... I have few aunts staying in Kolkata and they always say that bengalis and gujjus follow same principles while cooking. :)

  27. Sandeepa, what are you doing to me - luchi, alu charchari, doi ilish... i am going to come and camp outside your home till you feed me!

  28. Lovely post,sandeepa!!Fine pics!!

    You deserve one more award!!Come and pick it up from my JFI-post...
    (I had you in my mind when I thought of the did i ever miss you..GOD!!):)...
    You are a great great blogger,Sandeepa!!Can never forget that powerful logo u created for plagiarism!!

  29. Hi Sandeepa, do you know I almost made the luchis from your original luchi post, while I was away. Now here I come back and you've done it again. It must be a sign -- I have to make them now! Thanks for spelling out all the tips (agree on kneading to vent!) and for the yummy potatoes too. Looks beautiful :)

  30. Sunita
    Thanks :)

    You are so right. The "elasticity" needs you to be a pro while rolling. I cannot roll fast because of that

    It's raining water here !!!!

    Swapna, Latha
    Thanks dear :)

    Awwwww poor you. Did you have off from work in summer or were you working ?

    Ok you sure should get an award from me too. Watch out next post

    Yes sure come over. But all this is not just cooked in one day so you will have to stay a while and in betwen eat chinese take out :)

    You are tooo sweet :)

    You are back....good to see you girl. How was the vacation

  31. YAY!!! Post it fast okay.... so that I can display it with all my awards in the next post ;) :P

  32. Sandeepa Thanks for visiting my blog..... I am almost technologically challenged... OR might have missed the 'DMC' mentioned somewhere.... DMC ta ki?

  33. Lovely recipe Sandeepa.... looks delicious and easy to make... do u have the recipe for Mishti doi?

  34. Hi,
    I am also a bong who frequents your blog quite often.I have triedyour egg bake and kalakand.I am hosting my son's 3rd birthday party.I wnated some inputs from you regarding make ahead appetizers and dessert.Some of my friends want to have bengali sweets but I am not sure what I should make.I would appreciate any inputs from you.
    My email is is

  35. Ishhh! You had to cook all my fav dishes just when I was away ?? And now looking at doi-ilish (kotodin khaini!) and luchi, I can't stop drooling. Great recipe and lovely presentation and belated good wishes of Independence Day. Those were lovely pics of the beach and of dear li'l S. Ohh...did I tell you that I made your alu'r dom from your recipe in a party. Everybody loved it.

  36. Hahahah!!!!nice post , enjoyed reading it. Alu charchari is tempting. Next time when u make lemme know if i'm in NJ I will knock ur door:D...hehehhe

  37. Priyanka

    I do not have a Mishti Doi recipe on my blog yet, good reminder :)

    I am so sorry I am not able to drop you a mail as I will be pretty busy the next few days. What dessert you want to make depends on what you can do :) Like Rosogolla etc. can be made ahead a day or two, but I usually make easy desserts when I have lot of people over. You can make Payesh or Kamala Kheer or Mishti Doi, those are easy for a large crowd.
    Let me know what you made though, would give me a idea too :)

    Alur Dom bhalo legeche, mishti lageni to ? Non-bong der janya amra ektu chini beshi diye feli tai na ? Tumi kache thakle nishchoy ashte boltam :)

    Hey good to see you, left a comment sometime back today at your blog

  38. Sandeepa,
    Had to just stop a min and saw my many thanks for the recipes. U see, I am a Punjabi (half Anglo Indian) married to a Bengali. And this being my second month as a bangali bou, I've been trying my hand at a lot of bengali food. Calling my mother in law for recipes is quite expensive and hence while searching the net, I came across your blog. Need I say, it has been the shining light along my culinary paths..:) Three cheers to you!!!
    Nisha Ray Chaudhuri

  39. charchari in konkani means crisp :-)

    Wonder how I missed this one :-) Lovely post.

  40. Sandeepa, thanks so much for a precise measuremtnt of "moyan". My mom justs says "ektu khani andaaje" which has led to mall my luchi attempt to be hit and miss - when it turns out grea I have no idea how much oil I put in! I just tried it today and got the easy to roll and "praye shob luchi phuleche" and tasted great. My 2 yr old has downed a good number of them even before hubby gets home :-)

  41. the alu charhari looks delicious thanks for the recommendation. I will try the recipe and I hope that it can get as good as it looks like.


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