Puri Chana (Chickpea) Tacos

I have been wanting to make this dish for over a year. Around that time, I was going through a Taco Bell Chalupa phase. (Don’t judge, okay? I love Taco Bell.) The chalupa shell is essentially fried bread, but it’s thicker and softer than your regular tortilla. It led me to think about about a Puri, which is an unleavened oven-fried flat bread. It’s crispy when you bite into it, but soft and flaky on the inside. It’s literally the best thing ever, and I’m so glad it was one of the first things I ever ate in Pakistan when I visited, because it stuck with me!

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Puris are most often served at breakfast (or brunch in my house), but can be eaten during any meal and served with sweet and savory dishes. The first time I had them was at a wedding, so it’s also associated with celebrations and special occasions. Puris can be eaten with chana masala (chickpeas in a spicy gravy), spicy potatoes, or dessert, like sooji (semolina) halwa.

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I get super excited whenever my mom makes them. My aunt (my mom’s eldest sister) makes amazing puris and I still think about them when she visited us one summer – and this was almost 20 years ago!

Okay, back to the actual dish. Though you should be eating healthy and smart during Ramadan so you don’t totally pig out – that never really happens. Part of the problem is that a lot of cultures’ traditional dishes that they serve during Iftar (opening your fast) are pretty heavy. Pakistanis eat fried and spicy food.

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These Puri Chana tacos are a great way to have both a filling and indulgent meal. I think it’s a cool way to put a twist on a traditional combo while also combining some of my favorite things! The recipe for the puris, chana masala, and the components of the tacos are listed below. I would recommend making the puri dough first, go back and make the chana masala and gather your taco components, and then go back to fry the puris last so it’s crisp and ready to go!

PURIS

  • 2 cups plain flour (maida)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup greek/plain yogurt
  • ghee, for frying
  1. Sift flour and add salt, yogurt, and 4 tablespoons of ghee.
  2. Knead the mixture into a soft dough with some water.
  3. Wrap the dough in a damp muslim cloth and keep in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
  4. Portion out the dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll out the dough into a circular shape.
  5. In a deep frying pan or wok, heat up the ghee and fry until the puris are golden.

 

CHANA MASALA 

  • 17 ounces chickpeas (boiled) – it can be canned or fresh
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • salt, according to taste
  • ½ cup white onions, browned
  • 5-6 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red chiles
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup canola oil
  1. In a pot, slightly heat the canola oil for 2-3 minutes and then sauté the ginger-garlic paste.
  2. Add cumin and the rest of the dry spices. Mix well. Add a sprinkle of water and stir the spices for a few minutes.
  3. Add onions and tomatoes. Stir well until the tomatoes are tender.
  4. Add in the chickpeas and stir once. Add 2 cups of lukewarm water and let it simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Mix in the salt and pepper and remove from stove.

PURI CHANA TACOS

  • puris
  • chana masala
  • tomatoes, diced
  • onions, diced
  • cucumber yogurt (you can keep it plain as well)
  • cilantro, chopped
  1. In the middle of the puri, spoon some chana masala. Try not to drizzle on too much gravy since you don’t want the puri to get too soggy.
  2. Next, add your tomatoes and onions on top.
  3. Put a spoonful of cucumber yogurt on top.
  4. Garnish with cilantro on top.
  5. Eat it 🙂

I honestly wasn’t sure if the puri would be a great vessel for all of these ingredients, but it worked out beautifully. It’s an in between chalupa and soft taco with the outer shell, and you really get those vibrant South Asian flavors from the chana masala and freshness from the other ingredients. I also think that the yogurt is a great way to add some refreshment and doesn’t make the dish too dry. The toppings are totally customizable and I encourage it! I inhaled all three of these tacos after the photoshoot, no lie. I can’t wait to make them again.

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Have you tried the Puri Chana taco? Or maybe tried one of my other awesome Bayfood Fasts recipes? Let me know in the comments!

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