Banana Puris and a Pineapple Stew

August 20, 2007 at 6:43 PM (bananas and plantains, dishes by cuisine, dishes by main ingredient, grains and grain-like, India, Karnataka, pineapple, vegetables/ fruits, wheat)

Well, on the third day of trying, I finally achieved fully-inflated puris! Yay!


The day before, I finally had the oil hot enough; apparently puris shouldn’t sink to the bottom of the oil when frying- they should immediately rise up to the surface and start inflating. I then took another tip from a learned commentator: don’t roll them too thin… so, I backed off from the rolling-pin a bit and voila! I had balloon after balloon floating in the oil. Let me tell you: that was a thrilling moment for me! A BIG thank you to everyone for helping me out! I now know exactly what thickness they should be and how they ought to react in oil at the proper temperature, and that’s a lovely feeling, knowing that I can “whip these out” at whim now. And, perhaps most of all, thank you Anita for suggesting all of this puri-making madness in the first place! What a fitting way to celebrate 60 years of Indian Independence!

Here’s a thought: I used the same dough, prepared on the first day and stored in the refrigerator, for all of three days of trials. So, I’m not sure about that fear of letting the dough rest too long; the final puris seemed to be very nice and soft, but really I wouldn’t be a fair judge, because I’m new to puris, and also those I made on the first day were most definitely like cardboard- edible and tasty cardboard though! 😉

Sunday- yesterday- was overcast and drizzly here in the bay of green, a day for sane people to stay indoors (which is why I had urges to slip on my rain-coat). I called up my friend James, and told him about my struggles with this fried flat-bread, and my eventual success. James is not terribly interested in the details of cooking… however, his curiousity about how they might taste was; a half-hour later found the two of us sitting at the table, stack of banana puris on one plate, a large bowl of freshly-made pineapple stew in a nearby bowl. My mother kept coming in and of our conversation to tear and swipe puri-halves and bits of pineapple from the bowl with her fingers. I kept offering a katori and thali, but she insisted that she was just nibbling. James had his own thali and katori, but got up and reached for himself a fork when he realized that flatware was absent from our casual coffee-meal. [sighs] One person doesn’t sit down to eat by hand, the other sat, but preferred to stab his food. Oh well… Umrikans.

The banana puri decided, after fully-blooming into maturity, that she would have nothing more to do with her promised peanut-y husband. He was too complex, he totally outshone her, cut off her sentences mid-stream to babble in unrelated topics and generally made her feel withdrawn and invisible. So, she dumped him entirely… and her kind parents then introduced her to a swarthy, passionate, Karnatakan dish called Coorg Pineapple Curry (at least it said so on his ID card).  This man from Madikeri could finish her sentences, and she his. They were able to walk down the street with neither stepping on the other’s toes. He soon felt so close to her that, after a particular afternoon together by the sea, the air dappled by gentle breezes, he found himself whispering his true name softly into her ear. Bedazzled and star-struck, she blushed a darker shade of turmeric, looked into his pineapple-eyes and gave him a warm banana-scented embrace.

The dish with peanuts sat quietly nearby, watching for a bit, then shrugged his shoulders and strolled away. Before long, he found himself a quiet bowl of plain rice sitting with head on hands: downcast, because that groovy-gravied pineapple had cast her aside. With so much already in common, she sat quietly, content to let Mr. Peanut prattle. He beamed as she listened to his every word.

(Yeah, Gopi-inspired… 🙂  )


Coorg Pineapple Curry

 (from Premila Lal’s Indian Recipes. Ingredients followed with a “P” are my additions, compiled over dozens of times of preparing this dish- do try them!)

1 T ghee or oil

1/2 t mustard seeds

1 large onion, minced very finely

1 t ginger paste (P)

1 large ripe pineapple, peeled, cut into eighths lengthwise, then across in 1/2″ wedges

1 t coriander seeds, ground

8 dry red chiles, ground- or to taste

1/4 t ground black pepper (P)

2 tej patta or a small piece of Chinese/cassia/hard cinnamon(P)

3″ of whole true/Ceylon cinnamon (P)

8 whole cloves (P)

1 egg-sized lump of jaggery/gur (3-4 pieces)

1 pint or so of water

salt to taste


1)Heat the ghee or oil, add the mustard seeds and onions and fry, stirring continuously, until the onions are lightly-browned. Add the ginger paste and fry 30 seconds more.

2)Add the pineapple pieces, the dried spices, gur, water to almost cover and simmer, uncovered, stirring every few minutes, until the pineapple is tender and the gravy reduces. Add salt to taste. Serve with puris or rice.

Before I opened my own blog, I had sent this recipe to Shilpa of Aayi’s Recipes to try. I was very honored and suprised when she posted it exclaiming her enjoyment- as well as her commentators- of this dish as well. It is quite delicious, and popular with everyone I know who has tried it. 


Banana Puris

(from Premila Lal’s Indian Recipes as well…. with a few changes in procedure)

makes about 18-20 puris

3 ripe bananas

1/4 t gur/jaggery or sugar

3/4 t whole cumin seeds

3/4 t ground red chiles

1/2 t turmeric

1 T ghee or oil plus more for deep-frying

a pinch or two of salt

1 C maida/all-purpose white flour

3/4 C besan

1/2- 1 1/2 C or so of ata (Indian whole-wheat flour), plus more for dusting

4 green chiles, seeded and minced finely


1)Mash the bananas with the sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the dried spices, 1 T ghee/oil and salt.

2)Sift and add the maida and besan; stir well, then add enough ata to make a stiff dough. Knead for several minutes, adding more ata as required. (I used about 1 1/2 C, but it totally depends on the amount of banana paste)

3)Incorporate the green chiles into the dough.

4)Divide the dough into small balls- about the size of key limes- and roll each into 5″ rounds, dusting top and bottom with ata as necessary.

5)Fry in hot ghee or oil on both sides; drain and serve immediately.


Trust me, the combo of these two are unforgettable!!!!!!!!!






  1. Suganya said,

    Looks awesome Pel! Am gonna try this. So you finally made it.. Yay! The pineapple-curry-banana-puri story is so bollywood 😉

    Hehehehehe… a little fairytale romance now and then is never a bad thing! 😀

  2. Musical said,

    Lovely! i’ll take the pineapple curry any day 🙂 are those banana pooris really sweet, if so-you’ll have to ensure generous supply of the spiciest possible pickles around! and yeah, the pooris are really fluffy 🙂

    The puris are in that borderland between sweet and savory- great on their own; I read about sweet banana puris sprinkled with powdered/fine sugar after frying- just leave out the cumin and chiles. Pickles eh? Are you trying to corrupt this innocent pair?! 😉

  3. bee said,

    didn’t shilpa make these at aayi’s recipes at your suggestion? since then it’s been bookmarked. love your crazy creations, pel.

    Hehehe…yes, she did! But seriously, it’s not my recipe; I just added a few things to it… perfecting, you know?

  4. bee said,

    by ‘these’ i meant the pineapple stew.

    These pineapple pieces. Yes, of course! Orange cognac? 😀

  5. Manisha said,

    Sweeeeeet. You’re getting back into your element. Love these kind of posts. Thalia worship next? Please!

    I’ll think about it. Hey, do you have the recipe for ripe-banana nu shaak handy?

  6. sharmi said,

    Now I have to try the pineapple stew 🙂 this time you pooris sure look good.

    Aw, thanks Sharmi. Puris: simple ingredients, tricky operation.

  7. Anita said,

    Umrikans! 😀
    Beautiful pooris…we were missing the dessert at the party! Thanks for coming and bringing James.
    Glad to see it all worked out for all the characters 😉 in the end! Happy endings are good.

    Yeah…but really that plain rice is a terrible trollop when you think about it… I admire that. 😀

    Dessert?!!!! Was it? I had a candy bar later on… 😉

  8. What a Party! « A Mad Tea Party said,

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  9. Anita said,

    Not dessert-dessert, but it sure satisfied the sugar cravings!

    Forgot to add, good to have another recipe with ‘three ripe bananas’! ever tried ‘Mangalore buns’ – leavened banana poori?

    No, I haven’t, but I’d love to! And indeed I did save the bananas one-by-one in the freezer… Do you have a recipe for these Mangalore Buns handy? If not, I’ll try looking them up.

    Also… where would you place the origin of this banana puri recipe? Southern for sure…but-

  10. Manisha said,

    You want me to go yeow? Ripe bananas cooked like that are almost as bad as jackfruit!

    [url=]Richa[/url] has one version here. The one I had to suffer through did not have methi.

    Here it is! Gosh, took over a week to show up….

  11. Manisha said,

    (Um…where did my comment go? Ether? Spam karma? Probably cos I used BBCode instead of HTML. Duh!

    Trying one more time!)

    You really really want me to go yeow, don’t you? Ripe bananas cooked like that are almost as bad as jackfruit!

    Richa has one version here. The one I had to suffer through did not have methi.

    I don’t see any other of your comments in the que, but for some reason, WP tends to suck odd ones up somewhere and spew them out a day or two later… I checked out Richa’s recipe (thanks!); I didn’t see a swooning comment there from you dearie. Must have gotten lost! 😀

  12. Rachna said,

    wow yummy fruity poori bhaji pair… pineapple stew…with banana… really a match made in heaven….

    Oh yes; I can no longer imagine making one without the other now. It is a bhaji, a subzi, a gravy dish. I hope someday to find out what it’s really called!

  13. nandita said,

    This is amazing Pel….loved your additions and tweaks to Indian cuisine … even have the traditional steel plates and small bowls! Hats off, would love to try your stew when I have a pineapple on hand

    Hey! Thanks. Someday I’ll get a matching set! 🙂 I know tej patta is probably not used much in the southern cuisines; I used to use a bit of cassia/Chinese-cinnamon in its place.

  14. indosungod said,

    Pel, you made a stew with pineapple to go with the banana 🙂 Puri? Lovely that dance must have been,. I eat my pineapple with some red chilli powder mixed with salt.

    Those flavours are delicious with pineapple, aren’t they? It makes the natural sweet/sour flavour really stand out. Thai “red curry” (kaeng phed- “spicy stew”) works really well for that effect as well.

  15. Jyothsna said,

    Whoa Pel! The pineapple stew is too good to be true. I’ll try it someday. hehe, that bollywod tale…!

    I know it! There aren’t any food-pics in this old cookbook, so all of the recipes just sit there, unassumingly…until they are made. Then I look at the old, shabby, and bound pages just sitting there, and contemplate the potential parade…

  16. Anita said,

    Here is Vee’s recipe which is amongst the first few I tried off the blogs!
    My family wasn’t much enamoured (preferring regular kind) but Vee said we must give it a second chance. I bet it would be nice with the pineapple stew. These are not crisp at all – but soft and spongy, nice to mop up the stew juices I’d reckon.

    Well, I’ll be fixin’ to make ’em then… 🙂 Thanks! 😀

  17. Musical said,

    What do i do without pickles ;). i HAVE to have pickle with my food, Pel-sometime corruption is OK 😀

    LOL Oh dear… [fans himself tongue-in-cheekly] Although…perhaps a bit of zestiness now and then IS good, at least for the diary-pages… my lips are sealed! 😉

  18. Cynthia said,

    Look at you! I can just imagine your joy on day # 3 and the puri floating on top of the oil 🙂 The pic you have there of the puri and pineapple stew – looks truly inviting.

    You said it!

  19. Raaga said,

    This looks so much like the konkani bubbus roti. I am tempted to try 🙂 Thanks.

    Does it? Is that deep-fried or griddle/tava-fried? Because in the book, it said it could be done either way, plus it gave no mention of place of origin, so I was wondering…

  20. Raaga said,

    Here’s the recipe for that:

    Oh! So Bubbus roti=Mangalore buns? Thanks for the link!

  21. lathanarasimhan said,

    Hi Pelicano,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! Bananas with cummin and chilli powder? The way fruit chats are made. Nice try. A totally different poori! I like the way you use T and t.

    Oh, once in awhile I even use measurements like smidge/smidgen, dash and pinch… 😉 Thanks, yes… a bit like chaat masala and bananas- I hadn’t thought of that! I ought to use kala namak instead of regular in here.

  22. lakshmi said,

    you make stew out of pineapple :O and then you make banana puris :O :O and then you make the two go together!!! :O :O :O. i just love this madness – its awesome.

    my mouth is wide open 😀 – you must be one creative cook.

    i shall browse through all of your creations, try some and definitely ping back 😀

    Hey! Thanks for all those :O’s….. 😀 Honestly I just love browsing through this cookbook and picking things out to try- it has no pics, just whimsical drawings at the head of every chapter.

  23. lakshmi said,

    PS: thanks for visiting our food blog

    It was my pleasure; I bookmarked a few of your recipes already. 🙂

  24. Rahin said,

    now ….is this a treat or wht ????


  25. neroli said,

    Pel, how lovely, how wonderful! Thank you.
    Now it’s my turn: I had Yamuna Devi’s masterpiece on my lap this morning, wondering how I could possibly work in her pineapple curry…
    and thinking that the banana poori recipe there would be a good use of the_bananas_in_my_freezer—and then I come here, and you’ve got it on the table.
    Want to come over and help make a Schnabel out of my broken Jadeite?

    OK. I’ll smash; you glue!!! 😉 I have Devi’s “Best of…” but not the full “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine” yet- it’s on my list though, as I’ve heard what wonderful work and research she did. So, you were thinking pineapple stew/curry/in gravy/wet subzi and banana puris too? You have good taste I must say! 😀

  26. shilpa(aayisrecipes) said,

    When I read banana puri, I didn’t realise your puris are similar to our good old “buns”. I didn’t realise it when I read some of the comments about Vee’s post (I was actually glancing, not mistake)….After some time it striked…
    Sweet puris+ sweet stew? thats a treat for sweet lovers :).

    About stew…when you sent such an interesting recipe, how I could have ignored it without posting? It is still a great hit at my home, I absolutely love it…Thanks 🙂

    I’m glad you did! I treasure this recipe very much, so it must be shared. Mangalore buns? Yes, I’ve heard of the similarity, and have two recipes bookmarked to try. I’m afraid that I will like them and eat too many though… 🙂

  27. bee said,

    where are you, pel?

    I’m here somewhere! 🙂

  28. mandira said,

    wow, banana puris with pineapple curry sounds heavenly and looks fabulous too.

    Thanks Mandira! One of my all-time fav dishes definitely.

  29. jeena said,

    Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too 🙂 Click Here For Food Recipes

    Hey, thanks for stopping; you have a nice blog with a good collection too!

  30. musy said,

    Where are you these days :-D. Busy, eh?

    Yeah… it’s a catchy infection eh? 🙂 These last days of summer are too nice to spend indoors, and I have a few too many projects to attend to, but watch out in winter! 😉

  31. jai said,

    glad to see you swing by again…was wondering where you were hiding ! Never tried this type of combo before, but can imagine how it might turn out. i like to pair super hot things with sweet stuff. maybe put your special habanero sauce on it – what say?


    Oh hey! That sauce is so mild though…. hehehehe Actually, I usually make the pineapple fairly hot so I can hog it all to myself. Call it selfishness; I call it clever! [winks]

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