Sara Dhanani

A traditional Pakistani breakfast

In Breakfast/Brunch, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on May 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm


The warm summer sun is ablaze in Phoenix! Over the long weekend, rather than barbequeing we were craving halwa puri. From Boat Basin, thin puri’s packaged in oil soaked newspaper, haldi yellow alu and fiery cholay with a thin layer of oil, that would make my mama shudder every time. And the gorgeous orange halwa, super sweet with tangy achaar.. makes me salivate first and then remember the heart burn!

So with bitter sweet memories I looked up a recipe from a pakistani cooking show (which was painfully entertaining!), and we had halwa puri for brunch. Delicious!! Without the heavy, artery clogging feeling after. Surprisingly the recipes are very hands off, basically dumping all the spices with the beans or potatoes and cooking till the curry forms. I peeked in on them periodically and gave a stir, adding water is needed, so feel free to adapt to your liking. The key is not to fry the spices separately but rather allow everything to cook together. I fried tortillas instead of making puri’s from scratch. It works in a pinch, but fresh puri’s would have been incredible!

One Third cup sooji (Semolina flour)

Half a cup ghee

One cup sugar

Two cups water

One teaspoon orange food coloring ( I had yellow at home)

5 cardamom pods (opened up)


Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Fry the suji in the ghee for 4-5 minutes till it looks lacey. It has a beautiful nutty aroma. Add the cardamom. Remove from heat. In another pan heat water and sugar till the sugar dissolves (chashni). Add the food coloring. Now stir in the cooked sooji and continue cooked on a medium low heat till its thick (if you stir a spoon it should leave tracks). It will thicken more as it cools.



Two cups Garbanzo beans soaked overnight in water

1 medium sided onion grated

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon soonf

1 teaspoon cayanne pepper (powdered)

1 tablespoon red chilli flakes

1/4 teaspoon haldi

1/2 teaspoon corriander powder

salt to taste

1/3 cup oil


Boil in 5 cups of water, the soaked garbanzo beans till mostly soft. Drain most of the water saving approximately 2 cups of water. Add the grated onion to the garbanzo beans and water and boil further till soft. Add all the spices and the oil and continue cooking for 30 minutes till a thick curry is formed. Garnish with chopped corriander.

Alu Ki Tarkari:
Five – Six medium sized Russet Potatoes, peeled

One teaspoon Crushed red pepper

One Fourth teaspoon Haldi

One teaspoon kalonji

One teaspoon cumin powder

Two tablespoons oil

One – 1.5 cup water

One teaspoon achaar (optional)


Chop the peeled potato’s into 2 -3 inch cubes. Add water with all the spices and oil (except the achaar) and cook on medium high heat till a thick curry forms. You may want to mash a few tablespoons of the potato while they’re cooking to facilitate the curry. Mix in achaar in the end.( I preferred the taste without the achaar)


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