P for Poori

Nothing delights a foodie mother more than discovering her son’s growing love for food. But I am quite sure that this post is going to get a big nod of disapproval from medico father. Ideally, the post should have been written on luchi – a traditional puffed, deep-fried Bengali dish made from maida and white in color. Considering the fact that the boy prefers it deep-fried and slightly brownish made from whole wheat or atta, I can conclude that his choice is more akin to the national dish poori (I think poori deserves that status)

The first time that Tuneer was introduced to solid food, he rejected all kinds of food except anything that tasted sweet. So we tried tricking him into eating the regular dishes with a dash of sugar or jaggery in it. It didn’t take long for him to figure out the adulteration and we were back on the path of struggle to make him eat. On his first birthday, my mother-in-law prepared luchi from a mix of atta and maida with dum aloo as an accompaniment. His initial reaction was to refuse but once we could convince him to take the first bite, there was a glitter in his eyes that was enough to prove that there began a relationship that was going to stay for long. 

During my childhood, luchi used to be a mandatory Sunday morning special breakfast. I  would ask my mother multiple times on Saturday night about what kind of side dish she was planning to prepare along with the luchi. Honestly, it didn’t matter. I just needed to confirm that luchi was going to be the dish the next morning. I started waking up early every Sunday only to savor that perfectly round and puffed luchi with dum aloo, aloo sabzi or chana dal (Bengali favorites). And, if it was made on any other day of the week, it usually meant that either Ma had kept a fast related to some pooja or it was someone’s birthday. In the former case, the side dish with luchi was usually veg item and in the latter case, luchi was served with chicken or mutton kosha.

The scene was quite similar in Sr. T’s house except for meat that was barred in my marital home. As we grew up and started living in different cities, we had the option to explore a variety of cuisines eventually leading to evolved choices in food. The love for luchi had taken a back seat. Looking at Tuneer searching for frequent opportunities to have luchi, we were reminded of our own love for this item. While we humored him with homemade luchi once in a while (despite Sr. T ‘s lack of support), he craved for more.

The only pic of the boy with poori and dum aloo
The only pic of the boy with poori from a picnic last year. He was super annoyed about me posing instead of feeding him the poori.

In April 2018, Tuneer started his preschool. During the admission process, we were informed about the preschool providing a morning snack. The menu was finalized by the Principal personally every year and the dishes were different every day, though the weekly schedules were kept the same for a particular year. So Monday was for Dahlia, Wednesday welcomed pasta, Thursday meant noodles and Friday brought in sandwiches. Cut fruits and biscuits were given as side dishes daily. But what caught the boy’s attention was the dish on Tuesday as his father read it loud: poori sabzi.

Despite the fact that he enjoyed his time at the preschool, it took Tuneer a long time to settle down. Every day it took me hours to convince the boy to go to his preschool. He would often start crying or there would be emotional outbursts in different forms making the whole situation difficult for both of us. If there was an exception to this pattern, it happened every Tuesday morning when he went to school with a smile. Poori had turned out to be a bigger moral-booster than my love and encouragement.

During every parents-teachers meeting, his class teacher always praised Tuneer for never wasting food, a quality he had picked up from his maternal grandfather. He only took that much amount of food which he knew he could finish. She would then smile and tell me how that trait took an exception on Tuesdays at the sight of pooris. He was the one of the first few to learn the names of. And I am quite sure that the will to learn emerged from the desire to keep a track of when Tuesday arrived every week. Until then this was a question he had reserved for his class teacher and me daily. I had started dreading vacations or any holiday that fell on a Tuesday because he brought the house down with his demand to eat poori-sabzi just the way the preschool served.

In the last one year, we have taken him out for invitations, at restaurants and on holidays. His standard question to the outings always started with “Will they serve poori or luchi?”. If he received a positive answer, the next question was, “Will they give dum aloo or chana dal?”. If we had an answer to that (we generally cooked up one), the next one that followed was, “Will they give sweets with poori?”. And then the most deadly one sealed the deal with, “I want to eat two, no three pooris. I don’t want to eat rice or anything else.” And, in case there was no poori to be served, Sr. T and I looked at each other with terror-stricken eyes for the calamity that was to follow next. 

Co-incidentally, it was a Tuesday when he started school this week. And the scary part was that the cook had been on a four-day leave which ended only yesterday. While discussing his tiffin preferences on a Monday morning, he looked at me with hopeful eyes and asked if I was going to make poori sabzi just the way he loved. He had long stopped saying luchi because it was poori sabzi that he had savored at every place we had traveled to in the last one year – Delhi, Mumbai, and Goa. Since his school had already given a standard set of rules related to Tiffin for the first two weeks (basically non-messy food items), I had a hard time convincing him for a sandwich as a snack on Tuesday. He finally gave in only after I let him eat home-cooked egg noodles for dinner on that Monday night after assuring him of a confirmed poori sabzi laden Sunday. 

Only noodles could finally convince him
Only noodles could finally convince him

I shudder at the thought of a similar conversation happening after two weeks again and even more, at the thought of waking up at 6 am in a bid to fry pooris for him in the future. Whoever said life’s a little easy once the kid gets admission in school has definitely no idea about kids and their abilities. This is turning out to be yet another phase of life-changing experience each day that has just begun.

I sincerely hope that this post brought a smile on your face. I will be back with a post on ‘Q’ tomorrow. In the meanwhile, you can check out my previous posts here.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

41 thoughts on “P for Poori”

  1. Not just a smile but a riot of laughter. Your posts are so full of humor and sarcasm so very innocently that only a trained eye and mind can connect to it in the first go. The amalgamation of your skills of story telling and recital are so amazing that one starts craving for me by the end of your post. The posts are helping me to pick up Bengali diction here and there. Keep these stories coming for I cherish them so much 🙂 .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My daughter loves pooris and can eat them at any time of the day. I have also packed pooris for her lunch box and do I need to mention … the day I give her poori the dabba is super clean and undoubtedly the best lunch of the week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And I learnt about my new dish today Luchi. Will surely try that.As for poori not for my son but for me it’s a forever love.
    I am loving Turner’s expression in the picture..
    And your post are so full of smiles and laughter always , the best they are so interactive, two way always

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are absolutely right! Poori can easily be called the national food of our country, Lest the idli lovers object! I think the kids , i mean mostly all kids have this affinity towards poori. In my house whenever there is poori for Sunday breakfast or any other auspicious day of Prasad, I need not have to worry about the kids filling up there tummies.

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  5. It definitely brought smile to my face. My younger one and husband are a big fan of Puris and elder one doesn’t like fried stuff. I know how hard it is when kids have choice of food until and unless they are eating healthy.

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  6. Love the way he demands pooris on Tuesdays wherever he may be… 🙂 cannot argue with a child – hope you were able to convince him effectively though..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahaha! I can completely identify with you.. A stop at the Gurdwara and parshad on a daily basis, is the real draw for my son going to preschool. I’m dreading the new early morning timings that will begin soon because we’ll have to try and fit the gurdwara visits in somehow!

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  8. Preferring poori over Luchi, I think boy needs counselling. No way poori stand a chance even as a second cousin to Luchi. But on a healthier side, he being a doctor’s son, may be he is health conscious and prefers atta over maida. I love luchi any day. White puffy things with mutton. Who can ask for anything more.

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  9. So, Tuneer loves poori. 😍 I also love Poori so much. After reading this post, I started craving for them. And so nice pictures. I wish I could meet Tuneer…cutie 🥧

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  10. My little one likes puri so much and she brings and eat only this item in tiffin properly. but as a doctor I would say we should try to limit intake of deep fried foods and try to convince our kids to eat more healthy foods ( easy to say..but hard to do)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Both my sons love pooris. I used to make them mostly for festivals and sometimes on Sundays. But they are most delighted when I pack pooris in the lunchbox. Their friends also share and I try to pack some extra. Since most days I give them rotis or parathas, I find pooris easier to fry once we have dough at hand. I think poori and chole is favoured at my home, followed closely by any aloo ki sabzi and paneer sabzi.

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  12. I often choose prawn poori at my local Indian Restaurant. Although I tried years ago to make chapati and nan I’ve never attempted to make home made poori (sometimes in Scotland on menus as puri). Maybe your son will transfer his ‘love of poori’ to some other dish soon. https://nancyjardine.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Poori is our favorite too, being North Indians we have poori on every festival, gathering, occasions and during feasts. What a coincidence, I made poori and bhindi sabji for Kavya’s tiffin today morning.
    Glad to know kiddo loves poori so much. For my baby, it’s idli….

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I only recently found out the Bengali name of this yummy Indian delicacy, when I visited a Bengali blog buddy in Delhi last month. At our home, it’s always been called “kadhai ki poori”, and yes, it was also the default Sunday “brunch” when my mom was still alive. Kadhai ki poori and some sabji made in “lohe wali kadhai”. Needless to say, all of us overate on Sundays. And we still do if there is Poori on the menu. So I try to avoid making it as far as possible nowadays. Oh but poori also happens to be one of my favorite train tiffin, you know. And cold poori with achaar (even without achaar, for that matter) tastes awesome with tea in the evening!
    [drools]
    Btw, I am amazed that Jr. T likes poori sabji more than pasta or noodles, which is usually more preferred by little kids these days.

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  15. I am also a poori lover my self. I like luchi too but not as much as Poori. Nice write up which shows that for a mother every moment in bringing up the child is special and stays with her for a life time. Btw lovely pictures 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lovely post…after reading this I am craving for Poori and dum aloo…a delicious combo!
    I can understand Tuneer’s love for the same. Btw very cute pic of the mother-son duo 😊
    I have not tried Luchi – but is it Bhatoora (that is eaten with Chola)
    Getting up at 6 am for frying Poori – the thought frightens me also…hahaha!
    Prayer

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your posts are doing more than bringing a smile to our face, Sonia. They are endearing your entire family to us. Tuneer and you have a Poori-friend , my Husband. He behaves similarly to how Tuneer does at the mention of Poori.

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  18. I was a huge poori fan like Tuneer until I discovered that it was making a poori out of me as well. 😛 Tuneer has his preferences right and you should be happy about it. My kids love hot pooris just off the oil and need no side dish with it. Dum aloo tastes awesome with it, haven’t tried it with chana dal though. Is there some special way to make it?

    Liked by 1 person

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