Grew up in a small town in South India, where Pori/Puffed Rice vendors were a common site either on their bicycles with their huge bag of light weight Pori/Puffed rice or in the little shops by the market that was meant exclusively for Pori vendors .It was open all through the year, yet got busy during the Saraswathi Puja festival as the Pori was used as a prasadam/offering to distribute to everyone attending the puja/ prayers offered to the Almighty.
Those days it was a common practice to drop by friends places in the evenings or have family friends drop by after work. Some laughter, an easy chit chat over a light snack and driving back home with a content heart was a given any time of the day. Me thinks, that is the reason why we never knew about therapists back then, meeting friends and laughter was therapy !Kara Pori or Spicy Puffed Rice always took a prominent place during such visits, over a cup of coffee, with us sitting under the coconut palms while a gentle breeze blew sharing a bowl of Kara Pori and life. Back then,life was made of simple beautiful things . Years later when the television world took over the grown up by storm , they would still stop by at each other’s homes sit and watch their favorite shows together over a bowl of Kara Pori. Lifelong friendships were made over a bowl of Kara Pori and for me that is the way I would always remember the bowl of Kara Pori, amidst shared laughter and tears over life’s up’s and down’s. When homes were occupied by just the empty nester’s Kara Pori still had its bonding touch.The children flew out to school in different states and different cities tasting Pori in so many different forms ( Bhel Chaat was one favorite!) yet the traditional Kara pori magic could never be replaced.
The cold wind was blowing hard , a light snow on the grass, trying to keep my chin up and not to let the winter gloom take over me, I searched my pantry high and low, to recreate magic in my small yet cozy kitchen. Some snack I needed ASAP, to keep the winter chill away and put my feet up and relax indoors on a weekend, binge watching Netflix shows that I had lined up for this holiday season. What could I make quickly, that fills that void in me I thought, as I rummaged through my pantry and found 2 packs of air sealed Pori, I had recently bought from the Desi store here .
Kara Pori was just what was on my mind today, so in less than 15 minutes made it, and put them in Ziploc bags for winter evenings in front of the TV.
Sitting in front of the TV watching some Indian movies with a bowl of Kara Pori drinking coffee is my definition of a perfect winter weekend indoors.
I can almost hear the laughter and feel the gentle breeze of the coconut palms in my soul. Home is a feeling, not a place. Make yourself some Kara Pori and recreate the magic, coz’ it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Which other time in the year can you sit with your PJ’s sipping coffee without the stress of the morning commute eating Kara Pori and binge watching TV shows on Netflix , if not during the end of the year. When the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…and since we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Puffed rice /Pori – 2 packs
Ghee/Purified butter- 2 tbsp
Channa & Urad Dhal – 1 tbsp ( for seasoning)
Curry leaves- a sprig ( for seasoning)
Peanuts – 1 handful
Dry red chillies 5-6 ( split for seasoning)
Garlic – 2- 3 cloves
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
- In a wide thick bottomed kadai, warm the ghee and add the seasoning ingredients one by one and saute till they splutter and a gentle aroma arises.
- Now add the garlic and stir till a light golden brown followed by the peanuts.
- To this add the Pori/Puffed Rice and mix the ingredients well, while adding the turmeric , sambar powder and salt to taste.
- Set aside and allow it cool, before you store them in glass containers or ziploc bags for winter snacking.