Easy LunchBox Series. · Kid Friendly Recipes. · Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Madras Masal for Poori (Potatoes simmered in a besan gravy with ginger and chillies)

Madras Masal.
Madras Masal.

Madras Masal is probably the name I have heard people referring to this side dish and so the name stuck. Many hotels in Chennai like Woodlands Drive-In, Balajee Bhavan, Saravana Bhavan, Arya Bhavan etc, serve Pooris strictly to go with this Madras Poori Masal. This probably a watery version of the “Sago” that my friends in Karnataka are familiar with. Its spicy from the flavours of the ginger and the green chillies, but succulent from the potatoes, and all together, this sidh dish greatly enhances the taste of the poori that its had with.

My mom makes the best masal that I have ever had. There was this time that my mom was visiting us, and we decided to go out and have supper in the park, one lovely spring evening. Mom made the masal, and I quickly finished making the Pooris. We packed them in insulated food boxes and laden with picnic plates, spoons and ladles, we set out our spread n that lovely park. It was an amazing evening, sitting in that lovely California park, overlooking rolling greens dotted with specks of lavender and lush yellow, enjoying a meal cooked by mom with love….


5 potatoes cooked with saltΒ  for one whistle in cooker .

1 onion sliced in to thin pieces.

7 green chillies finely chopped.( Use Serrano Peppers for added heat)

1 inch ginger chopped in to little pieces

Salt as accordingly

3 spoons of besan dissolved in 1/4 cup of water.

A pinch of turmeric.

Seasoning: Mustard, Curry Leaves, Channa Dal.


  • Mash the cooked potatoes and set aside.
  • In a kadai, add 2-3 spoons of oil and when hot, add bengal gram, curry leaves and the ginger, chopped chillies and the thinly sliced onions.
  • Allow the onions to get sauteed well and then add the mashed potatoes, salt and turmeric and allow to cook.
  • Now add 1/2 cup of water and let the mixture come together as one.
  • Finally add the besan dissolved in water to get a creamy finish.
  • Garnish with a dash of chopped cilantro and serve HOT with soft fluffy pooris.

7 thoughts on “Madras Masal for Poori (Potatoes simmered in a besan gravy with ginger and chillies)

  1. Reading abt the picnic with amma and enjoying food cooked by her, is making me nostalgic. Waiting for my amma to come in June.

  2. I’ve always wanted to know how to make this…..adding besan is a wonderful idea….I’ll try this for sure, I love it with Puris too! πŸ™‚

  3. hi,
    lovely madras masal, v too make aalo bhaji the same way …I am thrilled with the idea of adding besan to the bhaji! it’s new to me πŸ™‚ I’ll surely try this next time I make it.
    thanks for the recipe.

  4. Hey… lovely recipie. I was hoping to try out this dish, but being a novice cook I just wanted to clarify, do you use 3 TEAspoons or 3 TABLEspoons of besan?
    Thx πŸ™‚

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