Thunka Puri is a popular dish made in the Bali Jatra, Odisha’s Largest Fair. These puris are deep fried bread made with all purpose flour and served with chena tarkari.
The Bali Jatra is the largest trade fair in Odisha, and host to various artists and craftsmen of Odisha. ‘Bali Jatra’ literally translates as a journey to Bali or the distant lands where the sailors (known as ‘Sadhabas’ in local lingo) of Kalinga had established their trade links.
Bālijātrā (also Bōita Bandāṇa) literally means A Voyage to Bali. It is the Asia’s largest open trade fair. This festival is held in Odisha (a state in eastern India), in the city of Cuttack at Gadagadia Ghata of the Mahanadi river, to mark the day when ancient Sadhabas (Odia mariners) would set sail to distant lands of Bali, as well as Java (at the time of the voyage known as “Yawadvipa”), Sumatra, Borneo (all in Indonesia), and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) for trade and cultural expansion. To commemorate this, the festival is celebrated every year from the day of Kartika Purnima (full moon day of the month of Kartika) according to the Odia Calendar. – Wiki
While Bali Jatra is famous for various other things, from a foodie point of view, I was trilled to know that Bali Jatra is famous for its Thunka puri Chenna Tarkari that is served during this festival.
As usual, I don’t remember how I landed in finding this recipe, I was so happy to have found an unique dish and a popular one at that. A quick search on internet I came across many sites that showed how this puri is made, I picked up this video to adapt in my kitchen. Most recipes used only All Purpose Flour, while this recipe used an equal measure of maida and wheat flour.
Since I have been deep frying and using maida a lot in recent times, I was fine using this recipe. I made Chena Tarkari as the side dish. This Thunka Puri is for T under the AtoZ Indian Pooris.
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Step By Step Pictures for making Thunka Puri
Ingredients Used for making Thunka Puri
All Purpose flour is used for making this poori, however there were some recipes that used equal parts of wheat flour and maida.
The puris made in the Bali jatra are very huge in size. Since we can’t make it as large as those, we can still make big ones.
I used a wide kadai so that the surface is wide enough to fit the big puris.
After frying, drain well on a kitchen towel for all the oil to drain off.
Serve with Chena Tarkari, Paneer Bhaja Curry and Alu Gobi which seems to be popular side dishes.
I served these pooris with Chhena Tarkari that has fried paneer balls cooked in a onion tomato gravy.