Who can resist these fried discs of joy?
P for Puris or Pooris
Pooris are the fried puffy breads that we all love so much.
Since they require frying-pooris are generally made on weekends or special occasions.
The technique is quite simple. When frying anything-safety is key.
Use a heavy bottom pot that is sturdy and never fill oil more than half way up. Use a thermometer if you are new to frying and the temperature should be about 370 degrees, or use chopsticks and when lots of bubbles surround the stick – you are ready to fry.
Pooris (Fried Puffed Breads)
2 cups Chappati flour (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
(Can substitute with half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour)
½ tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil plus about 4 cups for frying
1 cup water (the quantity varies – depending on humidity and type of flour)
1. Mix flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the oil and mix. With the processor running, slowly pour in the water until dough comes together and forms a ball. Remove the dough onto your counter and knead it for a few minutes, until it is smooth and pliable. Do not add any bench flour – if the dough gets sticky – put a little oil onto your hands. Put the dough in a bowl, cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy bottom pan until it reaches 360 degrees.
3. Divide the dough into 10 balls the approximate size of a golf ball. Roll them out into a 3 inch disc. If you are rolling all of them together, make sure they are covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
Now, carefully place one rolled out disc into the hot oil. It will sink to the bottom. With a slotted spoon or a Chinese Spider, gently press down on the poori as it floats to the top. This action helps fill air into the poori.
As soon as it has puffed, turn it over once – away from you and then remove it to a plate lined with a paper towels.
Repeat with the rest of the dough and serve immediately.
Sometime the poori will not puff up – there could be a few reasons for that like the dough wasn’t smooth enough or the disc was rolled too thin or too thick. Just remember, it will still taste great and with practice you will be able to make the perfect puffed poori.