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Poori/Puri: Puffed Indian Bread

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

I would say without hesitation that this one little bread is treasured and loved by all Indians.

Pooris are little discs of whole wheat unleavened dough that are deep fried in hot oil/ghee. As they fill with steam, they puff up like balloons, and in a few seconds you have the most delicious fried bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour Or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2-½ teaspoons Oil, Divided
  • ¾ cups Water Or As Needed
  • Melted Ghee, To Dip Dough Balls In
  • 2-½ cups Oil, For Frying

Preparation

Combine flour, salt and 2 teaspoons oil. Rub everything together; some parts of the flour will form crumbs because of the oil. Slowly add the water and only as much as you need to make a dough. Pull the flour together and knead to make a dough. The dough should be stiffer than normal roti/flatbread. It should not be sticky at all, but should be smooth and pliable.

Knead for about 5–7 minutes, form a big ball, and coat the ball with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Set it aside or use right away. (If you are letting it sit, then cover the dough with a cloth to prevent it from drying out and knead it again before making the bread.) The dough should be stiff enough to roll without extra flour.

Divide the dough into 10 to 12 parts (you are free to make more or less, but the size of the dough will decide the size of the pooris). Roll these portions into balls between the palms of your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.

Take a ball of dough and dip a corner of the ball in melted ghee or oil and roll it out into 4 to 5 inches round.

Repeat the same process to roll out all the pooris. Roll out as many pooris as you like, stacking them, ready to cook with a layer of cling film/parchment paper between each poori.

Heat 2 1/2 cups oil in a wok until very hot. To test if the oil is hot enough, pinch a small piece of dough and drop it in the oil. If the dough rises up to the surface right away, the oil is ready to start frying the pooris.

Put a poori in the hot oil and immediately start flicking hot oil over the top of it with a spatula.

Gently press down on the poori with the back of the spatula, and you will see it start to puff up. (If the poori turns dark in less than a minute, the oil is too hot. Reduce the heat of the stove. ) Gently press down with the spatula, without resisting the puff, and wait till it puffs completely; it should take only few seconds.

Flip the poori over and cook the other side until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with a side dish.

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