How to make perfect Puri is no secret mantra, all it requires is bit of practice. Puri or Poori is renowned Indian puffed bread. These plump, spherical deep-fried bread are native to Indian sub-continent. The culinary tour of the by-lanes of old cities is never considered complete without enjoying Puri dipped in piping hot bold curries. In India, the early morning walk in forage of local breakfast or lust for piquant street food often concludes with Puri-Bhaji. Puri is always considered symbolic of the festive Indian meal. There is a kind of unsaid indulgence involved when we talk about Puri. An ultimate companion of spicy, soupy curries, Puri is quintessential bread to sop up these curries.
We are so accustomed of relishing Puri in our meal that eventually it has become a weighty part of our food culture and heritage. As I mentioned above, making perfectly puffed up soft Poori at home ain’t no uphill task. The one thumb rule which I learned at a tender age from my mother about making Puri, is to get the dough right. Since then without fail Pooris in my kitchen are always rightly bloated, making me proud as a cook on the dining table.
Like any other unleavened bread, the dough for Poori requires a good amount of kneading to get the right texture. The dough for Poori should be smooth, soft, pliable yet firm to touch unlike dough for chapati. Adding more water will never get you the desired result. A good kneading time and minimal use of water is the ideal combination to prepare the Poori dough. And using less amount of water than required might result in dry and cracked dough. Start with 1/4 Cup of water at a time while binding dough this way chances of using too much water are less. Once the dough is ready give it a resting time of few minutes. At this stage you can keep it in the fridge as well in a container with the lid.
Next stage is to divide the dough into lemon size balls of equal size. Grease the rolling pin and surface with with little cooking oil. To roll out the Poori, gently press the dough ball with your palm and roll out into small size circle. The thickness of Poori should be even. A too thin or thick Poori might refuse to puff up and likely to soak up too much oil while deep – frying. It is hard to define the thickness of Poori, hope the images shared could make it easier for you to understand.
At last the crucial stage, deep-frying the Poori. Heat oil in a wide heavy bottom pan over medium to high heat. To test the oil whether it is hot enough to deep-fry the Poori, drop a pinch of dough in the oil. If the piece of dough floats to the surface after few seconds than oil has reached the desired temperature. If the oil is not hot enough, you might end up in flat Poori with too much oil absorbed inside. While deep-frying the batch of Poori moderate the heat as desired during the process.
Learn how to to make perfectly puffed up soft Poori/Puri:
- 2 Cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp. semolina (sooji)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp refined oil
- 1 tsp ghee
- Oil for deep frying
- Water at room temperature to bind the dough
- To prepare the dough for puri, first sift the flour in a large bowl.
- Add salt and semolina in the flour. Stir to evenly combine.
- Add 2 tablespoon oil in the flour mixture. Mix with your fingers.
- Now using 1/4 cup of water at a time bring the flour together to form dough.
- Make sure not to use too much water. We need firm yet pliable dough. If the dough is on a stiff side do not worry by kneading you can make it soft.
- Knead dough for next 10 - 15 minutes, more you need more soft puris would be. The good kneading time is one of the tricks to best puris.
- Rub the Poori dough with a teaspoon of ghee. Cover with a muslin cloth and let it rest for next 10 minutes or so.
- Now heat oil for frying puris in a deep heavy bottom pan ( buy it here ) over medium heat.
- Divide the dough into small or medium size pieces.
- Shape each piece into a round ball by rolling in between your palms. Similarly prepare the balls from remaining dough.
- Before rolling out Poori grease rolling pin and surface with a teaspoon of cooking oil.
- Roll out one ball at a time into a small and thin circle. The size of the puri should be small to medium. Make sure not to roll it out too thin or thick.
- Once the oil is sufficiently hot then test by adding a pinch of dough. If it floats to the surface, the oil is sufficiently hot.
- Add one poori at a time and fry gently pressing down with the frying spoon or slotted spoon in a circular motion.
- Turn over when puffed up and fry the poori till golden brown on both sides.
- Transfer puri to a plate lined with paper napkin.
- Serve Poori hot with a vegetable curry.