Posted on 11/16/2014 at 10:08 PM by Madhu Gadia
Puri (fried bread) makes any meal a celebration. Everyone, young or old, enjoy puris. Although you can make them alone, they are easier to make with two people; one fries and the other rolls.
Puri technically falls in the category of flatbreads. It seems wrong to call the deep-fried bread a flatbread, since it puffs up like a balloon in the hot oil, but within seconds it looses its steam and gently falls flat. Puri is a special bread made on holidays, special celebrations, weddings, parties, and banquets. Sometimes on weekends, especially if I have company over, I will serve hot puris and potato curry for brunch. It is sure to bring a satisfied smile to the guests as well as to my family.
Most puris are plain with just a hint of salt, and they are used to scoop up flavorful curries. They keep better than other flatbreads and thus are often taken when traveling long distances and at Indian picnics. Puries can also be stuffed or flavored for a different twist.
They are simple to make and need no prep work. I would highly suggest you use white whole wheat flour to make Indian flatbreads. White whole wheat flour is easily available in most local grocery stores. Roti-atta/flour is only available in Indian grocery stores.
2 cups roti-atta/flour or white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7/8 to 1 cup water
7/8 cup (plus or minus 1 tablespoon) water
2 teaspoons canola oil - canola oil for frying
(Dough can also be made in a food processor or electric mixer.)
1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, and salt. Make a hole in the center of the flour. Add water gradually as you mix dough. (Depending on the type of flour, the amount of water needed may vary slightly.) Knead the dough thoroughly until smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft but easy to roll into a ball. It should not stick to your hands. Dough is slightly harder than bread dough in consistency. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes or longer.
2. Lightly oil you hands. Divide dough into 20 balls. Roll each ball between palms of your hands in a circular motion until the dough is smooth. Press to flatten.
3. Heat oil, about 3-inches deep, in a karhai/wok or skillet on high heat. Oil is ready when a little bit of batter dropped in the oil rises to the top right away (about 400ºF).
4. Using lightly oiled surface and rolling pin, roll-out each ball to about 3-inch circles. If you are frying alone, roll out all the puris and place between towels to prevent drying. If you have help in frying, one person can roll the puris and the other one can fry.5. Carefully drop one puri at a time into the hot oil. Using a large flat frying spatula turn the puri as it rises to the top. Lightly press with the spatula and it will puff into a ball. Turn the puri again and lightly brown both sides.
6.Drain the puri on the side of the karahi and place on couple layers of paper towels. Continue frying one at a time, making sure the oil is hot.
7. Serve immediately as puffed breads or store in airtight container. As the puri cools, it will deflate. While they are still slightly warm, place them in an airtight container. Or stack them on top of each other and wrap them in an aluminum foil or store in air tight container.
Note: If the puris are at room temperature it is best to not warm them for they can dry quickly. Serve them with hot curry instead. If refrigerated, for best result, place the puris stacked and tightly wrapped in an aluminum foil, in a 350ºF-preheated oven for 10 minutes. Do not overheat the puris as they will become dry.
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 152; Total Fat: 8 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g); Carbohydrate: 17 g; Protein 3 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 118 mg
From: The Indian Vegan Kitchen, Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D., Penguin Group 2009 (www.cuisineofindia.com)