Would you believe me if i told you that i have not cooked puris even once in almost two years of married life, until last night? And its not even that i am not fond of them. My mom loves to recount how i would sit next to her in the kitchen when she was making puris and ask to be served fluffy puffed puris straight from the frying fan. It was a favourite breakfast item growing up. And yet i was afraid to make them in my own kitchen for the fear of not getting them right.
Last night, i found out all my fears were for nothing.I did make wonderfully puffed up puris and the process was not at all difficult. It is here that i should admit i read through a lot of food blogs in the last six months and read puri tips and tricks at different places, of course some contradicting each other as is bound to happen when there are so many people talking about it. So i will tell you the tips i have followed, also having talked to my mom and mother-in-law before making these. Oh, and it would be remiss if i didn't mention here that my mother-in-law makes the most wonderful puris i have ever eaten, every single one of them always puff up, they are all evenly golden brown and taste delicious. Every single time!
- Mix the dough and allow to rest for 30 minutes to one hour. This will make the dough softer and allow for softer puris. This process will NOT cause the puris to soak more oil.
- When rolling out the puris, do not stack them one on top of another. Place them on a newspaper or a clean kitchen surface individually.
- Do not leave the rolled out puris to rest, fry as soon as possible. Puris left to dry out after rolling will not puff up evenly, only parts of it will puff up. The trick is to heat the oil while you still have 5-6 balls of dough left to roll.
- Roll out the dough as evenly as possible. Try not to make it too thin at one place and too thick at another.
- Tap the puri lightly on top when you place it in the hot oil for frying, it will help in puffing up process.
- Always keep the oil at the same temperature, medium hot not smoking hot. To test whether oil is ready for frying the puris at the start, drop a 1 cm piece of dough into the oil. If it floats to the top within 2 seconds, the oil is ready. If the oil is smoking hot, turn off the stove and fry a couple of puris in the hot oil, then turn the stove back on for frying the remaining.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Water to knead dough; approx 1/3 cup
- Oil for deep frying; between 1-2 inch high in the frying pan/ kadai
Mix the flour, salt and water into a soft, very slightly sticky dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes until you cannot see any dry flour in the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with another bowl or a moist kitchen towel. This will prevent the top layer of the dough from drying out. Allow to rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
Make 10-12 lime sized balls from the dough and flatten them into round disks with your palm and fingers. Sprinkle a little wheat flour on the kitchen counter. Roll out each dough ball into an approximate circle, 5-6 inch diameter, sprinkling some wheat flour if the dough is sticking to the rolling pin or the bottom surface. When you still have about 4-5 puris to roll out, turn the stove on to heat the oil for frying. Test whether the oil is hot enough as per tips above. Gently place the rolled out dough into the hot oil and tap lightly on top. Fry for about 10 seconds on one side and turn over to the other side. Fry for another 10-15 seconds until golden yellow and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the puris are fried. Serve with any gravy based curry. Potato curry is the usual combination with puri for which i will post the recipe soon.
The first batch of my puris puffed up very well. I was jumping with joy, and then i made the mistake of reducing the temperature of the oil, so i could click some wonderful pics for the blog. Yeah, I managed to get pics of the beautiful, completely puffed up puris, but since the oil was not at the right temperature for the next batch, they only puffed up randomly, as you can see in the last pic :-( Well, its not all bad, as you get to learn from my mistakes, instead of making your own :-) And they still tasted delicious.