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2 cups sifted chapati flour or 1 cup wholewheat flour with 1 cup white flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp (30ml) melted ghee or vegetable oil
2/3 cup (160ml) warm water or as needed
ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
Drizzle in the ghee or oil and rub it into the flour with your
fingertips until thoroughly incorporated. Add 1/3 cup water all at
once and work the mixture into a mass. Then, while still mixing
with your hand, add water slowly, in dribbles, until the dough is
formed and kneadable. (You want a pliable, but moderately stiff
dough; you may use more than 2/3 cup (160ml) of water to achieve
this, depending on the flour.) Place the dough on a clean work
surface, wash and dry your hands, rub them with oil and knead the
dough until it is silky smooth and pliable (about 8 minutes). You
can also make the dough in a food processor. Form the dough into
a smooth ball, rub it with ghee or oil and cover with an inverted
bowl. Let the dough rest for 1/2 to 3 hours. If you want to leave
it longer, keep it well sealed in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Remove it at least 1 hour before use.

Collect the items you will need for rolling and cooking: a rolling
pin, two or three cookie sheets, a slotted spoon for frying, a tray
lined with double-thick paper towels for draining the fried breads,
and a karai, wok, or deep-walled Dutch oven.

Place the dough on a work surface and knead briefly. The dough
should be stiff enough to roll out without extra flour. If it has
softened too much during its rest period, knead in flour as necessary.
To make 16 pooris, divide the dough in half and roll one portion
into a rope. Cut into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a smooth
ball. Place the balls on a plate without letting them touch and
cover with damp cloth. Repeat the procedure for the other half of
the dough. To make 8 party pooris, divide the dough into 8 pieces
and roll into smooth balls.

Take one ball of dough, keeping the others covered, and flatten it
out into a 1/2" patty. Dip a corner of the patty in melted ghee or
oil and roll it out, exerting firm but even pressure, into a 4 1/2"
- 5" (or 10") round. Place it on a cookie sheet and roll out all
of the pooris this way. o not allow the rounds to touch; lay them
out in one layer on several cookie sheets or another clean flat
surface. Cover with plastic wrap. Heat the ghee or oil over
moderately high heat until it reaches about 365F/185C on a deep-frying
thermometer. Lift up a rolled-out poori and carefully slip it into
the hot oil so that it remains flat and does not fold over. The
bread will sink to the bottom of the pan but quickly wants to bob
to the surface. As it begins to rise, cover it with the back of
the slotted spoon, and keep it submerged under the frying surface
until it puffs into a steam-filled balloon. (Take care not to press
the poori harshly - a tear in the delicate crust could fill the
poori with oil.) When it is lightly browned on the first side,
carefully turn it over and brown the second side. The frying time
is under a minute for both sides. Remove the puffed bread with
the slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat the procedure
for all of the pooris, adjusting the heat to keep the oil at an
even temperature. It if overheats, remove the pan from the burner.

Serve immediately or, to keep the batch warm for up to 1/2 hour,
place the drained breads on paper-towel-lined cookie sheets, letting
them overlap very slightly, and set in a preheated 275F/180C oven.
As pooris cool, they deflate. At room temperature, the baasi pooris
can be stacked and wrapped in a clean tea towel for up to 12 hours.
(makes about 16)


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