Mridu’s Magical Puri Bread


Continuing our World Kitchen in Leith recipe series, Mridu shares the secret of making Puris

They disappeared like hot cakes.  Deep fried Puris were one of the hits of our World Kitchen in Leith festival night.  Easier than rotis or parathas, puris still need a little practice if you want to get them to puff up into a ball. Here Mridu lets us into the secret in this extract from her book, Feasts of India. Now read on…

“Puris taste fantastic when served hot with their puffiness still intact. They are very nice for picnics and for children’s as well as other parties.  In fact, children love making them. My grandson, Gethin, by the age of eight was able to make the dough and roll out the puris perfectly. I simply did the frying part. As they are deep fried, puris can stay for a week or so in the fridge.

Plain Puris

Cooking time 15-20 minutes

1 cup flour

just under half cup water

1.5 tablespoons oil

(and oil for frying)

METHOD:

Mix flour with oil and small amounts of water at a time and knead dough which is slightly harder than roti dough (dough can be made well in advance). Divide it into 16 balls.

Place a small wok on heat with enough oil to deep fry 16 puris. Touch the ball of dough with a drop of oil and roll into thin round shape (approximately 1/2 mm thick)

Carefully drop it in hot oil and gently press its centre with a chalani (spatula) – this helps the puri puff-up. Turn over within 20 seconds. Give he other side 20 seconds also. Take it out draining as much oil as possible.

Puri made with plain flour is called Luchi in Bengal. In general the flour used for making Indian breads, is whole meal wheat flour milled to a specific consistency. Use medium or fine chapatti flour for puris – if chapatti flour is not available a half and half mix of good quality whole meal flour and plain flour should do the trick.

SECRETS OF SUCCESS:

  • Dough has to be slightly harder than roti dough
  • Oil has to be the right temperature before frying (drop a pinch of dough into the oil – if it immediately sizzles to the top then the oil is ready)
  • Rolling has to be so that puris are thicker at the centre and thinner at the edge
  • Have someone help either fry or roll (if managing alone best to roll out all the puris first)

I have yet to see anyone not like freshly made Indian breads…puris puffed up into a hot ball go like ‘hot cakes’ so if you are providing them fresh then be prepared for people to polish off more than you would expect.”

See also Mridu’s vegetarian cookery demonstration on video

FEASTS OF INDIA is published by Jaggnath

£17.99 + £2.00 PP

For more information contact: jaggnath.recipes@googlemail.com

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