I was SO intimidated by these little puffs of deliciousness, that I almost didn’t try them.
I am so glad that I did! It’s literally the easiest thing ever! You just roll make some dough, rest it, form it, rest it and then roll it out and drop it in hot oil! Even better, there’s only a handful of ingredients, all of which you probably have in your pantry right now! And of course, they’re totally vegan. 🙂
When I first decided to try my hand at poori I was nervous that my all purpose flour wasn’t going to cut it. I had read that Indian breads are typically made with atta flour which is a high gluten wheat flour. I came close to the same effect, and stuck to a much more attainable alternative by sifting conventional whole wheat flour. By sifting it I removed much of the sharp bran which would normally cut the gluten chains and prevent the bread from forming a strong gluten structure. So in a way I mimicked a higher gluten flour.
I tried this with All-Purpose flour as well, and though they worked, the lacked the color, and, most importantly, the flavor that whole wheat flour imparted to them. I strongly recommend sticking with whole wheat to get the best experience.
If you want to save your poori for later, I found that loosely wrapping them in Saran while they are still warm kept them soft and fresh for up to 3 days. You could also stick the divided dough disks into the fridge overnight and drop them in oil the following day. Just make sure that they are tightly covered with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
In order to make your poor puff up nice and uniform like the ones in the picture there are a few simple techniques that you can follow. The first, make sure that your poori disks are round. If you start by forming a rough circle with your fingertips, and then use a rolling pin to finish them off, this shouldn’t be too hard. On that same note, make sure that they are uniform thickness. I found about an 1/8 of an inch to be good. It’s easy to roll the edges thinner than the middle if you’re using a rolling pin, so make sure that you focus on keeping the dough uniform throughout. The last thing I found that made a substantial difference was in pressing down on the dough while it is frying. Don’t just drop the dough disks into the hot oil and walk away. Make sure that as soon as the dough rises to the surface you begin gently prodding it with your spatula. Push down and the bubbles that form to encourage them to redistribute and fill up the entire poori.
This recipe makes 10 medium sized poori. I found these to be just the right size for us to have 2 with our dinner, if you have a bigger pan, or just want to experiment feel free to make them bigger or smaller – let me know how it works!
With a little practice and patience you’ll be making poori with no problems!
- 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour, sifted to remove bran
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, Plus 1.5 quart for cooking
- 1/4 Cup Water, Luke Warm
Combine salt and sifted flour in the bottom of a large bowl. Discard the bran remaining from sifting the flour.
Add the vegetable oil and use your fingers to combine. The mixture will resemble sand once the oil is thoroughly combined.
Slowly add the water, using your hand to combine, until a stiff dough forms. Knead the mixture several times (about 3 minutes) until a smooth balls forms. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20mn.
After dough has finished resting, divide into 10 equal pieces. Using your thumbs press each of the dough pieces into a circle about 2"x2". Set the dough pieces back into the bowl and cover tightly with plastic. Let rest for another 15mn.
Heat 1.5 quarts of oil in a 3 quart saucepan. Working with one dough round at a time (keep the other covered to prevent drying) roll into a uniform circle about 1/8 inch thick, do not use additional flour, the dough should not be sticky.
To check of the oil is ready drop a very small amount of flour into it. It should immediately come to the top and start sizzling. Once the oil is ready drop in your dough round. Once the dough comes to the top press down on it with the back of a spoon to help it puff up. Cook until golden brown, flip, and cook the second side to golden brown. Remove the poori from the oil with a slotted spoon and let it rest on some paper towels.
Repeat the rolling, frying, draining process with the remaining dough balls. Poori can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days. To keep them soft, wrap them while they are still slightly warm.