Saturday, July 2, 2011

Puffy Pooris, Or How To Put On A Show In Your Kitchen

 Anyone who's ever gone to an Indian restaurant knows that when it comes to interesting and creative ways of baking breads, it’s hard to beat an Indian chef. Every region has its’ specialties, from chapatti to naan to parathas and beyond. These delicious breads don’t have to be reserved for dining out or “to go” status anymore. With a little bit of know how they’re pretty easy to make right in your own kitchen.
   One of the most dazzling, show stopping things one can present at a dinner party are the puffy little Indian breads known as Poori. These golden little balls of dough puff up like small balloons during frying and come to the table  warm and round. Your guests will be amazed! They’ll “oooh” and “ahhh.”  They may even gather around the fryer to watch, but don’t let them stand too close because to puff up properly the oil has to be really, really, really hot.We don't want any poori burns. Other than that, this traditional bread is pretty easy to whip up in under an hour.


Here’s what to do:
  Poori are almost made the same way as chapatti. The ingredients are easy as pie. In fact, if you can make pie, you can make these.

All you need are:
   2 cups chapatti or whole wheat pastry flour
  1/2 tsp of salt
  1 and 1/2 Tbs of vegetable oil
  3/4 to 1 cup of water
  Oil to fry with.

Here's how to put it all together:
  Mix together the flour, salt and oil.
  When they’re all blended, add in the water slowly using only as much as you need to mix the dough together.
   Knead the dough. You want it nice and smooth and elastic.
  Put it in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth.
  Let it rest for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  In a wok or kadhai or deep fryer, heat vegetable oil for deep frying.
Get the oil hot, hot, hot! If it’s not hot enough the dough won’t puff up properly.
  Portion the dough into 16 little balls.
  Roll them out into circles.
Drop the circles into the hot oil and watch them balloon up and turn golden.
 Turn them in the oil so both sides brown.
Take the golden puffed up pooris out of the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve them up!
   This is as close to Benihana type cooking that I do in my house. Everybody wants to see the little dough balls puff up and turn golden, and if you handle it just right, they'll stay puffed up on the platter when you serve them. Just remember to always be careful when handle hot. hot, hot, actually nearly boiling oil. Remember you are not in a castle repelling invaders!

   I'm celebrating my 2nd Blogiversary (yes, that is a weird word) this month, and I've decided to celebrate it with some great gifts from the very generous people at Workman Press, and Tropical Traditions.  I'm giving away 2 great gifts.
 A Copy of the fabulous cookbook Mangos and Curry Leaves
 The other prize I have is Organic Coconut Water Vinegar from the nice people at Tropical Traditions. This vinegar is great and what can I say, a must have for old skool Indian cooking!
   So how do you get this stuff???? Here's what to do?

1.) Follow  @WorkmanPub  and  @Troptraditions on Twitter 
2.) Follow @kathygori on Twitter or follow my blog The Colors Of Indian Cooking
3.) Tweet about the sponsor and my giveaway  or mention it on your blog
4.) Let me know you've done so

 The drawing is going to be conducted on It starts today July 1st  and ends on July 14th. Thanks again to everyone who helps make this blog possible, especially my husband Alan Berger for his great photographs.  
Coming up next  I go #goaterie ..see what coconut water does to Goat Vindaloo! Follow along on Twitter @kathygori  
  In the meantime if you are in the good ol' US of A have a safe and sane 4th of July as my mother  always says, and if you're not, have a grand old time anyway!


  1. Ooo. Yours came out perfectly. I love watching these breads being made. It's like magic.

  2. Puris look perfect!
    Loved this book.
    Coconut Water vinegar is new and look forward to your post/recipe with it.

  3. Kathi this looks great. Do they come out like a donut?

    I've never seen that cook oom, I will have to check it out and I've never heard of coconut vinegar. Sounds interesting, I will have to check out the goats recipe you use it in.

    Have a great 4th.

  4. I meant cookbook. I hate typing on my cell. Too many typos.

  5. Your puris look perfect. Can eat them anytime with any curry, pickle or even a cup of Indian tea!! I have started to add a tiny amount of haldi to mine now to differentiate them from Chappatis.

  6. @MinaJoshi,
    wow, I'll have to try the turmeric addition. I've got an idea up my sleeve for an Anglo-Indian high tea I'm planning 2 weeks from now.

  7. @Vickie Bensinger,
    yes my iPad has a mind of it's own. It's one of my favorite cookbooks btw.

  8. What doesn't taste wonderful fried? And these just look fabulous.

  9. Kathy

    I seem to remember Sanjana from Ko Rasoi made puris with spinach which looked amazing!




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