Who doesn’t love pooris, right? It is an all time favorite dish in our house, be it with adults or with kids. This light and fluffy ‘flatbread’ when done the right way, is an absolute treat. Growing up, pooris in our house were mostly a breakfast item and the day we had pooris for breakfast, our Mom wouldn’t hear a peep or any complaint from us and that tradition is being followed by our kids now. The combination of poori and Batate Bhaaji brings back memories of laid-back carefree childhood days. Pooris can be made plain like the one I have here but there are also different varieties of them made in different parts of India depending on the region you choose.
- Whole wheat flour (Aata) - 2 cups
- Cream of wheat (sooji) - 1 tbsp (optional)
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Oil or ghee - 1 tbsp
- Water - 3/4 to 1 cup or as needed
- Oil - for deep frying
In a large open bowl, put in the flour, salt and oil or ghee and mix well with your fingers till the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Adding little water at a time, start getting the dough together and form a stiff yet pliable dough. Moisten your hands with little oil and knead this dough for about 5 minutes. Cover and let the dough sit for atleast 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a wide frying pan for deep frying the pooris.
Divide the dough into equal portions and make small golf sized balls out of this dough. Taking one ball at a time, dust the ball in flour and with a rolling pin, roll the ball into a disc with medium thickness. Do not roll it too thin, or else your pooris will be crispy and will not puff up when fried.
Carefully lift the rolled out disc and slowly drop it into the hot oil. Using a slotted spoon, gently push the poori in using soft strokes. The poori will slowly start to puff up as you push in, turn the poori over and fry the other side too. Remove the poori from the pan using the slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper on it to absorb any excess oil. Do the same with the rest of the dough balls.
Serve hot with Batate (potato) Bhaaji or with any curry of your choice.
- I know people who use milk to form the dough, milk or water is totally upto you, but whatever you are using while making the dough, be sure to drop it in a little at a time.
- Rajesh’s maternal grandmother used to add sooji to the poori dough and it gives a nice texture to the pooris. You can omit it if you think its not necessary to have texture.
- Though I said 3/4 to 1 cup of water, this can change depending on the flour you are using. There are a variety of Aatas that are available in the market these days and though a few may claim to be 100% pure whole wheat, I still think there is a little bit of white flour (maida) added in most of them and white flour can get soggy pretty quickly. Hence it is of utmost importance that you add the liquid very carefully little at a time while mixing the dough.
- The Poori dough has to be stiff, see to it that the dough doesn’t get too soft. Because if it does, its prone to soak up more oil than necessary.
- The oil should not be smoking hot when you fry the pooris. Before you start frying, check the temperature of the oil. No, you do not need a thermometer for this. Do what I do, just drop a small (tiny) piece of dough in oil, if it rises to the top quickly, then it means you are good to go. Start frying!
- Pooris are best served (atleast where I come from) with Batate (potato) Bhaaji. It can served with any curry, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. I have eaten it with jams, yoghurt and pickle and it tastes very good just plain, dunked in coffee! Rajesh’s and my brother-in-law’s most favorite combo of all – poori shrikhand!