Poori(pronounced as 'poo-ree') is a bread made from wheat flour deep fried to golden and lightly crisp until its puffed up like a ball. A perfect poori will be golden in color and will be puffed up. It's a quintessential Indian dish which can be served as breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack or dinner. Yes, people like to serve this or eat this be it any time of the day. It makes a complete meal in itself. Growing up my mom made poori bhaji for breakfast during the weekends and during fasting days, like Sankasti etc., this was our lunch. We loved poori bhaji and as kids used to look forward to weekends. Aloo bhaji is perfect accompaniment for puffed puris. There are a lot of dishes that can served with poori, like Vegetable Korma, Sagu, Peas usli to name a few. But Aloo/potato bhaji is the perfect combo.
This weekend, again as usual my mom made this yummy breakfast. Below is her recipe:
To make pooris:(makes about 20 pooris)
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp suji rava(optiona - this will make pooris crispy)
Water as needed(to knead the flour)
Cooking oil for deep frying(about 3 cups)
1. In a wide mixing bowl, add salt, wheat flour, suji rava (if adding) and add water little at a time and start to mix to form a dough. Poori dough should be firm and stiff (the idea is you should be able to roll the pooris), so go slow with the water. Add it only as needed. When the dough forms like smooth ball, cover and set it aside for 30 minutes or so.
2. Divide the dough into small balls between your palm till they are smooth without any cracks. On a clean counter surface sprinkle some flour and start rolling out these balls using a rolling pin into 4 to 5 inch circles about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Heat oil in a kadai or deep frying dish(do not fill the dish, just about half should be good enough). When hot(Test for readiness by placing a small piece of dough into the hot oil. If it bubbles and rises to the surface immediately, it is ready). Add the flattened pooris one at a time. The pooris will sink to the bottom, but will rise up immediately. Using the back of a slotted spoon, carefully apply little pressure and submerge the pooris until it puffs up. Slowly, turn it over on the other side. The other side of the poori is usually thicker, so, fry a bit longer until nice and golden. Carefully remove the pooris using the slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain the oil. Repeat the procedure with the remaining pooris. Serve immediately, if possible, or keep warm, covered, until ready serve.
P.S: When fryying, be careful to keep the oil at 350° to 375° for even cooking. If the oil gets too hot, then the poori will brown too fast and may remain doughy add uncooked inside. If the oil is not hot enough, it will not puff up and the dough will absorb a lot of fat.
To make Potato bhaji:
3 medium size potatoes, boiled and chopped to small pieces
1 large onion, chopped finely
4 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp minced ginger and garlic
4 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1/2 tsp urad(black-gram) dal
1/4 tsp chana(bengal-gram) dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
5 to 6 curry leaves
Salt to taste
5 to 6 stalks of Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnishing
1. Heat oil in a kadai/pan, add mustard seeds, when it starts sputtering, add cumin seeds, urad dal and chana dal, when they start sizzling, add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger-garlic, turmeric and fry for a minute or two.
2. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent. About 5 to 6 minutes, approximately.
3. Now add chopped potato pieces and mix together. Add about 1/2 cups of water, salt and combine well. Add more water if its too thicky to make a semi-dry dish.
4. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Check salt and adjust if necessary. Add coriander leaves and mix one last time and turn off the heat.
Serve with hot pooris.