POORI (Deep-fried, Puffy Bread)


  1   cup     sifted whole-wheat flour (sift to take out                       
                   some of the larger bran bits) 
  1   cup     all-purpose flour   
1/2  teaspoon     salt 
  2   tablespoons    vegetable oil + more for deep-frying   
1/2  cup      water


Put the 2 flours and salt in a bowl.  Drizzle the 2 tablespoons oil over the top.  Rub the oil in with your fingers so the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Slowly add the water to form a stiff ball of dough.  Empty the ball on to a clean work surface.  Knead it for 10-12 minutes or until it is smooth.  Form a ball.  Rub about 1/4 teaspoon oil on the ball and slip it into a plastic bag.  Set it aside for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough again, and divide it into 12 equal balls.  Keep 11 of them covered while you work with the twelfth.  Flatten this ball and roll it out into a 5-5 1/2" round.  If you have the space, roll out all the porris and keep them in a single layer, covered with plastic wrap.

In a deep frier fill about 1/3 with oil. Let it get very, very hot. Meanwhile, line a platter with paper towels.  Lift up one poori and lay it carefully over the surface of the hot oil.  It might sink to the bottom but it should rise in seconds and begin to sizzle.  Using the back of a slotted spoon, push the poori gently into the oil with tiny, swift strokes.  Within seconds, the poori will puff up. 

Turn it over and cook the second side for about 10 seconds.  Remove it with a slotted spoon and put it on the platter.  Make all the pooris this way. The first layer on the platter may be covered with a layer of paper towls. More pooris can then be spread over the top.  Serve the pooris hot (immediately).


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