Indian whole-wheat bread, deep fried to perfection, with a dash of carom seeds/ajwain
Oh my gosh, I still have to meet someone who does not love pooris, especially coming from India. An all-time favourite in my household here in San Francisco, my little daughter’s favorite, and undoubtedly a favorite in our homes in India. I have to write a blog post and recipe, just for memory sake. A trip down memory lane to Poori Land, eaten a gazillion times growing up, with anything from chanas, aloos, pickles, so damn delicious with mutton curry, too:-) I made a potato dish in my previous blog post which marries extremely well, they go hand in hand- https://mykitchenflavours.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/aloo-tamatar-sabzi/
Or simply just rolled up in your hand and chomp, chomp! Halwa, too, especially on festive occasions.
Since it is deep fried, I restrict to making it during special occasions and festival time. With Diwali, the Festival of Lights and celebrations on in full swing this time of year, it makes a comeback to my kitchen this week. Three ingredients – whole wheat flour, water and oil. And a dash of ajwain or carom seeds, for a subtle hint of flavour. By the way, a quick and helpful fact, these seeds cure tummy ailments like indigestion and flatulence. I use an Indian brand of whole wheat flour or ‘chappati atta’ as it is called, from our local Indian store. Mixed with water, just knead it into a dough. Roll out, deep fry and enjoy the goodness of delish pooris 🙂
They are also known as ‘namak(salt)-ajwain pooris’ in our home
Well, why not add a simple Yoghurt-mint boondi raita to go with it, recipe given below too.
Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
Water, at room temperature
A pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. ajwain or carom seeds
Oil, to deep fry
Add salt and ajwain to the whole wheat flour. Make a hole in the center, slowly adding water, knead into a dough. The dough should be firm, neither too soft nor too hard. That’s why keep adding little water at a time to judge the consistency when kneading.
Make small balls ou of the dough. I use me handy ‘chakla-belan’ or wooden rolling pin and round board, to roll out the dough into small round disks, say 4 inches. Not too thin, not very thick, in between. Add flour to your board/rolling pin, so the dough does not stick. Try not to use too much though, otherwise it leaves a dark residue when frying the pooris.
Heat oil to deep fry the pooris in a wok or kadhai(an Indian style wok). Heat till the oil is hot. It should not be smoking though, do not want to burn the pooris. Drop a teeny bit of dough to check, it should rise to the surface. Very gently, lay a poori in the hot oil, to make sure oil does not splatter. Press down very lightly with a slotted spoon, the poori should fluff up.
Turn and fry till golden brown. Remove and place on a paper lined plate, to drain excess oil. Continue frying the pooris in hot oil. Serve hot.
Yoghurt-mint boondi raita
Yoghurt – 2 cups
Fresh finely chopped mint – 2 tbsp.
Boondi, salted and fried little chickpea puffs, which I buy from the Indian store (Haldiram’s brand) – 3/4 cup
Rock salt or pink Himalayan salt, to taste
Ground roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp.
For the tempering :
Paprika – 1/2 tsp
Black mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp.
5-6 curry leaves
1 dried red chili
1/4 tsp. ghee
Whisk the yoghurt, add all the ingredients, except tempering, mix well. In a small pan, heat ghee along with the mustard seeds, chilli, curry leaves. When the seeds start to crackle, remove from flame, add paprika. Let cool. Add to the yoghurt. Serve.