Ajwain pooris

Indian whole-wheat bread, deep fried to perfection, with a dash of carom seeds/ajwain

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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.

Servings

Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour – 3 cups

Water, at room temperature

A pinch of salt

3/4 tsp. ajwain or carom seeds

Oil, to deep fry

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Yoghurt-mint boondi raita

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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.

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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.

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