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Puri
(Deep-fried puffed bread)


Making puris—watching little deep-fried rounds of dough inflate like balloons—is one of the delights of Vedic cooking. Eating them is even more delightful: they have a taste and a texture that go perfectly with any meal.


Preparation time: 15 min
Rolling and cooking time: 2 min for each puri


21/2 cups (250 g) whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
3/4 cup (175 ml) warm water
1 cup (100 g) white flour
ghee or vegetable oil for deep-frying
31/2 teaspoon salt


Sift the two flours and the salt into a mixing bowl and rub in the tablespoon of butter (or ghee) with your fingertips. Slowly add the water, and mix until all the flour sticks together and you can knead it. Put a little ghee on your hands and knead the dough for 5 - 8 minutes until it is smooth and firm. (For a change, you can make masala puris by adding 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the dough).


In a karhai, wok, or saucepan, put the ghee or oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, smear a few drops of ghee on the rolling surface (don’t use flour—it burns and discolors the ghee), shape the dough into 16 patties, and roll them all out thin and even.
When the ghee begins to smoke, lower the heat to medium. Lay a puri on the surface of the ghee, being careful not to burn your fingers. The puri will sink for a second, then rise to the surface and sputter. Immediately submerge it with soft swift pushes, using the back of a slotted spoon, until it inflates like a balloon. Fry the other side for a few seconds; then remove the purl from the ghee and stand it on edge in a colander to drain. (When your skill increases, try frying several puris at a time). Cook all the puris the same way.
Serve hot puris with any meal or as a snack spread with applesauce, honey, jam, or fresh cheese.