Missi Poori, Indian Chickpea Flour Fried Bread
Poori is an unleavened Indian breads that deep fried. Adding Bengal gram/chickpea flour gives it a lovely taste, especially if you add some dry fenugreek/methi leaves or chopped coriander leaves to the dough. Makes 18-20.
250 gm./2 full cups chapatti flour. Some people prefer plain white flour or maida
100 gm. (roughly 1/3rd cup) Bengal gram/kala chana flour*
1 tsp. carom seeds/ajwain
1 tbsp. dry methi/fenugreek leaves
1 tbsp. cooking oil
Enough water to make a firm dough
Oil for deep frying
A wok or karahi
A slotted spatula
*Bengal Gram flour is not besan, it is made from whole grams, with the skin intact, whereas besan is made from skinless gram dal. If you can get hold of it from Indian store, it tastes better than besan, but besan can be used instead.
**I dry fenugreek leaves at home, so they are free of thick stalks and dust, but they can be bought in a packet from Indian grocers. If you canâ€™t, poories can be made without them.
Mix flour, fengreek leaves, carom seeds and oil well in a bowl.
Add water gradually, kneading all the time, to make a firm dough. Knead well until the dough is soft. Leave for 10 -15 minutes and then knead again. It must be a fairly firm dough.
Divide dough into 18-20 portions and make balls by rolling between the two greased palms. Size of each poori is an individual choice; they can be small or big, thin or thick.
Heat oil in a wok or karhai. If the oil is too cold, poori will not fluff up. If the oil is too hot and smoking, poori will turn dark brown and burn. When oil is ready, a tiny piece of dough dropped in it will sizzle and rise to the top quickly. Oil must not be smoking hot.
Rolling out Pooris:
Roll out one ball at a time on a greased surface, using a greased rolling pin, into a 10-12 cm. circle. If you have a poori/tortilla press, simply press the balls in it, one at a time, just like making Mexican tortillas.
Frying: It is always easier if one person rolls out the pooris, while another one fries them. Otherwise, roll them in batches of 5-6 and keep them covered with a moist cloth while you fry a batch.
Slide one poori at a time gently into the hot oil from the edge of the wok, to avoid the oil splashing onto your hands if you drop it in from high up.
As soon as it begins to float to the surface, turn it over gently with a slotted spatula.
Press gently all over with the spatula, coaxing it to balloon up.
Fry until golden (not dark) brown on both sides. Do not overcook.
Remember to turn down the heat between while you are rolling out the next batch.
If taking them for packed meal or picnics, they can be made into vegetarian or non-veteran poori rolls,
You can flavour poories with various spices like chillies or fennel, or carom seeds. You can also add boiled and drained spinach, methi, bathua leaves or even a little left over dal in the dough.