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How to Prepare Dough for Pooris

Learn how to prepare the dough for the Indian bread pooris from cookbook author Maya Kaimal in this Howcast Indian food video.

Instructions

  • Step 1: You Will Need: 2 c. Indian atta flour or mixture of flour
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. vegetable oil, plus more for frying
    3/4 to 1 c. warm water, or as needed Optional: 1 1/3 c. all-purpose (plain) flour and 2/3 cup whole-wheat
  • Step 2: Make the dough In a medium howl combine flour, salt, 2 teaspoons oil, and water to make stiff but pliable dough just soft enough to work into a smooth ball. Place in a clean bowl, cover with a wet cloth or paper towel, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • TIP: Use more water if needed Exact amount of water needed may vary somewhat, but dough should be stiffer than bread dough.
  • Step 3: Form the discs Lightly dust your work surface with flour and knead dough, dividing into 16 balls and keeping remaining balls of dough covered. Flatten one ball with the heel of your hand and roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin to 5- to 6-inch diameter and about as thick as a tortilla. Repeat with remaining balls.
  • TIP: Use flour sparingly Use additional flour sparingly--otherwise dough becomes tough.
  • Step 4: Prepare the oil Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan to 375°F, or hot enough to cause a tiny ball of dough dropped in oil to rise quickly to the surface, releasing bubbles. If oil starts to smoke, reduce heat.
  • TIP: Watch the heat Too much heat will cause the pooris to become crisp and brown; too little will make them look oily and unpuffed.
  • Step 5: Fry the dough Cooking one at a time, slip a rolled-out disc into hot oil and press it down gently with a slotted spoon to keep it submerged. Within 10 seconds the pooris should puff up form large bubbles. If not, the heat is too low. Turn it over to cook the other side for a few more seconds, but do not submerge. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
  • Step 6: Continue frying Continue cooking pooris one at a time. They should be soft, easy to tear, and dry in appearance. Serve immediately or keep warm and covered until ready to serve.

Transcript

Hi. I'm Maya Kaimal, and I'm going to show you how to make Pooris. Pooris are an Indian flatbread, and they're deep fried, and when they're fried they puff up like a balloon, so they're very dramatic, and they're also really delicious.

We start with a kind of flour called atta flour. It's available in Indian grocery stores. It's actually made from durum wheat. If you can't find it though, you could substitute two-thirds part white flour and one-third part whole wheat flour. Atta makes a real silky dough though, so it is best if you can find it.

We've got two cups of flour in our bowl, and we've got a cup of water here. We're going to mix in water and about a teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of oil. And you're going to mix it by hand. The water should be warm. And you just want to mix and gauge how much you need. You may or may not use the full cup.

This flatbread is very similar to, you may know Chapatis, or Phulka. Those are also nice, simple to make Indian flat breads. Those breads though, are griddle cooked so they're just dried cooked on a flat surface. And this one, as I mentioned, is deep fried. So add a little bit more water.

And it's a good idea to let the dough rest once you've got it all mixed together and kneaded. And let it rest for about half an hour or so before rolling. It just tenderizes the dough and makes it a little easier to roll out.

It should be a stiff but pliable dough. Onto our surface, a little extra flour. I'll keep some on the side in case we need it. And we knead it into a nice ball. And you want to make sure to cover the ball with a moist paper towel or dish towel so it doesn't dry out while it's resting.

So we're kneading it a couple of times, and going to roll it into a log. It's going to be a fat log, but basically at this stage we just want to get it divided into half. And now, each half we'll roll out into a thinner log. And this, we're going to divide into eight equal pieces. And those pieces we'll roll into balls, and those balls we'll roll into nice, flat disks.

Try to get them as equaled size as you can. When you roll it into a ball, do try to get it really as spherical as possible, because then the next rolling out will go much better. You'll get a better circle if you start out with a nice round ball. So, like that.

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