Sunday, 3 March 2013

Aloo/Potato puri

Puri is unleavened bread just like roti, except, it is deep fried giving it a crispy-soft texture. Like most Indian unleavened bread, puris can be eaten as part of any of your meals and is versatile. Given a choice between puri and roti most children will pick puri due to the crispy texture and yummy taste of fried dough. Anjalie is just the same. In particular, she loves Aloo/potato puri. Potatoes makes the puri more soft and moist at the same gives a delicious taste. Aloo puris usually have a variety of spices and herbs added along with the potatoes to the dough and the collection of spices used usually depend on and varies from family to family. Some of fresh herbs typically used are coriander leaves, fenugreek (methi) leaves or fresh chillies. Some of typical spices used are dried mango (amchur), cumin powder and black pepper. Since Anjalie, like most children, prefers simple aloo puri with just mashed potatoes I have given the recipe for that. Feel free to add your favorite spices and herbs to the dough according to your taste. Just the plain aloo puri given here is very tasty and moist due to the potatoes that we, the adults, have started to enjoy it as much as Anjalie does.

Tonight, I decided on making Aloo puri and to my horror found that I had used up all the potatoes during the week and it was featuring on my grocery list! But with a quick look in the pantry I found Instant Mash! So I marched on enthusiastically to make my Aloo puri since the instant mash will save me time from cooking and mashing the potatoes! Here is recipe...

You will need:
250 gms chappati flour/atta/ 150 g wholewheat flour+100 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
 salt to taste
4 tbsp instant mash powder or 1 medium potato, peeled, cooked and mashed without lumps
water, enough to make stiff dough
selection of your favorite herbs and spices (optional)
Oil to deep fry

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl along with herbs and spice if using. Add in the water little bit at a time to make a stiff dough.

Cover the dough with damp cloth and let the dough rest for 20 mins.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide the dough into 10-12 equal sized balls.

Roll out each dough into a thin circle of about 1/4 inch thickness.

Once Anjalie was done helping me, roll out all the dough, as usual she left the kitchen before I turned on the stove. So I started making the puris after all the dough-balls were rolled out. You can do the rolling and making the puris at the same time if there are no children involved and it can really speed up the process. Anjalie loves to roll out the rotis for me and we always chat about things while cooking together. By now she is really good at rolling out rotis. All  I have to do is just smooth out the edges and make them into even circles so they cook easily and evenly. I am very pleased that she enjoys doing this with me so much since I enjoy my time with her too. Recently, I read a report on how children eat healthier if they are involved in the cooking process. See link here. So by all means feel free to help the children roll out the puris for you. A year ago I remember eating rotis and puris that resembled maps of India, Australia, Trinidad etc... lol!

Heat oil to medium heat. When you drop a small piece of the dough it should make little bubbles and come up to the surface immediately. Maintain the heat at medium level. Drop the circles into the oil. It will puff up.

Fry both sides of the puri until golden. Remove from the oil and let them drain on a kitchen towel. Remember to maintain the heat at medium level. You may have to adjust the heat during the frying. If the heat is too high the puris will turn too crispy. If the heat is too low the puris will absorb too much oil.

Serve warm with channa masala/ aloo sagu/ pokada kurma/chicken or soya curry/ your favorite curry.

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