How to Make Puri

How to Make Puri

Food is an essential part of the Indian culture. For most of us, our fondest childhood memories are about sharing meals with our family or squabbling with our siblings over that last puffy puri left on the platter.

Eating a homemade, crispy, puffed Indian puri is often described as a moment that is not only satisfying but also super indulgent. Puri is the most decadent of Indian breads. Made from a supple dough, it puffs up when fried in oil and elevates your entire meal with its rich taste and texture.

A meal for any festive or special occasion in Indian households is often incomplete without puri at the top of the list.

What is Puri?

Like roti, chapati, paratha, and naan, puri is also an Indian flatbread. The only difference is that, unlike the others, this is a special bread that is deep-fried. Shaped like a small disc, typically the size of your palm, a puri is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The dough for a puri is traditionally made from whole wheat flour and is lightly seasoned with salt and sometimes with carom seeds. It is deep-fried in hot oil until it puffs up, and that is what creates its light, crispy texture.

Usually, puri is enjoyed with a spicy potato curry, other vegetable dishes, or luscious chickpea curry known as chole from Punjab. In some parts of India, puri is served with sweets like suji halwa, basundi, aam ras or shrikhand.

How to Make Puri?

Across India, there are many variations of the puri recipe. However, this article will explore the traditional way of making puri at home and the method for making puris using the Rotimatic.

Puri Recipe – The Traditional Way

The traditional way to make puris comprises three steps. You can find the proportions that work best to make the puris you love to eat with practice. All you need is flour, oil, salt, and water.

Step 1. Make the Dough

To make the perfect puri dough, use whole wheat flour. It not only gives a traditional taste, but it is also a healthier option compared to all-purpose flour. Start by mixing the flour, oil, and salt. Puri dough needs to be stiff, so whether you knead by hand or with a stand mixer – be careful not to over-moisten. Add water slowly in small quantities until the dough comes together. It should be stiff and not sticky. Put the dough in an airtight container and rest it for at least an hour.

Step 2. Roll Puris

Never use a large rolling pin with ball bearings to roll out puris. Large rolling pins are great for pie dough and puff pastries but not so much for puris. Use a French pin, which is slimmer; you can buy it at an Indian grocery store or online. Focus on even thickness when you roll out the puri. Remember to roll round and even puris for beautifully puffed-up puris – usually, puris are smaller than chapatis.

Step 3. Frying

Before you begin frying puris, bring your oil up to temperature. You can use vegetable or peanut oil – any neutral flavor oil with a high smoking point. The temperature of the oil should be between 360 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a thermometer, drop a pinch of your dough into the hot oil. If the little dough particle immediately rises to the surface, begins to sizzle, and brown – your oil is ready.

Gently drop your rolled-out puri into the oil, ensuring it doesn't land in the oil folded or curved. Nudge the puri with your spatula until it begins to puff up. Once it is puffed up, turn it around and let it cook from the other side for 20 to 30 seconds. First, fry one puri at a time; once you are comfortable with the process, you can fry two or more at once.

Freshly fried puris should be placed on a tray lined with paper towels for a few minutes before being served. It allows the excess oil to drip away, bringing the puris to an edible temperature. Serve the puris right away for the best gastronomic experience.

Puri – The Rotimatic Way

The Rotimatic, an AI-powered kitchen appliance, makes fresh rotis, chapatis, puris, bajra roti, and jowar roti. The Rotimatic does not fry the puris but prepares the puri discs, which you can fry in oil. Here's a look at the step-by-step process -

Step 1. Choose Puri Setting in Rotimatic

Rotimatic can make many kinds of Indian breads. Go to the Menu section and choose 'Puri' to make Puris in your Rotimatic.

Step 2. Select the Flour

Rotimatic is capable of using various brands of flour. After choosing the puri option, the machine will ask you to select the brand of flour you are using.

Step 3. Prepare the Flour

It would help if you used a mix of whole wheat flour and semolina for puris. Add 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 1/3rd cup of semolina in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the flour container of the Rotimatic.

Step 4. Prepare the Water

Fill the Rotimatic water container with drinking water and add one teaspoon of salt. It is for seasoning the rotis.

Step 5. Fill the Oil Container

Fill the oil container in the Rotimatic with vegetable, sunflower, or any other neutral flavored oil.

Step 6. Start the Rotimatic Magic

Select the number of puri discs you need and click 'Play' on the Rotimatic. Remember to select the thickness of the puris before you play. Rotimatic needs a few minutes to warm up and knead the dough before making the first puri disc.

Step 7. Cooling the Discs

Once prepared, the puri discs need a few minutes to cool down. Collect them in a casserole and cover them with a cloth for one hour before frying the puris.

Step 8. Frying the Puris

In a deep pan or kadhai, heat some oil. Choose an oil with a high smoking point, such as vegetable or peanut oil. Once the oil reaches 360 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 to 190 degrees Celsius, gently drop the puris into the hot oil and fry them.

Gently nudge the puri with your spatula until it begins to puff up. Once it is puffed up, turn it around and let it cook from the other side for 20 to 30 seconds. First, fry one puri at a time; once you are comfortable with the process, you can fry two or more at once.

Indulge in the Rotimatic experience and treat yourself to fresh, homemade, healthy breads daily. Enjoy a hassle-free roti-making experience at your convenience.

Challenges While Making Puris

Although everyone loves to eat puris, the puri-making process has a few challenges. If you are making puri for the first time – you should keep the following challenges in mind and do your best to overcome them.

  1. Dry and Crumbly Dough – If you do not add enough oil and water to your dough, it may be dry and crumbly. That may prevent you from rolling out even puris. To make puffy Indian bread, the consistency of your dough should be just right. It takes a bit of practice to understand the proportions.
  2. Sticky Dough – On the flip side, adding too much water can make your dough sticky. That prevents your puri from puffing up when fried. Always add the water in slow trickles, whether you knead the dough by hand or in a mixer. It allows you to judge the moisture in the dough and avoid over-moistening it.
  3. Puri Not Puffing – After working hard to make the perfect dough, your puri may still not puff up. Do not fret. It may be because the puri is too thick or uneven. Rolling out even and round puris comes with practice.

Tips & Tricks for Perfect Puffy Puris

  • Consistency of the Dough – To make perfect puffy and round puris, the first step is to make the perfect dough. It should be stiff yet supple. Be extra careful when kneading the dough. Rotimatic is programmed to create the ideal puri dough with the correct amount of water and oil. If you cannot get the dough's right consistency by hand, opt for Rotimatic puris.
  • Evenly Rolled Puris – For Puris to puff up, it is critical to roll them out in an even circle shape. If your puri discs are too thick or uneven in thickness, they will not puff up. Instead, uneven puris soaks up the frying oil and does not taste good. Use a thin and light rolling pin to make your puris if rolling by hand. It takes a bit of practice to roll out perfect puris by hand. If you are short on time, choose the Rotimatic. It consistently rolls out even puris that puff up instantly when fried.
  • Hot Oil – The temperature of your frying oil is vital to make the puffed Indian bread. Invest in a frying thermometer or a candy thermometer that enables you to check the temperature of your oil. Always fry puris at 360 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Timing – When frying the puri, start with one puri at a time. Once it puffs up, turn it and fry for twenty or thirty more seconds. If your puri is not puffing up, don't worry. Turn it as soon as the underside becomes golden brown. Be careful about how long your puri stays in the hot oil. If it is in there too long, it may taste burnt. If you take it out too soon, it will not be crispy.
  • Draining Excess Oil – As soon as you remove the puris from the oil, drain the excess oil by resting the puris on a lined baking sheet for thirty to forty seconds. If the oil is not drained, the puri may remain too oily or sticky while eating.
  • Serve Immediately – A fresh puri is a gastronomic experience. When the excess oil is drained, serve the hot puris immediately. That is when they look beautiful and taste the best.

Different Variations of Puris

  • Methi Puri: Mince some fresh fenugreek leaves and add them to the dough to make Methi Puri. You can also use dried and crushed fenugreek leaves.
  • Aloo Puri: Stuff the puri with mashed potatoes seasoned with carom seeds, chilli flakes, salt, and coriander while rolling them out.
  • Masala Puri: Masala puri is spiced with coriander powder, carom seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt while kneading the dough.
  • Palak Puri: Adding pureed or chopped spinach to the dough while kneading makes delightful green Palak Puri.
  • Luchi: Luchi is a puffed Indian bread similar to puri but made with all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour. It is softer and chewy in texture.
  • Multi-grain Puri: Mixing jowar, bajra or millets in whole wheat flour can make a healthier version of the traditional puri.
  • Ragi & Wheat Puri – Add one cup of ragi flour to three cups of wheat flour to make ragi puri.
  • Quinoa & Wheat Puri – Add one cup of quinoa flour to every three cups of wheat flour to make Quinoa puri. Remember to add one tablespoon of semolina to this flour.
  • Amaranth & Wheat Puri – Add one and a half cups of regular wheat flour, one and a half cups of amaranth flour, one teaspoon oil, and three-fourth tsp salt when kneading.
  • Beetroot Puri – Add pureed beetroot to your whole wheat flour while kneading the dough. It will give your puris a vibrant pink color.
  • Rice Puri – Using rice flour to make puris is a good option for gluten-free bread. Adjust the quantity of water and oil accordingly.
  • Mangalore Buns – Mangalore buns are whole wheat puris stuffed with sweet banana.
  • Sweet Puri – Add sugar or jaggery to your flour and knead it with the same consistency to get sweet Puri.

What Pairs Best with Puri?

  1. Aloo Masala – Puri is best served with spicy curries or side dishes. Aloo Masala is a typical breakfast combination with crispy puris. It is a simple dish made with potatoes, fried onions, and spices.
  2. Chana Masala – Another crowd-pleasing favorite is a combination of chana masala and puris. Chana masala is made of boiled white chickpeas added to a fragrant onion-garlic curry.
  3. Desserts – Elevate your desserts by serving them with hot puris. You could serve puris with aamras (made with fresh mangoes, a favorite in summer), rice kheer, fruit custard, basundi, or shrikhand.
  4. Vegetable Curries – When in doubt, serve a delicious vegetable curry with puffy puris to make a delicious meal. Indian cuisine has various vegetarian curries, including paneer, vegetable korma, and tomato-based curries.

Puri Vs. Roti

Puri and chapati/roti are two different kinds of Indian breads. Both of these breads are enjoyed with savory curries, but there are some distinctive features of puri and roti –

  1. Puri is deep-fried, and roti is roasted on a pan.
  2. When fried, the puri puffs up and becomes crispy. Roti also puffs up when roasted, but the roti's air dissipates immediately when it is taken off the pan.
  3. Puris are often served for breakfast and enjoyed with savory curries and desserts, while roti is the preferred bread with curries or dal during lunch or dinner.
  4. Roti is more of a staple food in northern India. It is served with curries, vegetables, or lentils. Puris are considered a delicacy. They are served on special occasions like festivals and parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Puris healthy?

As puris are deep fried, they contain oil. Eating puris every day is not advisable. Include puris in your diet occasionally, based on your body's constitution and health. Always fry puris in fresh oil; do not reuse oil as it is unhealthy.

Why do my Puris not puff?

Puris will puff up only when rolled evenly to a thickness of less than 1/4th inch thickness in a round shape. Also, ensure your oil is up to temperature (360-to-375 degrees Fahrenheit) before frying.

Why is my Puri oily?

Your puris may be oily if your dough is over-moistened or sticky. Extra moisture prevents puris from puffing up, allowing the dough to soak up the frying oil. Ensure that your dough is stiff and supple but not sticky.

Why do my Puris become hard?

If your dough is dry and crumbly, your puris will be hard. Another reason for hard puris could be that your frying oil is not hot enough. Add enough moisture to your dough to bring it to the right consistency, and ensure that your oil is at the right temperature before frying.

What is the difference between the Puri dough and the Roti dough?

Roti and puri dough have the same ingredients – water, flour, and oil. However, the difference lies in the consistency of the dough. Roti dough is soft and moist, while the puri dough is stiff and supple.

What can I do with leftover Puris?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to one day. You can reheat the leftover puris and eat them. However, they will lose the crispy exterior. You can also use leftover puris as an ingredient to make other items such as puri laddoos, pakoras, etc.