I thought that puri were ALWAYS deep fried. Chapatis (aka rotis) are made the way you made your bread - and I agree - chapati (or naan) is the essential accompaniment for palak paneer.
Tongs are wonderful for flipping the bread. We don't have a gas stove (I'm so envious of you!) so have to put a footed wire rack over the electric burner and puff the bread that way.
Isn't that bread wonderful?!
March 9, 2005 9:53 AM
I didn't know they ever were fried until I saw your comment and did a search. Who knew? Well, I did say yesterday that I was an uneducated Western eater (that would be a great name for a blog on Asian and African food).
Gas stove was my #2 requirement for an apartment, right after dishwasher and just ahead of not being over a bar or restaurant. They're great. My wife wants an electric oven to bake in, so when we buy a place I think we're going dual-fuel.
March 9, 2005 10:01 AM
Could this also be a regional difference?
My experience is in line with Elizabeth's -- this looks like a great recipe for what I know as chapati.
I'd love to see a recipe for bhel puri sometime, though...
March 9, 2005 12:17 PM
You know I'd swear I used the recipe for Poori as seen in that book but it is certainly not inconceivable I'm confused. In fact, it's probably the more likely scenario, so I've made chanes in the entry above to be confirmed or reversed later.
March 9, 2005 12:33 PM
Hmmm... well, don't put too much stock into what I say, I could just as easily be wrong! And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find there was a better explanation.
March 9, 2005 4:51 PM
Paul, my husband has been murmuring about bel puri lately and how we've GOT to try making them. We've never deep-fried though - it always seems like such a waste of oil to me.
Many thanks, Barrett; all this talk of Indian food has caused a flurry in the kitchen. My husband made biryani today and I'm just going down to the kitchen to wash cauliflower for aloo gobi....
Yes, gas stove and electric oven is what I dream of having. Dish washer isn't so necessary. We let the girl do that (hmmm, maybe THAT'S why I have dishpan hands!)
March 9, 2005 5:48 PM
My husband loves to fry pooris--he and my daughter love to make them inflate. They just think that is the best thing in the world to do--tapping the bread lightly to get it to inflate.
Whatever works--it gets me free to work on other dishes!
March 9, 2005 6:35 PM
Great recipe, thanks. I Kenya, we would often have chapati with sukuma wiki (can be made with collards), and ugali (a corn meal mush).
My Kenyan recipe simply finishes the cooking on the skillet, and I was never fully satisfied with it. I am going to try this method. It looks like it provides what has been missing.
March 10, 2005 5:49 AM
Now who's sadly mistaken. I asked my husband about pooris and bel pooris and he said he wouldn't have the first clue how to make bel poori. I looked in our various Indian cookbooks (Madhur Jaffrey, Shehzad Husain, Ismail Merchant) and none of them even mention bel poori.
But how much different can they be from regular pooris? I'm thinking they would be just rolled smaller and thinner? I'll have to investigate further.
Barbara, when your familiy makes pooris, do you use the same dough as you would for making chapatis? (The Merchant recipe for pooris uses some semolina flour.)
March 10, 2005 7:12 AM
sigh... I just googled and it looks like I'm thinking of pani poori and have never had bhel poori! Barrett, does your book talk about either?
March 10, 2005 7:27 AM
pani puri is also good, and fun to eat!
March 10, 2005 8:42 AM
Ah, you guys are killing me with all this talk about Pani Puri and Bhel Puri -- some of my absolute favorite Indian food snacks!! The bhel puri dish, I make at home, but I don't make the actual crunchies, just the assembled dish. SO, SO good. Our old neighbors are Indian and we always got their leftovers when they entertained, which was great, because it really introduced us to a lot of great Indian food we'd otherwise know nothing about ... and now I'm craving Indian food!! :)
March 10, 2005 9:00 AM
My friend Sweth wrote me about this post -
"FWIW, the cooking method in your post results in what is technically a phulka/fulka chapati; regular chapatis are just cooked on the tava (griddle), and don't puff up and get charred like a fulka. (Gratuitous linguistic aside: oddly, "fulka" is Hindi, I believe meaning "puffy", but chapati is Tamil, from a word meaning (IIRC) "flat". So a fulka chapati is puffy flat.)"
So there you go. I'm learning more about Indian food every day.
March 10, 2005 2:22 PM
I love your food blog, and I made my mom list it in her directory website of handpicked links to the best foods/ingrediants/ foodblogs etc at http://www.food411.com :)
keep up the great work!
March 10, 2005 5:20 PM
Elizabeth, yes, it is basically a chapati dough that is deep fried. I would give the ingredients, but my Indian cookbooks just got packed yesterday for a move at the end of the month! GAH!
Barrett, you can study Indian food for years and never learn it all. Chinese and Thai are much the same way--I have been studying for over ten years now and most of what I know is that there is a lot more that I wish to know.
Thank goodness all of the learning is fun--and tasty!
March 10, 2005 9:14 PM
Thanks Barbara! That's okay though. I have a chapati recipe that we like quite well. And also there are regular poori recipes in the four Indian cookbooks on our shelf. Just nothing for bhel poori.
I guess we're going to HAVE to try making poori! (I actually prefer chapati or naan to poori but it is fun every once in a while to have the extra oil.) And speaking of extra oil, I suddenly need to have onion paratha!
March 10, 2005 11:50 PM
I prefer naan myself, too, but poori are so darned fun to make that we have them now and again--maybe twice a year. Bhatura, we are more likely to have more often. Those are essentially a fried naan meant to go with channa masala.
But even so, I limit my deep frying of anything to about four times a year, at the most.
March 11, 2005 10:24 AM
Whoa! An Indian food explosion on toomanychefs!!!! Chapatti or fulkas are bread (made of whole wheat flour usually) that are roated on griddles and stovetops without any oil. Poori is bread that has been deepfried and is usually smaller in size than chapattis or fulkas. Bhelpuri is a mishmash of savouries puffed rice, crispies, hot mixes, peanuts, thinly chopped coriander, grated coconut, sliced onions and topped with a tangy green chutney and a sweetish tamarind chutney.
March 14, 2005 6:32 AM
Anyone know of a puri that is made of not wheat but some other kind of flour? I had puris that tasted very different than those made with regular flour. These seemed not as greasy and more of a texture to them as if some other kind of flour was added to the wheat flour.
June 25, 2005 4:41 PM
I love my kenyan chapati┬┤s cuz they r made with some oil and salt and they r very tasty
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