Puri (Poori) is a fried flat bread like Bhatura. In my childhood in South Africa, it was best served with Patha (Madumbi leaves rolled with a spicy gram flour paste) or sugar beans curry or as a snack with chutney or pickles. Although it is modest in it‘s composition of flour water and salt, it does require cooking at the right temperature to make perfect puri. When fried the dough puffs up reveling layers when cooled. Like Amma‘s soft roti, this flat bread too can be peeled.
South African Puri Ingredients
South African puri, as I know it,
is an unleavened flatbread without the use of yeast or baking powder.
Some variations to this recipe also use buttermilk or maas to achieve a softer texture. In my experience it works just as well when made with
just flour and water. Some recipes also use baking powder for a soft texture.
Water is a key ingredient in puri. The type of water and temperature can also have an
effect on the texture and taste of the puri. I use water at room
temperature. I also attempted this recipe with cold sparkling mineral water with
exceptional results. All puri rose beautifully and resulted in soft yet
flaky puri that could be peeled.
I use cake flour to make puri. It can also be made using whole wheat or bread flour.
This recipe uses vegetable oil for frying only and contains no butter or oil in the dough itself.
How to Make South African Puri
Unlike Soft Roti-puri does not require any resting time and should be fried as soon as possible or else the dough will become too firm to rise when fried. This Puri Recipe makes 8-10 medium sized puris
- A deep/ heavy based pan
- Mixing Bowl
- Ladle /spatula
1. Combine the water and flour. Add a little water at a time until a soft dough starts to from. If the dough feels sticky-add a little more flour.
2. Separate the dough into smaller pieces then shape into round balls using the palm of your hands.
Roll flat-try to roll a maximum of 10 cm diameter.
3. Heat the oil. Place the puri into the hot oil then use a ladle or spatula to pour oil over the puri as it cooks. Do exercise caution as the oil will be quite hot. Turn the puris to allow them to rise on both sides-this will result in puffy- pillow like poori.
4. Once slightly brown-remove form oil then place on a paper towel or rack. Puri is best served warm.
What to Serve with Puri
- Mango Chutney
- Sugar Beans curry
South African Puri Recipe
South African Puri Recipe
15 Puris (8 cm diameter)
Food Like Amma Used to Make It
- 1¼ cup flour
- 1/4 flour for dusting
- 1/2 water (at room temperature)
- pinch of salt
- 400ml for frying
- Combine the water and salt. Add flour, little at a time until a soft roti like dough is formed.
- Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour.
- Take a piece of dough, roll flat then cut out equal pieces using a cookie cutter. Alternatively, take small pieces of dough and roll into circles.
- Heat a heavy-based pan on medium heat. Add oil.
- Once all puris are rolled, place in the hot oil. Fry until the puri puffs up. Turn to cook the reverse side.
- Place on a kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
- Serve warm with bean curry or patha
Sat. Fat (grams)