Foodie Tracey Sunderland recently visited India on a culinary tour and spent a few delicious days on the south western coast in the tropical city of Goa.
For convenience puri can be purchased as a ready-made product from a local Indian food store. To make into an appetiser called pani puri, these little puri are filled with tasty ingredients – such as Fried Indian Potato and Tamarind Chutney. Makes 30 approximately. Ready in 45 minutes
- 1 cup plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp liquid ghee or sunflower/peanut oil
- ¼ cup warm water, plus 1 tbsp
- 1 cup of neutral oil,to deep fry
- Fried Indian Potato
- ¼ cup roughly chopped coriander or mint
- Tamarind Chutney
- plain yoghurt, to dollop
Puri: Preheat oven to 125°C. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together over a large bowl. Drizzle in the ghee or oil, rub into the flour using your fingertips until it is evenly incorporated. Add a quarter of a cup of water at once, mix quickly into a dough, adding more water, bit by bit, until you have a sticky dough. Knead to mix, the dough should be firm but not tough to touch. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes to rest.
Lightly flour a bench or board and roll the dough out into a long log; Cut the dough evenly into 12 pieces. Cover with a damp cloth while preparing the puri; take a piece then divide it into 2-3 small balls. The balls should be as small as a large marble and fit into the curve of a standard teaspoon. Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a very thin circle. Repeat until finished. Try not to use too much flour as this will burn easily when frying.
Line a large oven tray with paper towels. Preheat the oven to a low, warming temperature. Heat the oil in a small saucepan to a high heat. Cook 2 puri at a time for 20-30 seconds until they have puffed up, flip over to cook the other side until golden. Remove to the paper towel-lined oven tray. Once they are all cooked place the tray into the low oven and dry out the puri for 5 minutes, until very crisp. Keep in an airtight container until ready to use.
To make them into little cases: take a small knife and tap the centre until the crust falls into the bottom of the puri. Tap enough of a gap to be able to spoon in some filling, line them up on a platter ready to fill.
To finish: Carefully spoon a little Indian Fried Potato into the centre of each. Top with a few leaves of coriander or sliced mint. Drizzle a little Tamarind Chutney into each and add a small dollop of plain yoghurt on top, if desired. Serve immediately.