Sunday, May 03, 2020

Khari Puri

Khari Puri or Farsi puri is a snack from my childhood that features topmost in my favourites. I have Rajput kaki to thank it for. She was an amazing cook and even though we lived in the business district of Mumbai between late 70s to late 80s she cooked some food on the sigdi. That added a beautiful fragrance to her food. Thalis laden with wonderful dhoklas, khari puri, shrikhand puri, raswala bateta etc appeared on festivals from her kitchen. I knew exactly what her menu would be for each festival. It was mostly during Diwali times that we kids helped to make snacks. Together with Preety we were give the task of slashing the puris with a knife. We weren't too good with rolling out puris. That would be done by Induben and Ji aaji. Slashing the puris was fun and a task we enjoyed. Today I was feeling low. So to snap out of it I decided I need to do something therapeutic. Khari Puri project at 9 am is a good thing. I also started recording videos for Talkative Anjali but I made the mistake of pouring in the water all together. Then I had to fix it by added more flour. The consistency of the dough is key to the success. So here is the recipe after a successful project.


2 cups maida 
1/4 cup Rava prefer fine
4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

In a big bowl measure out the maida and rava. Fine rava works better as it will soak up water nicely. Add cumin, salt and ghee. Massage the ghee into the flour to get a crumbly texture. Use both hands to get the ghee into the flour. 

Next take a cup of water. Using little at a time keep kneading the dough. It has to be a flaky tight dough which is required to make the puris crisp and give it shelf life. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it rest for 20 mins. 

Go back and check the dough. The rava would have bloomed with water and the dough should feel supple. Knead it to homogenise the rava and maida. Divide this smooth dough into three parts. Make cylinders of 12 inch length. Cut small pieces of dough roundels. Roll out each roundel into a Puri. The Puri should be nicely thin so when you fry it will turn crisp and stay crisp on storage. You should not need any flour or oil to roll out the puris. That is the sign of perfectly kneaded dough. After rolling out the puris lift it up from the polpat or the counter on which you are rolling it so that it does not stick to the rolling surface. Then place the whole peppercorns on the puri, spacing out properly. Smash the peppercorns with a pestle into the Puri. Now lift the Puri and move it to a weaner or a plate so that you can make a few puris before you start frying. I fried 4 puris in a batch. So that the oil is not crowded. I used s medium-sized cast iron kadhai for frying. You decide how many puris you can accommodate in your kadhai based on this.

Heat oil in the kadhai keep gas on medium. Put 4 puris at a time and reduce heat to sim. Make sure the heat is even and enough for frying. Allow the puris to fry on one side till a beautiful golden and then turn over. The timing for frying is the time required for you to roll out the puris and smash the pepper into it. Do not roll out all puris together else they dry out before frying. After both the sides are golden drain using a slotted spoon and remove into a colander lined with absorbent napkin. I have stopped using paper napkins as an environmental responsibility. I use cloth napkins and wash and reuse them. 

In such a way fry all the puris and use up the dough. It took me 2hrs for this Khari Puri project from start to finish. However all the effort was rewarding in the end when I tasted the Khari Puri. It was so good just like Kaki's. Plus after all the sweet stuf I made and we ate this was just the thing we needed. 

Some of you have requested this recipe so posting it in a rush. I will create the video when I make the next batch. Until then make and fry fearlessly. Enjoy!

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