Poori (deep fried puffed Indian bread)

Poori or Puri bread is a variety of steaming hot pockets of unleavened golden deep-fried whole wheat puffs. Serve with vegetable kurma for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Poori

Poori (puri) is a type of unleavened, puffed golden deep-fried Indian bread and is a pivotal part of the Indian dining experience. Poori bread is delicious when eaten straight off the pan, golden and steaming hot!

Like most Indian wheat-based breads, the key ingredients in a poori or puri bread are flour, water, salt and oil. It is a simple dough and comes together easily. The best thing about this dough is, it does not need fermentation and poori can be made in no time.

However, the main difference between poori bread and other Indian wheat-based breads is that the poori bread is deep fried in hot oil until puffed and golden. It is this puffed and golden look that makes this bread an iconic Indian bread.

Poori bread is typically made with finely milled, stone-ground whole durum wheat flour, popularly known as atta or chakki atta in India. In Hindi ‘Atta’ means flour. ‘Chakki Atta’ means stone-ground flour.

Whole wheat flour is available only in Indian grocery stores and is sold in 1kg packets. It is not available in any supermarkets.

Poori can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack or even for dinner. They can be eaten on their own, with a vegetable kurma/korma, potato bhaji (turmeric potatoes). They can be eaten with Indian style sweet pickles. They make perfect breads even while eating Indian style lamb or mutton curries. I particularly enjoy them with ‘lamb korma’ or 'egg masala' or 'mutton dhaba'.

poori dough ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour (atta or chakki atta) - Whole wheat flour or atta is a product obtained by grinding of whole durum wheat, one of the hardest varieties of wheat. It is stone ground until very fine. It is used to make Indian flat breads such as, chapathi, roti, naan, poori, paratha. Also used in making pizza and pasta. It contains all parts of wheat – endosperm, bran and germ. If you are wondering what ‘chakki’ is, it is a pair of stone mills. Traditionally, Indian families processed a smaller quantity of atta in the chakkis, a pair of stone mills and consumed fresh. However, chakkis grind at very small capacities, so these days consumers are opting for packaged atta because of busy lifestyles and increased disposable income. Find at: All Indian grocery stores. It is rarely found in mainstream supermarkets and therefore please do not waste time looking for it in your local Woolworths or Coles.
  • Baking Soda or Bicarb-of-Soda - It is an alkali, and it will react when it comes in contact with an acidic agent such as, lemon juice, buttermilk or cream of tartar. Although we are not adding any buttermilk, lemon juice or cream of tartar for making poori bread, this is a secret ingredient in many Indian snacks. In this recipe, baking soda is added not for fermentation. A pinch or two of baking soda creates bubbles inside the dough and will help inflate the poori, producing a light, airy texture. Remember a little is more, and adding too much of it will give off an unpleasant odour. Find at: All supermarkets or Indian grocery stores.
  • Warm oil - Added to enhance the flavour and texture of this poori bread, while also making it moist.

how to make poori bread

Most Indian wheat-based breads start with combining the flour with water and salt until the dough comes together, similar to pizza dough.

The four key ingredients for creating this poori are: flour, bicarb-of-soda, salt, warm water and warm oil.

Bicarb-of-soda is an optional ingredient and, is traditionally not used in making poori. However, in this recipe, I have added a little as it helps to inflate the poori when frying. A poori is not a poori, if it does not look golden and inflated. So, today I am sharing my secret ingredient in this recipe! Do not skip this secret ingredient!

It is also not uncommon to add a sprinkle of sugar, particularly if this bread is intended to be eaten on its own.

This basic poori dough recipe is very simple to prepare at home. The ingredients are mixed together to form a dough much like the pizza. The dough is rested for 15 minutes. Keep the dough at room temperature while resting, as it will stretch easier. The dough is then pulled apart and rolled into smaller balls. These are then flattened and rolled into 10cm - 10.5cm even rounds. The rounds are deep fried one at a time in hot oil until puffed and golden.

Fry the poori in a deep-frying pan with enough oil for the poori to rise comfortably. The correct way to fry poori is to fry one poori at a time, so the poori has enough space to expand once it hits the hot oil.

The temperature of the oil should ideally be around 180°C or 350° F, otherwise the poori will not expand. To achieve a golden brown and crisp poori, the oil should be hot but not smoking.

If you have a food thermometer, it is best to check the oil temperature before you add the poori to the oil.

To fry the poori, slide one poori gently from one side of the deep-frying pan into the hot oil. The poori will firstly go to the bottom of the pan and cook for approximately 4-5 seconds before it begins to rise to the surface. Use your metal slotted spoon and press the poori gently while it is cooking under the oil. This gentle pressing will kick start the expanding process. The poori will start rising and by the time it reaches the surface, it will expand fully. Flip the poori and fry quickly for another 2-4 seconds till golden. Check out the video below, if in doubt, to see how the poori is fried.

Please note the poori will stay inflated only for a short time (perhaps 5 or 10 minutes) or sometimes even lesser.

Each poori is done with approximately 18g-20g of dough. The quantity of dough from this recipe, yields 10 or 12 poories, enough for a family of four with ‘potato bhaji’ or ‘vegetable kurma/korma’.

You can have poori for breakfast, lunch, brunch and all-day snack or even for dinner.

Hope the video below helps you and you can make delicious poori bread at home to enjoy with your family!

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

In a wide wooden bowl combine whole wheat flour (atta), baking soda and salt

Make a well in the centre and add water gradually

Make a dough using the amount of warm water in the recipe

Add 1 tablespoon warm oil and knead for 5 minutes

Cover with cling wrap and rest for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes knead for a further 3 minutes

Drizzle little oil on a cutting board. Divide into 12-13 equal portions.

Roll out each portion into even 10cm-10.5cm diameter circles.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 180⁰C or 350⁰F. Carefully slide one poori and fry for 6-8 seconds pressing gently under the oil until it expands. Turn over and fry quickly for 3-4 seconds or until puffed and golden.

serving suggestions

  • Serve on their own for breakfast with a cup of hot coffee, filtered coffee or tea.
  • Poori pairs well with kurma/korma for a complete vegetarian meal.
  • It's also delicious served with sweet Indian mango, lemon and carrot pickles, as an all-day snack.
  • Poori makes a great brunch served with Indian style sabzi or cooked vegetables.
  • You can serve poori for dinner in place of rice, along with chicken or lamb curries, particularly, chicken or lamb kurma/korma.

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please be sure to rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below. If you want to see more recipe inspirations, you can follow me on Instagram @lavina_mendonsa.

Poori (Deep fried puffed Indian bread)

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
A pivotal part of the Indian dining experience, poori bread is a lip-smacking variety of steaming hot pockets of golden deep-fried whole wheat puffs. Serve with vegetable kurma/korma as a luxurious breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  Also double as an all-day snack. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Afternoon tea, All day snack, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, lunch, Morning Tea
Cuisine Indian, Mangalorean, South Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour Atta (135g)
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda 1g-2g
  • ½ tsp. salt or to taste 3g
  • ½ cup warm water approx. 110mL
  • 1 tbsp. warm oil 7mL (do not use ghee)
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions
 

  • In a wide wooden bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre and add water gradually to make a soft dough. Add 1 tbsp. warm oil and knead for 5 minutes. Cover dough with cling wrap or moist cloth and rest for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes knead for another 3 minutes.
  • Drizzle a little oil (see NOTE 2) on a clean flat surface or cutting board. Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions (for small poories) or 5 equal portions (for large poories) (see NOTE 1). Flatten each on your palm.
  • Apply a thin layer of oil to the rolling pin where it comes in contact with the dough. Roll out each portion into even 10cm-10.5cm round circles with a light rolling motion. The poories should be rolled equally all around, as uneven poories do not puff up well.
  • Heat oil in a deep-frying pan to 180⁰C or 350⁰F. Carefully slide one poori and fry for 5-7 seconds on one side, pressing gently under the oil until it expands. Turn over and fry very quickly for another 3-4 seconds on the other side. Remove when puffed and golden brown using a metal slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper. Fry the rest of the pooris one at a time.
  • Best served immediately (see NOTE 3) with Potato Bhaji (turmeric potatoes) or Vegetable Kurma/Korma. You may serve pooris with any beef, lamb, chicken, pork or vegetarian curries. Pooris are eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Notes

  1. Each ball should weigh approximately 18g-20g to get 12 poories. For bigger poories, make larger balls, but you will get lesser poories.
  2. While rolling poories, do not dust the surface with flour, as the flour burns while frying. Drizzle a little oil and place one ball. Roll out each ball into a 10cm- 10.5cm round circle, with a light rolling motion. Flip the poori 3 or 4 times during the rolling process till you get a uniform 10cm-10.5cm round circle.
  3. Like all Indian breads, pooris should be eaten straight off the hot oil, as they go soggy quickly. They are not suitable for storing and reheating.
Keyword Atta bread, deep fried bread, Indian bread, Poori, Puffed bread, Wheat flour bread
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

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