In this take from the South India on a Plate series, we take a look at how to make a carrot puri. The recipe is straight forward and easy to follow.
For all of you out there that are not that familiar with Indian cuisine, a puri is an Indian style of bread. A delicious puffy kind of a bread, which needs to be eaten immideately after it’s made. So make sure you have whatever you’ll be eating it with, ready by the time you finish frying the puris. These breads are usually made from wheat and all purpose flour, however they are even more delicious when you throw something in addition in the mix. This time it’s going to be carrots.
Ingredients for making Carrot Puris:
-Wheat flour: 1 cup
-All purpose flour: 1 cup
-Carrots: 1 big
-Salt: to taste
-Sugar: a pinch
-Water: as required to puree carrot
-Oil: as required for kneeding
-Oil: as required for frying
You can take a look at this handy YouTube video I created. It was my second one, so not the most professional looking, but hey I’ll get there, I’ll get there.
And for those of you who prefer it in writing:
Preparing the Carrot Puri dough:
1.) Start off by peeling and cutting the carrot.
2.) Transfer the pieces into a grinder, adding a dash of sugar, some water and a little bit of oil. Grind until you get a smooth carrot paste.
3.) Get a bowl in which you’ll puta cup of wheat flour, a cup of all purpose flour, carrot paste, a bit of olive oil and a little bit of water.
4.) Kneed the dough, adding a bit of water and olive oil to it as needed, until you’re happy with its consistency.
5.) Separate the lump of dough into small balls, about an inch in diameter.
6.) Grab a roller and shape the balls into thin circles, a few millimeters in thickness.
Deep frying the Carrot Puris:
1.) Take a deep pan, suitable for frying and poor in your regular oil. Heat it up good, since the puris won’t turn out well if the oil is not hot enough.
2.) Drop the circle of dough inside the oil, one by one. Don’t cook more than one at the time.
3.) Fry and keep tapping the puri with an oil ladle (the one with holes, which lets the oil drip out – I just dont know the English word for this thing:). This is a really important step, don’t miss this or your puri won’t inflate nicely. Do this for about a minute per puri, until you see it turn nice and brownish.
4.) Get rid of excess oil before taking the carrot puri out.
5.) Serve immediately, before it deflates too much. That means have whatever you are eating the puri with already done.
A word on the origins of the Carrot Puri recipe:
Recently I’ve relocated to a small village near Mangalore, a coastal city on the border between Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. The city is well renowned in India for its cuisine, so what better place than this to learn how to cook some regional specialties and of course share the knowledge with the world :).
All the cooking is done by my father in law, Eddie and Savitri, the household cook. I just hold the camera and try to learn while I film the process :).
While the basics of the recipe are traditional to the region, there are some twists here and there, like the inclusion of carrots and olive oil, the latter obviously not being native to these lands. I have intentionally not asked them to make any changes to their usual preparation. The reason for that is simple – their kitchen is just superb, so who am I to butt in and ask them to keep it strictly traditional?
The other reason for various fusions in my father in-law’s recipes is that he has spent many a years abroad, travelling, running restaurants in Qatar and the like. He’s a food buff and he takes what he likes and makes it his own. It also goes to show how customs and traditions are in motion, continuous and ever changing.
Check the other recipes from the South India on a Plate series.