Sourdough Semolina Puri

 

The final recipe in the Semolina Cracker trilogy is the Sourdough Semolina Puri. The first two which I hope you have seen, were the Sourdough Semolina Crackers and the Sourdough Semolina Cracker Papdi Chaat

The cracker recipe gives rise to this puri recipe and merely consists of deep frying the rolled out dough, instead of baking it. The end result is quite distinct and one really gets the benefit of 2 different products from the very same recipe.

How is that for convenience 😀

Puri – 

So what is a puri? Mainly made from either maida (All Purpose Flour APF) or Whole Wheat Flour (WWF), this is an Indian bread that is deep fried into a light and puffy ball of sorts. It is basically an unleavened bread, though I have messed with that definition by the addition of sourdough in this recipe and no I am not apologetic 😀

One might also argue that this in fact resembles a Bhatura more, which is a leavened, deep fried bread but I am sticking with my Puri story because that is the recipe that I have tweaked.

Puri is also spelt as Poori and is a snack that can actually be eaten at any meal of the day and is usually had with accompaniments like potato curry or any other appropriate side dish. Sometimes it is also eaten with sweet items like mango puree etc.

Puris can also have variations that include the addition of rava (semolina) and other flours like millet, buckwheat etc and also spices and condiments.

I will be documenting 2 variations here, one with maida (All Purpose Flour APF) and one with Whole Wheat Flour (WWF).

SD discard –

Before moving ahead, I will need to explain a few things especially for those who are new to SD. As I mentioned in the earlier post on Sourdough, SD discard is the excess starter that one usually scraps while feeding the starter afresh. It is a wonderful ingredient to use, its name notwithstanding and I have never thrown any of it away.

Do not misled by its dull and gloopy countenance, for this substance adds great value to the flavor and texture of the products that it is used in. I have used it in rotis, naans, kulchas (all Indian flatbreads) and of course in crackers and I have many lofty plans for other future bakes too.

Semolina – 

Semolina refers to the coarse grits made from the endosperm of wheat. It is also known as Suji or Rava in India. While rava can also generically refer to the coarsely broken bits/grits of other grains, what we are using in this recipe is the wheat rava.

Rava is available in several variants depending on size and quality of wheat and what we are using here is the finest variety called Chiroti rava. The thicker rava will not give the same texture here.

The Process –

The procedure is seriously simple and is mainly a mixing of the ingredients into a dough and individually rolling into circles or rolling into a large sheet and cutting out into circles.

These dough circles are then deep fried in hot oil until they puff up into golden balls.

As you can see, I have also cut out hearts, just because I had the cutter and it was beckoning to me 😀

Since in most of my creations I usually experiment with refined (All Purpose Flour aka APF or Maida) and then go on to recreating the recipe with Whole Wheat Flour (WWF), I am going to list both recipes here, as mentioned earlier. The differences are minor and have more to do with the ability of the whole grain flour to absorb more liquid.

Also, remember that flours across the globe behave differently, so the aim is to use the quantity that gives you a firm but supple dough that does not crack while rolling.

Recipe for Sourdough Semolina Puris – 

Makes – The total number of puris depend on the size of each.

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Sourdough Semolina Puri –

1 – Whole wheat SD Discard or even freshly fed starter – 150 gm – See Notes

2 – Butter – 25 gm (see notes)

3 –  Salt – 1 teaspoon

4 –  Chilli flakes – 2 tsp – (optional)

5 –  Chiroti Rava (fine semolina) – 100 gm (or enough to get a firm and non sticky but supple dough)

Ingredients for Maida (APF/refined flour) Sourdough Semolina Puri –

1- Maida/APF SD Discard or even freshly fed starter – 150 gm – See Notes

2 – Butter – 25 gm (see notes)

3 –  Salt – 1 teaspoon

4 –  Chilli flakes – 2 tsp – (optional)

5 –  Chiroti Rava (fine semolina) – 150 gm (or enough to get a firm and non sticky but supple dough)

6. Oil – sufficient for deep frying (approximately 300 – 500 gm)

Equipment that I used – 

Wok for deep frying

Slotted spatula for draining the oil

Method (the same method applies for both flours) – 

You can take fresh starter or use your old discard and weigh it out into a bowl.

In another bowl, melt the butter. Add the salt and chilli flakes and mix everything thoroughly with a spatula. I prefer a Silicon spatula.

When the butter comes to room temperature, mix in the starter/discard thoroughly.

Add in the fine semolina a little by little and knead it into a dough. The dough should be firm but supple enough not to crack while rolling.

You can also use a stand mixer to make the dough.

Cling wrap the dough and place in an airtight box and chill it overnight. This resting time is needed or else the semolina stays hard and this does not result in a smooth texture.

The dough may rise a bit so make provision for that by taking a big enough container.

Take out the chilled dough and use it right away.

Divide into small balls and roll them individually into moderately thick discs (approximately 3 mm). If you roll them too thin, they will not puff up while frying.

You can also roll out one large rectangle and cut out circular puris using a bottle lid.

I have also cut out some hearts.

You can roll the puris into small or medium circles. 4 inches in diameter is a convenient size.

If you are an expert, you can roll out puris simultaneously as you fry or roll them all out first and then fry one by one. Keep the dough circles covered with a cloth or cling wrap, to prevent them from drying out.

Heat oil in a wok and test the temperature by dropping a small bit of dough. The dough should rapidly come to the surface, indicating that the oil is ready.

Gently slide a disc into the oil (be very careful of splashing hot oil). Using the back of the slotted spatula, gently press the circle into the oil, while moving it around with the spatula. The disc should puff up almost immediately. Flip it over for a few seconds and immediately remove it from the oil.

Place it in a box or vessel lined with a kitchen paper towel.

Continue one by one with all the discs. Constantly monitor the oil temperature as you fry. If the oil gets cold, the puri will not puff up well and will also absorb a lot of oil. If the oil is too hot, the puris will burn very fast.

The puris are best eaten fresh but if you have excess, you can also store them for several hours at room temperature or even refrigerate for a couple of days. Of course they will lose their original texture but will still be edible. You can reheat them on a pan or in the microwave.

 

These puris are thicker and have nice, spongy insides  because of the leavening but regular traditional puris are actually quite thin skinned.

Notes –

A day before baking, remember to feed and build up your SD starter to the required weight. If you want a stronger sour flavor, then build up the starter even a week before baking. A fresher starter will have a milder flavor.


 

I hope you will successfully try this recipe and I would really appreciate if you leave your feedback in the Blog comments.

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Print Recipe
Sourdough Semolina Puri
Deep fried Indian Bread with a Sourdough twist
Servings
Ingredients
Ingredients for Whole Wheat Sourdough Semolina Puri -
Ingredients for Maida (APF/refined flour) Sourdough Semolina Puri -
Servings
Ingredients
Ingredients for Whole Wheat Sourdough Semolina Puri -
Ingredients for Maida (APF/refined flour) Sourdough Semolina Puri -
Instructions
  1. Method (the same method applies for both flours) – 
  2. You can take fresh starter or use your old discard and weigh it out into a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, melt the butter. Add the salt and chilli flakes and mix everything thoroughly with a spatula. I prefer a Silicon spatula.
  4. When the butter comes to room temperature, mix in the starter/discard thoroughly.
  5. Add in the fine semolina a little by little and knead it into a dough. The dough should be firm but supple enough not to crack while rolling.
  6. Cling wrap the dough and place in an airtight box and chill it overnight. This resting time is needed or else the semolina stays hard and this does not result in a smooth texture.
  7. Take out the chilled dough and use it right away.
  8. Divide into small balls and roll them individually into moderately thick discs (approximately 3 mm). If you roll them too thin, they will not puff up while frying.
  9. You can also roll out one large rectangle and cut out circular puris using a bottle lid.
  10. You can roll the puris into small or medium circles. 4 inches in diameter is a convenient size.
  11. If you are an expert, you can roll out puris simultaneously as you fry or roll them all out first and then fry one by one. Keep the dough circles covered with a cloth to prevent them from drying out.
  12. Heat oil in a wok and test the temperature by dropping a small bit of dough. The dough should rapidly come to the surface, indicating that the oil is ready.
  13. Gently slide a disc into the oil (be very careful of splashing hot oil). Using the back of the slotted spatula, gently press the circle into the oil, while moving it around with the spatula. The disc should puff up almost immediately. Flip it over for a few seconds and immediately remove it from the oil.
  14. Place it in a box or vessel lined with a kitchen paper towel.
  15. Continue one by one with all the discs. Constantly monitor the oil temperature as you fry. If the oil gets cold, the puri will not puff up well and will also absorb a lot of oil. If the oil is too hot, the puris will burn very fast.
  16. The puris are best eaten fresh but if you have excess, you can also store them for several hours at room temperature or even refrigerate for a couple of days. Of course they will lose their original texture but will still be edible. You can reheat them on a pan or in the microwave.
Recipe Notes

A day before baking, remember to feed and build up your SD starter to the required weight. If you want a stronger sour flavor, then build up the starter even a week before baking. A fresher starter will have a milder flavor.

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