These are fried unleavened breads used in the Indian cuisine for pushing the food and sopping up the delectable juices. They are good for everyone, although the sweet and heavy qualities can increase Kapha if too many are eaten. While the ingredients are identical, chapatis (chahAH-tees) are fried on a hot griddle and puris (POO-res), puffy breads, are deep-fried in oil.
Makes is to 20 puris or 10 large chapatis
1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup white flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon ghee 1 cup hot water
3 to 4 cups oil for frying puris
1. In a large bowl stir the flours and salt together. Rub in the ghee with your fingertips until it is evenly combined with the flour mixture. Add the water and stir into a dough. Add a little more water by teaspoons, if needed, to completely blend all the flour smoothly. Knead for 4 or 5 minutes in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest 1 or 2 hours. The consistency of workable dough should be pliable and firm but not sticky.
2. To make puris, pinch off i-inch balls of dough, roll in a little flour, then gently roll out on a wooden surface with a rolling pin. Roll in one direction only. Turn the dough over and roll in the opposite direction until it is 4 to 5 inches across and about as thin as a penny, not thinner.
3. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy pan or wok over moderately high heat. When it is hot gently ease a puri in so it goes under the surface to the bottom of the pan. When it rises to the top use a pair of tongs and gendy push it back under the oil. It should blow up like a balloon. Turn it over and cook 30 seconds more. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cook each puri separately and drain.
4. To make chapatis, pinch off 2-inch pieces of dough. Roll out evenly and fry on a hot greased griddle or a heavy skillet for about 30 seconds on each side. Then hold each chapati with tongs over a moderate gas flame for 30 seconds on each side. Serve immediately.