Poori recipe – A detailed step by step photo & video guide to make perfectly puffed puri at home. Poori is an unleavened fried bread made with whole wheat flour and salt. It is one of the well-known Breakfast dishes enjoyed in all regions of India. Poori is often served with a potato curry known as puri bhaji or poori masala. In some regions it is also eaten with chana curry, suji halwa or even with shrikhand.
Most Indian households make these for the weekend & festive meals. Similar to Naan, tandoori roti & bhatura these are very much popular in the Indian restaurants and are served for breakfast & even for a meal.
What is poori
Poori is a Indian fried bread made with whole wheat flour & salt. To make these, an unleavened dough is prepared first. Then small portions of it are rolled to flat discs similar to roti. These are fried in hot oil to puff up.
About the recipe
Traditionally poori is made with only 3 ingredients – flour, salt & water. We always make poori with wheat flour but some restaurants & tiffin centers make these with a mix of whole wheat flour (atta), all-purpose flour (maida) and semolina.
All-purpose flour imparts a milky flavor to the pooris while the whole wheat puris have a more nutty aroma.
My mom always added some fine semolina to make them more crisp. It also helps the puffed poori to hold its shape for longer.
Adding semolina is more common in our parts of Karnataka. In fact we never make poori without it. You may skip if you do not prefer.
The recipe shared here will give you poori that will be slightly crisp, soft and yet puffy. These perfectly made puris not only puff up well but also don’t soak up much oil.
How to make poori (stepwise photos)
1. Add 1 cup whole wheat flour, ¾ teaspoon fine rava (semolina or suji) and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a mixing bowl. You can also skip rava and salt. If using milled flour (atta from flour mill) then do sieve and discard the bran.
2. Pour ¾ teaspoon oil. Mix all of them well & pour ¼ cup water (4 tablespoons).
3. Begin to mix to form a stiff dough. You will need another 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle more water only as needed.
4. Make a stiff & tight dough that is not crumbly or dry. It must not be soft like the roti dough.
5. Drizzle another ¼ teaspoon oil and knead lightly to just smoothen the ball. Do not knead it for longer like it is done for roti or chapati. Dough must still be stiff and tight. When you press it with your fingers, you will still feel it is tight and stiff, not soft.
6. Keep this dough covered always until all of the dough is used up to roll pooris. I usually do not rest the dough for more than 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Divide it to 8 to 10 parts.
8. Gently roll them in between your palms just to make them smooth. Do not knead them.
9. Sprinkle flour over the rolling area or smear some oil. Using oil for rolling keeps the deep frying oil clear till the end. It is good especially if your are making lot of puris. If using flour, make sure you use as little as possible and dust it off from each of the puri before frying.
10. Flatten the ball and smear little oil. Begin to roll the poori evenly from the center.
11. Do not roll them too thin or too thick.
12. They need to be moderately thick otherwise they will not puff.
13. Next after making 5 to 6, heat the oil on a medium high flame. Do not leave the rolled puris without frying for long. While it heats, continue to roll up the rest as well.
14. Check if the oil is hot by dropping a small portion of dough. If the oil is hot enough for frying, it will rise immediately. But it should not brown quickly.
Frying poori in oil
15. Gently slide the puri from the side to the hot oil. If you have used flour, do dust off the excess flour before frying. As soon as it is added to the pan, it sinks completely.
16. Do not disturb until the poori comes up at least half way to the surface.
17. Then quickly but gently keep pressing the poori down to the oil. If you press too hard, holes can form on the poori and will not puff.
18. Poori puffs completely.
19. Next flip the poori and fry until crisp and golden. Remove to a steel colander. To fry the rest of them as well, make sure the oil is hot enough but not smoking hot.
Puri masala is a side dish made with potatoes, onions, spices and tomatoes. You can make a dry or a semi dry bhaji.
Potato masala is the same dish that is used for stuffing masala dosas. It is similar to the puri masala but there is no tomato used here.
Chana masala made with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and spices makes for a great side.
Mix veg kurma is most commonly made in South Indian homes when poori is served for Lunch or dinner. Mix vegetables are cooked in a coconut cashew curry.
Coconut chutney: In South Indian tiffin centers and restaurants, poori is served with coconut chutney along with a coconut chana curry or veg kurma or potato masala.
So it totally depends on what you like. On busy mornings we eat them with this easy potato peas Sagu.
Making dough: The most important step to make good pooris is to make the dough correctly. It must not be sticky or loose but must be a tight dough. This helps in puffing them well without soaking up oil. To know the correct texture of dough, check my video.
Amount of water to use for making the dough depends on the kind of flour. So adjust the amount of water as needed while forming the dough.
Kneading: Do not knead the dough to the extent it becomes soft like roti dough. The key here is to just knead it for a short time until the dough becomes smooth and uniform but not soft. If you press down the dough you should feel it is tight and not soft. This is the stage at which you need to stop kneading.
Resting dough: Try as much not to rest the dough as soaked dough will absorb more oil. If making in large quantities then, make the dough in batches. It is not that you can’t make pooris with rested dough but they won’t be the best.
Rolling: The dough has to be rolled to a disc that is neither too thin nor too thick. So rolling them to the correct thickness also matters for a puri to puff well. Too thick puris won’t puff and too thin will come out hard like papad. But how do you know what is the correct thickness. Check out my video & experiment.
Frying : For the pooris to puff well, oil has to be hot enough. If you fry them in oil that is not hot enough then they will soak up oil and won’t puff. So do the heat test by simply dropping a small flat piece of dough to the hot oil. It has to rise immediately without turning brown. This is the right temperature. Regulate the stove as needed to maintain the heat consistently.
Dry & crumbly dough: Too dry or crumbly dough will yield you hard puris. So if the dough is dry, feel free to sprinkle little water as needed while forming the dough.
Sticky dough: Be cautious while you add water. But if it becomes sticky, then you can always add some flour to bring it to the right texture – non-sticky tight dough.
Poori not puffing: Roll them evenly to a not too thick or too thin discs. Oil is not hot enough. Heat up the oil a bit more.
- To make palak puri, puree one cup of palak with few tbsps water and use that to make dough.
- To make methi puri, add some fresh chopped methi leaves to the dough. Incorporate the leaves first then add water as needed.
- Make masala poori, add 1/8 tsp cumin or jeera powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ¼ tsp garam masala, ½ tsp fine crushed kasuri methi and some salt to the 1 cup flour.
Pooris are best made with freshly made dough. If the dough rests longer then they will absorb more oil.
For a perfectly puffed poori, roll the dough evenly to a disc that is not too thin or too thick. If they are too thin they will turn crisp like papads and won’t puff. If they are too thick then also they won’t puff. To know the exact thickness, check my video or step-by-step photos where I show the thickness. If the dough is not rolled evenly then also they won’t puff. They have to be evenly rolled.
More moisture in the dough will collapse the puffed poori within a few minutes. For the pooris to remain puffed always add fine semolina. It not only makes them crisp but also holds the puff for longer.
Too much moisture in the dough, meaning sticky or too soft dough can make them oily. Make a stiff and non-sticky dough. Don’t knead the dough a lot. We don’t knead the dough like roti dough. The other reasons can be – Frying them in oil that is not hot enough. Avoid using wheat flour to which extra bran has been added.
Lack of moisture in the dough, meaning dry and crumbly dough can yield hard puris. The other reasons are frying them at low temperature for long time & frying them in oil that is not hot enough. Also rolling them too thin can make it hard.
Each region and household has their own way of serving them. Poori masala, puri bhaji, chana masala, veg kurma, coconut chutney and sagu are some of the sides to serve with puri.
Since it is a fried food, enjoy these in moderation. Eating them daily is not a good idea. So limit them to weekends and occasions.
Can puris be made in air fryer?
Yes. I have tried making puris in air fryer several times but the texture and taste won’t be the same as fried puris.
When fried the discs puff and some amount of steam is captured inside. This steam gives the soft texture from inside. But when air fried, the moisture in the rolled poori dough tend to evaporate due to the hot air that’s generated. Making them hard and they won’t puff.
So steaming them first before air frying helps in incorporating some moisture while they cook partially.
So I steam the rolled puris in a greased thatte idli stand for 3 mins. After 3 mins remove them immediately from the steamer and cool completely. Place them in the air fryer and air fry for 3 to 4 mins at 200 c – 400 F.
The most important thing is to experiment the temperature and time as it depends on the air fryer. But they will puff well when done at a stretch without pausing.
The second thing is the dough has to be soft and kneaded well like the roti dough. So you can just use the regular roti dough to make poori in air fryer. Making these is easier for 2 servings but it becomes tedious and takes a lot of time to make many puris.
Poori recipe | Puri recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup wheat flour (atta)
- ¾ teaspoon semolina (fine rava or chiroti rava) (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon oil (or ghee)
- ¼ cup water (plus 1 to 2 tbsp) (adjust as needed)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- oil (for deep frying)
Making poori dough
- Mix together flour, salt, rava and oil in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour ¼ cup water. Begin to make a little stiff & tight dough, adding more water as needed. (check video)
- Smear ½ tsp oil, knead lightly and smoothen the ball.
- Do not knead it a lot otherwise poori will turn soft and absorb oil while frying.
- Keep the dough covered all the time until the last poori is rolled. Do not rest the dough for more than 3 to 5 minutes. The longer it rests quicker the puffed puri will collapse. They will turn oily after frying.
- Divide the dough to 8 to 10 portions. Avoid kneading them.
- Smoothen all the balls by rolling them lightly in between your palms. Keep them covered in the bowl.
How to make poori
- Drizzle a few drops of oil on the rolling area and spread it.
- Smear oil over the dough ball & flatten it.
- Begin to roll it evenly from the center to a round puri.
- It should not be too thick or thin. It must be moderately thick which helps the puri to puff.
- Make 5 to 6 puris and set them aside. Do not stack them.
- Begin to heat the oil on a medium high flame and continue to make rest of the pooris.
- The oil has to be hot enough. Check by dropping a small portion of dough to the pan. It has to rise immediately without browning.
- If it browns quickly then reduce the flame slightly and allow the temperature to come down.
- Slide the puri carefully to the hot oil. Do not disturb until it rises half way to the surface.
- Quickly but gently begin to press down with a perforated ladle. This helps the poori to puff well.
- Once puri puffs, flip it carefully. Fry on the other side as well until golden and crisp.
- You can fry flipping too and fro once more until slightly crisp & to get the desired color – light golden to dark golden.
- Remove the puri to a steel colander. Fry the next poori the same way.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough, but not smoking before frying the next puri. Serve poori with potato curry, chutney or kurma.
- Using too much of semolina can make the poori hard or the top layer can turn too crisp & flaky.Fine rava or semolina or chiroti rava works best. If you do not have rawa, just skip it. If using chiroti rava, you can use about 2 tsps per cup of flour.
- Dough has to be stiff and tight but at the same time it must not be crumbly or too dry.
- You must be able to make smooth balls when you roll the ball in between your palms.
- Do not over knead the dough at anytime as it softens the dough. This will make the pooris oily.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
This Puri recipe post was first published in March 2018. Updated & republished in December 2020.