Saturday, July 21, 2012

Puffs up like MAGIC my !$!@$!$!$!@#$!

Ramzan started... if you are wondering why I am saying Ramzan and not Ramadan ..its because I am from Pakistan and in Urdu we say Ramzan.... :) Ramzan is the month of fasting for Muslims... we don't eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. We must continue our day like normal and it is also an exercise in restraint... our temper.... code of conduct... an annual self check if you will. It is also  a time of reflection and prayers . In theory. But being faced with the daunting task of being in charge of the ONE meal that everyone looks forward to... the Iftari or the meal at sunset.... its a lot of pressure.. and keeping one's cool can be ...challenging.

Much as I would like to be Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart's offspring.. the truth is... they would cheerfully disown me and give me a water burial if I was to be born of them. I am a novice cook and I am ok with Western food. Never have I had to worry about Pakistani food before because... well I lived there and so there were plenty of people at hand to take care of the needful.

No more

So today I thought I would try my hand at Paani puri. How difficult can it be I thought to myself. Its just a matter of frying dough and every Tom Dick and Harry, or Abdul, Jamshed and Saleem as the case may be seems to be able to do it.. so I set about trying to make the Puri... Shirin Anwar.. a known chef in Pakistan.. was the first person I turned to for the recipe.

I am not going to post the recipe till I find one that is perfect for idiots like me. I am not in any way suggesting you are an idiot ... but you get my drift. Shirin Anwer did not rock my boat today. Anyway it was all progressing nicely enough till it came time to fry them. Don't know if the  oil was too hot... or not... or whatever but this is what I was ending up with

ONE puffed up like it should.. kind of... and then the rest.... well you can see was not having much luck with them...

But I had a batch full of dough rounds and fry them i will and I ploughed bravely ahead.  I ended up with a big batch of "Papri"

I think I shall be neighborly and offer up my papris to anyone who wants them to crush on top of their cholas...

Meanwhile my darling husband was completely oblivious to the goings on downstairs with the feverish efforts of the perfect Puri

Next I decided to do a youtube search for the perfect Puri for dummies recipe... and I came across this

I just love the part where he says..  "and they puff up like magic"  Based on those 6 words... I decided to go ahead and make up another batch. I don't know what I was doing right when it happened.. but by the third puri this is what I got

Finally.... the third one is the perfect Puffed up like Magic product and I am excited... exhilarated even... but as the rest of the batter went it ... it all reverted back to substances like pancakes ... or papri... out of the hundred that were made... I must have come up with 15 halfway decent ones. So... if anyone out there has some tips on how to make the perfect gol guppa PLEASE help!! My youngest daughter has told me to avoid trying to make Pakistani food and go back to what I do best... the Western stuff. But I am digging in my feet.. I will nail this sucker somehow... 

Finally after I finally gave up on this futile effort it was time for me to just chill and decide just sitting by the pool and pondering upon the deeper things in life would be a good idea... Like... can I kill the person who invented the puri? if he or she is already dead... can I kill them again ?

btw in case you think we starve while I am trying to get past this learning curve.. we did manage to put away quite a feast... thank you God for managing to put something together even as I learn :)

Got some great Tomato Cut out there and will be happy to share THAT recipe that worked out great.. that is coming tomorrow :)


Jeff Fitzgerald said...

The only thing I can think of is perhaps letting the oil come back up to temperature between batches. Use a thermometer to keep the oil temperature constant. Hope that helps.

Ayeshah Alam said...

Thanks Jeff... apparently according to my friend at Sumayya Jamil... I need to try a recipe without flour... so that's going to be next on my agenda... If its successful... shall post immediately heheheheh will keep in mind the temp issue as well..

Jeff Fitzgerald said...

I have semolina, and I'm going to try an unbleached bread flour (higher in gluten than standard all purpose). The recipe I've found calls for soda water, but I might try doing half with soda water and half with warm filtered tap water. I'll use a soy oil at 300°F. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Ayeshah Alam Khan said...

hey Jeff.. finally conquered this recipe... read my latest blog to find out how..or alternatively... simply only use semolina... no flour... or anything else save salt.. a pinch... :) and temp of oil should be low to medium

Maha Khan said...

Lol Shireen Anwar:) she will be devastated