Puffed white poori

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

These puffy deep-fried breads are larger in size and heavier than the flatbreads. They are traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to channa masala or aloo ki subzi. Allow one or two per person with kachumber and some thick plain yoghurt. The recipe given here is very workable indeed and don’t fret if you do not always succeed. Bhaturas are temperamental and will give you intermittent pleasures of getting the perfect one, well puffed and golden brown. However even the flat ones will taste good! We have made them smaller which makes it easier to fry. The only drawback is that you will have to give yourself time to make them so prepare the dough in the morning and cook them in the evening.


Quantity Ingredient
400g plain flour
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 egg
100ml plain yoghurt
1-2 tablespoons hot milk
a little butter or ghee
a few tablespoon hot water
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  1. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together.
  2. Beat the egg into the yoghurt in a bowl, add the hot milk and 2 tablespoons of hot water.
  3. Gradually mix the yoghurt mixture into the flour and start kneading. If the dough is too dry add a little more water but only a tablespoon at a time. Knead well to form a soft, smooth elastic dough.
  4. Grease your palms with a little butter or ghee and knead the dough to form a large round ball.
  5. Place the ball in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside at room temperature for 6–8 hours to prove.
  6. Get everything in place ready to cook the breads. Pour enough oil for deep-frying in a wok or kadhai, a slotted spoon and colander placed over a bowl for removing the bhaturas and draining them, flour for dusting, a rolling pin and, of course, the food with which they are to be served.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and re-knead it gently.
  8. Divide the dough into 6–8 equal balls. The size is a matter for you but they need to be able to fit nicely into the oil for frying and small ones are probably preferable to very large. Handle as little as possible.
  9. Heat the oil for deep-frying to almost smoking point.
  10. Meanwhile, roll out each ball, using as little flour as necessary to prevent sticking, to about 3 mm thick. Fry one at a time in the hot oil until golden brown and puffed. Flip them over lightly, if necessary, to brown evenly all over. (One way that works is to push the bhatura with your frying spoon and spin it at the same time. This motion of them spinning in the hot oil will make then puff up quicker and look nicer. If, however, the rolling out is not even you will have thick edges and a very thin centre and no ballooning. Practice makes perfect!)
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