The star of this show is the simple puri.
Whole wheat flour, water and salt, fried in oil. Another flatbread in your arsenal of awesome. As I was making these, I mentally added them to my list of things to cook should I find myself stranded in a house of few resources and food items. Like maybe being caught in a snow storm with an empty fridge or maybe after a night out at a friend’s house who only eats take aways. This used to happen more often in my 20’s it must be said. If at 3am all you have are flour, water and oil, you could make a mean batch of disgusting pancakes or you could make puris.
As it happens we are in a snow storm right now so to accompany the puris I wanted a nice warm curry. A nice warming curry with gigantic creamy butter beans.
Butter bean curry
2 cups butter dried butter beans, soaked and cooked till tender
2 smallish or medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt (or more if desired)
2 tsp sugar
2 tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 tin plum tomatoes chopped w/ juices
1/2 cup greek yogurt or heavy cream
2-3 cups filtered water
1/2 cup frozen peas
handful fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)
For the tarka
vegetable oil or 2 tbs ghee
1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp minced fresh chili, deseeded
1) Soak and cook the beans to directions.
2) Heat up a good glug of vegetable oil and gently fry the onion, ginger, chili and garlic till soft, about 5 minutes.
3) Add the spices and cook on medium heat another minute or two. Add the tomatoes and cook down a couple more minutes.
4) Add the water, potatoes and butter beans. Bring to a simmer and then cover and cook down. Add a little more water as necessary. The beans and potatoes will both absorb a lot of liquid.
5) Add the salt and sugar, yogurt or cream, peas and fresh herbs if you have them.
6) Make the tarka to add another level of flavor. Heat up the oil or ghee in a frying pan and add all the ingredients. Gently simmer in the oil till cooked but do not brown. Add to the curry and mix in. Taste and adjust seasoning.
makes 12 small puris
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and knead to a soft dough.
2) Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
3) Heat up vegetable oil in a sauce pot–enough oil to deep fry the puris. Test that it is hot enough by dropping a small piece of dough. It should rise up immediately in the oil.
4) Tear off small pieces of dough (about the size of a bouncing rubber ball from a kids’ toy machine) and with oiled hands, roll out to very thin circles.
5) Cook each puri individually by placing into the oil and using a slotted spoon to hold the puris under the oil until they puff up. Then flip over and cook the other side. They take seconds. They also take seconds to be eaten by children.
This is a great video by a lovely lady who knows what she is doing.