As she poured meltedÂ daldaÂ (shortening)Â through the metal beaker spout over the flour mix, her wrinkly fingers & eyes from behind the glasses worked in unison.Â She knew how to ration every drop of flowing oil to get the right texture of herÂ paprisÂ to a flaky wafer. Half teaspoon more and you overdo it, one teaspoon less and you have missed the ratios for sure.I have always know indian pastry doughs made by badi mummy (grandmom) as something which were either done perfect or not done at all.
I still shy away from measuring cups & spoons when making doughs, its something I do with pure impulse & feeling. The moment I start measuring,I start to doubt my dough handling skills. There is no fun left in it anymore. A sort of nervousness takes over.Doing itÂ for years now, I now have a feel of just how grainy the oil moistened flour should feelÂ & can decipher what a difference half a teaspoon here & there can make. At the same time it intimidates me how foolproof this indian way of cooking is. Imperfect yet classy in its own way.
Las Vegas is quite a sob story when it comes toÂ chaat.Â The less I talk aboutÂ what they serveÂ at indian restaurants in here, the better.I made papriÂ chaat last week to salvage our month long cravings.FromÂ halalÂ food stalls in Times Square & food trucks in LA toÂ Toofani chaatÂ corners in Allahabad &Â kathiÂ roll vendors in Delhi, me & P Â share an endless love. Creative, delicious, affordable, addictive, filling ..I fall short of adjectives to describe the street food experience. Its pure joy, a soul satisfying, deep fried haven for us. Whenever I make it at home, I choose to overlook healthy options, its like stealing the soul of chaat – I feel strongly about it.
‘Chaat’ is a generic word used for savory delicacies served at roadside stalls in India.The best part about indian street food is that it can be made to please all tastebuds- you decide how spicy, tangy, salty or hot you want it.Â Papri or PapdiÂ are deep fried,wafer like salted discs which are served with a “to taste” Â assortment of chickpeas or dried peas, hari (green) & imli (tamarind) chutneys,chopped /grated vegetables, powdered spices & yogurt. Its messy, crumbly, tangy, crunchy..oh so good!
Papri/Papdi Â (Yields about 40-50Â papris)
NoteÂ :Â AjwainÂ or Carrom Seeds aid in digestion & add a typical aroma & taste to the dough.
You can skip them if you dont have them & still make theÂ papris.
Assembling a Papri Chaat Platter to Serve 2 :-
In a bowl, mix together the flours,Â ajwainÂ & salt. Start with 2 tbsp of oil Â and start working it into the mixture. Keep on adding oil a teaspoon at a time & working it into the flour till you areÂ justÂ able to form a firm ball of the flour between your fingers.
Next, slowly add the water (1/4 cup to start with) and start kneading the dough. We are looking for a firm dough here (not soft & pliable).Knead the dough on a hard surface for about 3-4 minutes.Do not over knead.When just kneaded,the dough will appear tight & hard but don’t worry, after resting it will be okay.
Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth & let rest for at least 20 minutes. (do not skip this step)
Divide the rested dough into about 3 equal parts.Â Take one part and roll it into a thin sheet.The sheet should be rolled as thin as a cotton cloth. Once rolled, if you want you can prick the sheet with a fork to prevent puffing while frying. I preferÂ paprisÂ slightly puffed so I do not prick. Use a round cookie cutter or a jar lid to cut into round shapes. Transfer the rounds to a plate & place covered with damp cloth till you are about to fry.Â Gather the remaining dough & repeat rolling & cutting till whole of the dough is exhausted.Â Â Repeat the same for all portions of the dough.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. The quantity of oil used should be enough to cover theÂ paprisÂ completely while they fry. To check the temperature of oil, pinch a little dough & tip it into the heating oil. The dough should sizzle to the top slowly without changing color. If it sizzles immediately, reduce the heat & let the oil temperature come down.
Tip in the cutÂ paprisÂ into the heated oil, few at a time. Do not overcrowd or stack theÂ paprisÂ in the frying pan. Fry theÂ paprisÂ on medium-low heat until both sides are golden brown (about 3-5 minites).Â PaprisÂ should be fried at medium- low heat else they will become soft after cooling.
Remove brownedÂ paprisÂ with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.Fry all theÂ paprisÂ in batches.
Cool completely & immediately store in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.
For assemblingÂ chaatÂ Â :-
Layer theÂ paprisÂ in a plate. You can crush them into bite size pieces if you want or make individual servings. Top with boiled chickpeas & potatoes.Drizzle with yogurt,Â chutneysÂ & chopped onions. SprinkleÂ kala namak,Â chaat masala,Â roasted cumin powder & red pepper flakes if using. Top up with chopped cilantro &Â sev. Serve immediately.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by.