Have you ever left your roti atta in the refrigerator and forgotten about it? In our house, we have. Our refrigerator is a big one, and while cleaning it out last Sunday, we unearthed a little ball of roti atta that had changed colour, but it was still good to go. It was almost a week old-five days at least-and since it just happened to be the eighth day of Navratri (Ashtami), we decided to make puris using the sour atta. A fan of all things sour, especially when it comes to bread, this was surprising and new even for me.
Now before I’m bombarded with health questions for even suggesting that you keep your dough in the refrigerator for that long, let me clarify that I intentionally want it to sour, but by keeping it in a container where it can ferment slowly and become the dough that I would finally use for the puris. These are khatte atte ji puris and I like to eat them with this potato sabzi that I absolutely love. It’s definitely not the healthiest because you have to begin by frying the potatoes, but it’s the taste of these potatoes that connects me to my Sindhi roots. I’ve grown up eating these in packed lunches on special days and mum can make these with her eyes closed. It’s really that simple.
Khatte Atte Ki Puri With Aloo Tamatey Mein
Yield 24 small puris
The puris are made from sour or khatta atta and served with a spicy tomato and potato sabzi. I've only tried fermenting the dough for up till 5 days, and don't know how the dough would react to a longer fermentation time.
SOUR DOUGH PURIS
Atta or Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil for frying
ALOO TAMATEY MEIN
Potatoes 3 large, sliced thinly
Tomatoes 2 large, grated
Green chillies 2, chopped
Ginger 1 tsp, grated
Fresh Coriander 2 tbsp, chopped
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Ground coriander 1 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida or hing 1/4 tsp
Mix the ingredients for the sour dough puris together adding in 1/8 cup water at a time with your hand in a bear claw motion until everything comes together into a ball. Knead the dough until it goes from being shaggy and hard to a pliable dough but which is still slightly firmer than regular roti dough.
Let this dough sit in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or until it smells sour.
On the day you’re making the puris, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it thaw on the countertop. Once the dough has thawed, heat the vegetable oil in a kadai. Divide the dough into little balls and roll one out into a thin circle.
Slip one rolled out puri into the large kadai with the hot oil and using a slotted spoon, gently press down the puri as it balloons in the oil. In about 10-12 seconds, flip the puri to cook and brown on the other side using the slotted spoon. Cook for 10-12 seconds more, then drain onto paper towels.
Repeat for the rest of the puris.
Once all the puris are done frying, add the sliced potatoes to the hot oil and let them fry till they have cooked through. Drain the potatoes from the hot oil using the slotted spoon and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tsp of the hot oil from the kadai and to this, add the asafoetida powder. Working quickly, add the grated tomatoes, ginger, asafoetida and green chilli. Let this mixture cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes.Then, add the turmeric, red chilli powder and salt to the tomatoes and continue to cook until the oil separates from the sides of the cooking tomato gravy.
Add the ground coriander powder next followed by the potatoes, and finally the fresh coriander leaves. Toss the potatoes in the tomato gravy using a metal spatula so as to not break the potatoes. Serve hot with the puris.