Pooris are a delicious deep-fried Indian bread and the addition of sweetened almond paste makes them even harder to resist. Pooris (or puris) are enjoyed throughout India and are eaten particularly on festive occasions and holidays. This particular recipe is a favorite among both kids and adults alike. These pooris can be eaten for breakfast or as a light snack or meal and are especially great for picnics since they travel well. For a completely savory version, just omit adding the sugar altogether.
Almonds are both very healthy & nutritious; they contain large amounts of Vitamin B-12 and also Vitamin E. They are also thought to contain cholesterol lowering properties & promote overall cardiovascular health. Almonds may also help in lowering one’s risk for diabetes. Almonds are a large part of the heart smart Mediterranean diet & should be consumed daily in its raw form (in moderation, of course) for maximum benefits.
BADAM POORI (Almond Poori)
½ cup silvered almonds, soaked in enough warm water to cover for at least 1 hour
a few tbsp of whole milk, as needed
2 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
¼ cup sugar, to taste
a few tbsp of all-purpose flour, as needed
pinch of ground cardamom powder
pinch of ground allspice powder
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
oil for deep frying
Drain the almonds (reserving the water/liquid for later use) and grind to a fine smooth paste using a few tbsp of whole milk as needed. The almond paste should be fairly thick, so do not add too much milk. Set aside until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the sugar. Mix together & slowly add the reserved almond water while kneading until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is sticky, add a little all-purpose flour as needed. Next, add the spices (ground cardamom powder, ground allspice powder & freshly grated nutmeg). Then carefully mix the ground almond paste into the dough, adding a little extra flour if needed.
Using a clean work surface sprinkled with some all-purpose flour, gently knead the dough and divide it equally into round balls (roughly ping pong ball size). At this point, you can use a poori machine (similar to a tortilla press) or a rolling pin to make the pooris. Roll them out evenly into round circles (4-5 inches in diameter). Heat a deep skillet with enough oil to deep fry. When hot, carefully add the pooris (2-3 at a time) and fry until golden brown. You may need to fry them in batches. Drain well and serve immediately with your favorite sweet chutney and yogurt.
Instead of using freshly grated nutmeg, you could add a pinch of saffron or a pinch of chai masala (about ¼ tsp).
You can also add a little sweetened coconut flakes to the dough to make Almond Coconut Pooris.
Almond pooris can also be served along with shrikhand (sweetened yogurt).