How to Make Poori (Fried Indian Flatbread)

Poori (Fried Indian Flatbread) on a plate

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yields: 8 to 10 pieces

Poori is a crispy, golden deep-fried Indian bread that can be served with any dish, whether vegetarian or not, and your favorite pickle. The perfect poori is pale golden in color and puffed up almost like a ball.

You can make poori with ingredients easily found in a typical grocery store, and you may already have them in your pantry. For authentic flavor, use ghee as your fat for adding to the dough and for frying. Poori is often paired with potato masala but is also delicious with any Indian-style dishes with a delicious gravy or sauce. Try pairing your homemade poori with masala dal or a fragrant curry.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water (approximately)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee, plus more for deep frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Poori (Fried Indian Flatbread) ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Place the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add salt to taste, about one healthy pinch.

    wheat flour in a large mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Add water, a little at a time, and mix the flour until a dough is formed. Adding less or more water may be necessary depending on the humidity in the air the day you are baking. Go slow with the water and add it only as needed as you go along. The dough should be medium-soft.

    wheat flour dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. The real secret of soft pooris lies in the kneading. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead until the dough is smooth and medium soft in consistency, taking care not to over-knead.

    kneading dough on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Add 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee to the dough and continue to kneed until the fat is incorporated and dough is silky in texture.

    wheat flour dough with oil

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

    dough covered in a towel

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Remove from the refrigerator and divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions. Roll these portions into balls between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.

    wheat flour dough balls

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Lightly flour a rolling board or clean counter surface and roll each ball into a 5-inch circle (4-5 mm thick). For convenience, roll out as many pooris as you like and stack them with plastic wrap in between each.

    wheat flour dough balls rolled out into round dough sheets on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Heat a shallow amount of oil or ghee in a thick-bottomed, high-sided pan on medium heat. Once hot, fry the pooris one at a time, pressing gently on each side with a slotted spoon. This will help the poori to puff up. Fry on the first side until golden then turn over and fry the same way on the other side.

    dough fried in a pan with oil

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining pooris and serve immediately.

    Poori (Fried Indian Flatbread) on top of paper towels

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Recipe Variation

Instead of water, you can use yogurt or milk. These substitutions make soft pooris.