Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recipe of the month: Badam Puri


Whenever I realize that I have to prepare an Indian sweet dish for a festival, party or pot-luck, I inevitably shudder. To call myself an amateur at making Indian sweets would be an understatement! So far, my Indian sweet-making repertoire has been limited to a few simple kheers, coconut burfi as well as gulab jamun and ras malai (made using the instant mix by the way!). For one who is really enjoys cooking, attempting to analyze why no efforts were made to learn comes to a very simple conclusion - I have never been overly fond of Indian sweets. Actually, come to think of it, I am not a dessert person to begin with. Probably the only few Indian sweets that I wholeheartedly relish are hot and crispy jelabis, kaju/badam burfis and motichoor laddus.

So one day, a week before Ganesh Chaturthi, I was on the phone with my MIL, lamenting bout my lack of interest/talent in sweet-making with regard to festival preparations and she immediately suggested that I try making badam puri. Not wanting to sound like an idiot, I racked my brain trying to remember what badam puris look and taste like. After listening to my ummmmm's and errrrrrr's I guess she figured out how clueless I was and proceeded to explain how she makes them.  I then remembered tasting them in the past and was relieved by a fleeting memory of even liking them. As is the case with most moms, she never uses a recipe because she can easily gauge the proportions and (unsurprisingly) they always turn out great. She convinced me that they are very easy to make and that it doesn't take too much skill. I figured this ought to be a very achievable task so I began hunting for a recipe on the internet. One of the very first recipes that I came across was from a nice blog called Sum's cuisineLooking at the recipe and pictures, I instinctively felt that this would turn out well and I was right. Although this sweet dish is called badam puri, it is not mandatory that it should have any 'badam' (almond) in it but you could garnish it with almond slivers if you like.

Here is the adapted recipe from the above-mentioned link. I modified it slightly according to my preferences and convenience. If you are intimidated by trying to prepare Indian sweets (like me), you should try this recipe. In my opinion, if I could do it....anyone can!

Preparation time : 1 hour
Recipe Level: Easy
Makes : ~20 badam puris
Recipe Source: Sum's Cuisine

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 cups maida (all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (Indian clarified butter)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a few sticks of cloves
a pinch of salt
Oil for deep frying
Water to make the dough

For the sugar syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
a few strands of saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)

For garnish:
Almond slivers (optional)
Dessicated coconut (optional)

Method:

For the dough:
  1. In a bowl, add ghee, baking powder, salt and turmeric and beat it for 5-10 minutes continuously
  2. Once the ghee forms a very smooth paste, add flour and mix thoroughly
  3. Add a little water and form a firm dough. The dough should not be as soft as chapathi/roti dough but resemble more of a firmer puri dough
  4. Knead the dough for at least 8-10 minutes ensuring there are no cracks in it
For the sugar syrup:
  1. In another vessel mix water and sugar and boil it. Add in a few stands of saffron to give it a nice yellow color. Cardamom powder may be added for enhanced aroma.
  2. The syrup should be thicker than that for gulab jamun so that the puris do retain crispiness, yet absorb the sweetness. Make sure that the sugar syrup has reached a consistency where it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
For the badam puris:
  1. Now make small TT-ball sized balls out of the dough
  2. Roll out puris of about 4” diameter. Dust the board with flour if it sticks. Once you have rolled it out, smear the surface with a little ghee.
  3. Fold it first into half and then fold it again, thus making it 4 layered.
  4. Slightly press it, using the rolling pin so that the layers are held closely. Insert a clove in the middle to keep the layers together.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry these rolled and folded puris one by one in medium low flame till golden brown. The puris puff up and increase in size when fried.
  6. Drain excess oil by spreading it on a kitchen towel / tissue
  7. Drop the puris one by one as they are fried into the hot sugar syrup
  8. After 2-3 minutes take out the sugar soaked puris from the syrup, in the order that they were dipped, and place them upright on a dry plate. If you don't like your sweet dish too sweet, dip them for a shorter time. You can garnish the badam puris with almond slivers or dessicated coconut if desired. I like them plain so I just leave them as they are.
  9. The coated syrup is absorbed and the badam puris become dry with a glistening surface in sometime
  10. Serve when still hot or after cooling

Notes:
  • Knead the dough enough to get a uniform texture
  • Try to get all the air out as you fold the puris otherwise bubbles start to form on the surface during frying
  • I am strictly against using food coloring in my cooking. If you want, you can use a few drops of yellow coloring but I find that adding turmeric powder is a safe and natural way of infusing color into dishes without altering the taste. Saffron although an expensive ingredient also infuses yellow color in addition to providing an exotic and deep aroma.
  • Do not wait for too long after the syrup is made, as the syrup starts solidifying when cooled
  • Remove the clove before you eat the badam puris because getting a whole clove in your mouth can be quite an overwhelming and unpleasant taste
  • I find that storing these badam puris in the fridge detracts from their taste so as far as possible try to finish them quickly!

6 comments:

  1. Well, I guess the dish has already become a hit ......... your creativity is genuine and amazing..... love it....
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  2. Wow!! I just searched for Badam Puri and got to your link! And was pleasantly surprised that you've mentioned me :) Cool!! You have a nice blog...

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  3. Hey thanks Sum! I have always wanted to tell u that I love ur recipe for Badam Puri! It works for me each time. A lot of my friends have taken the recipe from me :)

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  4. Very nice description.the sweet is mouthwatering.i hvnt tried it before.but after reading your step by step badam puri recipe , will defenitely try it.:) thanks a lot.

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  5. A very descriptive recipe. I love badam puris but was afraid of preparing on my own being thought that its a very hard one.but after reading your blog , i really was surprised and will definitely try it. Thanks a lot for this wonderful step by step recipe.:)

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  6. Thanks Nischitha. Please do try it....it is quite simple :)

    ReplyDelete

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