Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Puri and Sardine Perattal (Dry Curry)

Puri is a deep fried Indian bread that is eaten as breakfast or a snack. Like dosai, it too can be served with a variety of curries and chutneys. Mum serves this as dinner with a sardine and potato dip, which over the years has become a comfort food for Paul and I.

2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon butter
¾ teaspoon salt
Just over ½ cup of water
Oil for deep frying

Sardine Perattal
½ onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 slices of ginger, minced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 star anise
3 medium-large potatoes, diced
1 large tin of sardines or pilchard in tomato sauce
2-4 teaspoon chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it)
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ lime

Rub the butter into the seasoned flour in a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre, pour the water into it and stir the dough in by hand. Kneed the dough well until smooth (not sticky or too dry) and leave it aside to rest for five to ten minutes. Roll out ping pong ball-sized dough into 2mm thick circles and deep fry them one at a time in hot oil. Spoon the hot oil over the top side of the puri to allow it to puff up into a ball (it will taste just as good even if it doesn’t). Turn over to the other side and fry until both sides are golden. Remove them from oil and place them on some kitchen roll or a colander to drain excess oil away.

Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and spices in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and season with salt. A splash of water is poured in to prevent the potatoes from burning. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, chilli powder and simmer the curry until the potatoes are soft. Pour in the tinned sardines together with it's tomato sauce and squeeze in the lime juice. Simmer for another five minutes and serve the perattal with puri.

Tip: Left over puri dough and sardine dip can be turned into this.

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