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puri dough

A batch of my Puris

Puri, A Delicious Indian Bread

Recipe by Suchilla Leslie

Puri is one of several kinds of Indian bread. The soft type is eaten with curries most often. There is also a a crisp version that is generally eaten as a snack with a savory sauce. This popular snack is Pani Puri. The sauces is quite liquid, therefore it's name Pani, meaning water in Hindi.

There are numerous recipes for puris. They also differ in size and shape, from the basic to exotic puris with herbs and spices, small dainty puris to large puris, from shapes that are round, square, diamond shaped & ovals to triangles. Puris are fried in ghee, making them very rich and also cholesterol laden, or fried in oil. Here is an example of Puri/Poori with a herb.

Because Puris are generally rich I would not recommend it for everyday fare, but served on special occasions, puris are delicious and make excellent accompaniments to curries and snacks such as Patha. Laying the puris on paper towels after frying does help to remove excess oil.

I have been making puris over the years, but recently when visiting a dear friend, Suchilla Leslie, I tasted the most delicious puris that were cooked to perfection & not soaking in oil. Sushie, as we like to call her told me the secret of her non-oily puris. She uses 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour. As soon as I was able to, I tried Sushie's puri recipe. I am very pleased with the results and therefore I am sharing it with you

Suchilla is also a talented cook, & a warm host who has many recipes to share. Here is her puri recipe.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tblsp. soft butter or ghee
  • ¾cup milk
  • canola oil for deep frying


  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Rub in butter/ghee
  • Add milk. If dough is too dry, do add more milk, a little at a time, to make soft dough
  • Knead dough for about 5 minutes
  • Divide dough into 4 balls (See image)
  • On a bread board, using a rolling pin, roll one ball at a time or
  • You may choose to make several small ping pong sized balls and roll them individually
  • When rolling dough, dust the board as well as the rolling pin with flour. You may repeat this to make rolling easier. It prevents the dough sticking to the board or rolling pin
  • It is less time consuming to roll one large ball, then cut them into rounds, diamond shapes or rectangles
  • When you roll the puris, lightly dust flour on the surface of the tray that will hold the puris once you have shaped them
  • When the tray is full, simply top it with a layer of cling wrap or lunch wrap. Then add new puris that are cut, on the layer of cling wrap. You may choose to just use another tray
  • When all the puris are rolled, heat oil
  • Get all your tools, such as a slotted spoon, some spoons or forks to turn the frying puri, paper towels and a container to receive the fried puris. You have to work quickly so make sure all this is in place before you begin frying
  • The oil should be between a high-medium temperature. Test a small piece of dough. It should sizzle
  • Now fry the puris, about 4 at a time to begin with
  • The puris will swell up, quickly turn to fry the other side and remove on a slotted spoon. The puris should not brown. Press with another spoon to drain oil. Keep on a container which is lined with paper-towel
  • When all puris have been fried, top with a paper towel & cover. This helps to keep the puris soft
  • Serve with your favorite curries or with Delicious Patha
puri dough

Another batch of my Puris

 Fried Puris

Just Fried Puris draining on paper towel

puris frying

Puris frying in hot oil

puri dough rolled and shaped

The Puri dough, rolled & then cut into round shapes

puri dough

The Puri dough formed by mixing all ingredients. Then divided into 4 balls of dough, for easy rolling & shaping

An image of a rolling pin to indicate a different segment

About Suchilla

Picture of Suchilla Leslie

Suchilla Leslie

A plate of Puri and Patha, a savory Indian starter

A delicious plate of Puri Patha,(made the traditional way), by Suchilla

Suchilla Leslie (nee Soni) was my supervisor at Durban Indian Child Welfare Society in Durban, South Africa. She taught me so much, techniques to interview, to write reports, to empathize and to be kind and gentle, like she was with us, fledgling social workers. Although we have been separated by cities for several years, and now by continents, I am still grateful for knowing a special person like Suchilla Leslie

In her years of work with the National Council for Child and Family Welfare, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Suchilla worked on important projects to ensure the rights of children. This included research and collaboration with other resources to end child trafficking and all forms of economic exploitation of children. She also recommended and drew attention for the need to improve the facilities and the care of children placed in residential and private homes.

Her work has influenced current legislation in the South African Childrens' Bill, for the prevention of exploitation of children in any form. She has been recognized for her work with several awards.

If you have any questions or would like to add a recipe of your own, email me, Nirmala, at

I will be happy to help in any way I can. The site will be regularly updated with tasty recipes, hints and tips. You can also reach me via the Contact Form

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