Paal Puri/Badam Puri

I’m quite picky about the Indian sweets I like and Paal Puri is one of those decadent indulgences! ‘Paal’ is milk in Tamil. And the dish is pretty straight-forward – Puri dipped in flavored milk. My sister and I have been trying to trace the origin of this dish but haven’t really been able to. On our maternal side, it was usually made for Krishna Jayanthi. On the paternal side, it was made for Tulsi pooja and Ramnavami (one section of the family calls it Badam Puri).

My sister made this over the weekend, and I was her sous chef. While the puris are traditionally made using maida (all-purpose flour), we decided to keep it a little healthy and used whole wheat flour instead. 

This is a dish that’s close to my heart, simply because it reminds me of family, festivals and home-cooked meals.

Paal Puri

Ingredients:

For the milk mixture:
Almonds – 60 (80 gms approx.)
Cashew nut – 18 (25 gms approx.)
Milk – 2.5 cups
Saffron (optional) – a pinch
Sugar – 8 tbsp
Water – 2 tbsp approx.

For the puri:
Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Warm water
Ghee – 2 tbsp

For deep-frying:
Vegetable Oil – 500 ml approx.

Method:

Milk mixture

  • Soak the almonds overnight, in about a cup of water
  • Soak the cashew nuts for about 30 minutes in a cup of warm water
  • Remove the skin of the almonds and place in a mixer
  • Add the cashew nuts to this and grind to a smooth paste; add about 2 tablespoons of water, if required, to reach the desired consistency
  • Heat the milk in a saucepan along with sugar for about 5 minutes on medium flame
  • Add the almond-cashew nut paste to this and stir on medium to low flame, ensuring that nothing sticks to the bottom of the vessel
  • Cook this for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

Paal Puri

  • Remove from heat and add in the saffron and stir; set this aside
  • The milk will thicken a little as it continues to rest

Puri

  • Combine whole wheat flour and salt in a bowl and form a dough using warm water
  • The dough must be firm
  • Divide the dough into three portions

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  • Roll out the first portion to about 22-25 cms in diameter and spread about a tablespoon of ghee all over

Paal Puri

  • Roll out the second portion of dough and place it over the first one; spread another tablespoon of ghee over this

Paal Puri

  • Repeat this with the third portion of dough and place over the two layers of dough

Paal Puri

  • You will have three layers of dough, one on top of each other 
  • Now begin folding this layered dough inwards, as shown in the photograph below

Paal Puri

 

Paal Puri

  • Divide the dough into about 13 balls

Paal Puri

  • Heat oil in a wok for deep-frying
  • Take one ball of dough and roll out like a puri (dusting with flour if required)

Paal Puri

  • Do not roll it out too thin, otherwise the puri will not puff up
  • Once the oil is hot enough, slip in the rolled out puri and press down with a slotted ladle till till puffs up (this takes a few seconds)
  • Turn it over and cook till it is golden brown
  • Drain from oil and transfer to a container lined with paper towels to help remove excess oil
  • Do this with the remaining 12 balls of dough

Paal Puri

Assembling the dish

  • Pour the prepared milk mixture into a wide and flat-bottomed dish

Paal Puri

  • Place the first puri in the mixture using tongs and leave for a couple seconds before turning over, ensuring the puri is covered in milk 

Paal Puri

 

Paal Puri

  • Using the tongs, fold the puri in half and then again, to form a triangle

Paal Puri

  • Repeat this procedure with the remaining 12 puris and line them in the dish
  • Serve immediately or cover with cling wrap and allow to rest
  • You can also serve it chilled
  • Any remaining puris can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

Notes:
– Prepare the dough just before you are going to make the puris and not ahead of time
– The layering of the dough helps keep the puris flaky like puff pastry

Paal Puri

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