Permanent link to archive for 15/10/09. Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Manoj Chronicles

Pumpkin Man:

My Dad is unwell so I'm keeping a close watch on him from my office that adjoins his bedroom. In the meantime I'm blogging away merrily.

I did a search for something and fell upon some articles written by Manoj, a friend and facilitator of my classes on La Trobe University Campus earlier this year. It's nice to read a report written by someone else for a change. I especially liked part 4 and part 5.

By the way, just in case you'll ask, that's not my Dad, nor is it Manoj cutting the pumpkins.

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/09; 12:01:50 PM from the dept.

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The Manoj Chronicles


pooris completed!:

Melissa from Australia wrote:

"Hello, I would love to make a chickpea curry and I would like to serve it up with Poori but don't have a recipe. I would love it if you could give me a recipe for Poori. By the way your recipes are by far the best i've come across on the internet. Thanks a bunch. Warm regards Melissa."

North Indian Puffed Fried Breads (Poories)

Popular over all of India, pooris are ideal to cook for small dinners, parties or even festivals with hundreds of guests. On a number of occasions, I've cooked 500 or more pooris in a few hours for big feasts. Once you get the rhythm down, it's effortless and rewarding. Pooris are traditionally made with straight wholemeal flour, but you can vary the ingredients. One-half chapati flour or atta, and one-half unbleached plain flour makes lighter breads.

If you're expert at rolling, try using just plain flour for translucent, gossamer-thin pooris. You can add yeast to your pooris for light, bread-like results, or add spices to your dough; you can sprinkle sugar on top of pooris for a sweet snack, or you can stuff them with various sweet and savoury fillings. Pooris are traditionally eaten hot, straight out of the ghee or oil, and are even great served at room temperature for picnics or snacks when travelling. Makes about 16 pooris.

2 cups sifted atta flour or half atta and half-unbleached plain flour,
½ teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee,
2/3 cup warm water, or as needed,
ghee or oil for deep-frying.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter or ghee until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add up to 2/3 cup of water, slowly pouring in just enough to form a medium-soft kneadable dough. Turn the dough onto a clean working surface and knead for 5 - 8 minutes or until silky smooth. Cover with an overturned bowl and leave for ½ - 3 hours.

Knead the dough again for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 16 portions, roll them into smooth balls, and cover them with a damp cloth.

poories ahoy!:

Preheat the ghee or oil in a wok or deep pan over low heat. Roll all the balls of dough into smooth disks about 11½ - 12½ cm wide with a rolling pin. Increase the ghee or oil temperature until it reaches about 185°C/365°F.

rollin, rollin, rollin:

Lift up a rolled poori and slip it into the hot oil, making sure it doesn't fold over. It will sink to the bottom then immediately rise to the surface. Hold it under the surface with a slotted spoon until it puffs up into a balloon. After a few seconds, when it is browned to a light-golden colour, turn it over and cook the other side to an even golden colour. Lift out the poori with the slotted spoon and carefully drain it in a large colander.


Repeat for all the pooris. Serve immediately, if possible, or leave in a preheated, slightly warm oven for up to 2 hours.

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/09; 11:42:25 AM from the dept.

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Moron Cutting Boards

what a nice cutting board:

Mario from St Andrews, NSW, wrote more on cutting boards:

"I read with great interest you opinion on wooden cutting boards in "Backblog # 1 Wooden Versus Plastic Cutting Boards".

I can still remember the debate in butcher shops because they were forced to throw away the old wooden chopping blocks and buy new plastic ones. As it happenned, chemicals had to be used extensively to sterilize these new blocks. Not long after the decision had to be reversed because it was found that wood, even years after being cut from the tree, still retained its natural ability to neutralize bacteria.

A useful experiment, although a bit wasteful, is to place a piece of home made paneer on a wooden board and one on a plastic board. Put them out of reach of children and leave them for a week. Interesting results:

The panir on the plastic board becomes quite slimey and unpleasant looking and smelling while the second piece on the wooden board starts to harden with a small amount of growth which resembles normal cheese production."

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/09; 11:04:06 AM from the dept.

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Moron Cutting Boards

A Load of Bollards! What's Wrong With This Picture?

what's wrong with this picture:

These workmen are cleaning up at the end of the day after installing bollards to stop nurses from parking on the pavement outside Belfast's Royal Hospital. What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by Kurma on 15/10/09; 9:18:06 AM from the dept.

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A Load of Bollards! What's Wrong With This Picture?

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