Celebrity cook/author/Sunday Times columnist Asha Maharaj shares a simple but delicious recipe with us: absolutely divine Banana Puri
2 cups cake flour
1 cup cornflour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 Tbs solid ghee or melted butter
mixture of milk and soured milk or plain yoghurt
(about two cups)
melted ghee as needed for basting
cornflour for sprinkling over
tinted coconut for decoration
Method: Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Rub in the ghee, add milk mixture and make firm, pliable dough. Divide into 16 pieces, rolling each into a circle 20cm in diameter. Brush each with melted ghee, except one. Sift cornflour over basted pastry and place one over the other. Cover top one with unbasted pastry.
Roll out the whole stack into a large circle, 35 to 40cm in diameter (roll the stack as for a jam roll), and seal the edge with water to prevent it opening out when frying. Cut into 2.5cm width. Roll out cut pieces into 10 to 12cm lengths. Fry one at a time in moderately hot oil until crisp and puffed to show layers of pastry. Drain well from oil.
To serve: Sprinkle castor sugar liberally on to banana puri, and decorate by sprinkling coconut, white or coloured, on top. And by the way, the name banana comes not from any fruit ingredient, but rather, from the shape of the puri!
Tip: For extra flavour, add a few drops of rose essence to milk mixture.