As she poured melted dalda (shortening) through the metal beaker spout over the flour mix, her wrinkly fingers & eyes from behind the glasses worked in unison. She knew how to ration every drop of flowing oil to get the right texture of her papris to a flaky wafer. Half teaspoon more and you overdo it, one teaspoon less and you have missed the ratios for sure.I have always know indian pastry doughs made by badi mummy (grandmom) as something which were either done perfect or not done at all.
I still shy away from measuring cups & spoons when making doughs, its something I do with pure impulse & feeling. The moment I start measuring,I start to doubt my dough handling skills. There is no fun left in it anymore. A sort of nervousness takes over.Doing it for years now, I now have a feel of just how grainy the oil moistened flour should feel & can decipher what a difference half a teaspoon here & there can make. At the same time it intimidates me how foolproof this indian way of cooking is. Imperfect yet classy in its own way.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sooji (semolina)
- 1/4 cup atta (durum whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)
- 3/4 tsp fine salt
- 2-3 tbsp canola/vegetable oil (see method )
- 1/3 cup+1 tbsp luke warm water (see method)
- Oil for frying