When you live in another state or country some of the local habits really get to you. For example I was always astonished how some people could survive just on curd-rice for months on end. I love curd-rice, but really how can someone have it every single day?
Similarly one of my Telegu friends in Bangalore had this pet peeve about bong-land. He studied in IIT Kharagpore and he just couldn’t get how his classmates had luchi and tarkari every single morning at breakfast. He was just so done with it, that he never wanted to have it even once more.
Now I understand that every local culture has these foods which an outsider will just not understand. I have seen people skip 5-star buffets and reach straight for curd-rice, I have seen my husband who cannot make anything with any form of flour other than luchi, which by the way is not something simple to make.
Here goes the recipe or rather the procedure to make the perfect puffed up luchi. This goes best with the sada alur charchari.
- All purpose flour (maida) 2 cups
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. oil / ghee for shortening
- 1/4th cup of water
- Oil for deep frying
In a wide mouth bowl take all the dry ingredients and mix them really well. Now make a hole at the center of the flour mixture and pour oil or ghee into it. Mix the flour with the oil uniformly using your finger tips so that the texture becomes like breadcrumb.
Gradually add water to it. You need to be very careful about the quantity of water you add because your luchi won't come out nice if the dough is soggy. Work on the dough till it becomes smooth and soft and doesn't stick to your fingers.
Make small balls out of the dough. Roll out each balls uniformly into flat round discs of about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. If you are a beginner it perfectly fine to attempt to make the shape of each continent and country you know. Concentrate on making the luchi and not on it’s shape. Shape will come with time. You can cheat your self out by rolling in any shape and then cutting out round discs using a bowl or jar-lid.
Use few drops of oil to ease the process of rolling so that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
In a kadai or deep frying pan heat enough oil till it is piping hot but not smoky. The temperature of the oil is really important for the luchi to puff up, so test it by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If it jumps up to the surface immediately then it is the right time for the luchis to be released in the oil.
Gently release luchi one at a time to the oil. With a flat spatula or spoon push the luchi down and hold it under the oil. This is important to make the luchi puff up. As soon as the luchi is puffed up flip it over. Fry again for 10 secs.
Take it out of the oil with a slotted spoon. Repeat the process till you are done with your dough. As the temperature of the oil is really an important factor you may need to control the temperature by decreasing or increasing the heat throughout the frying process,