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Luchi is a type of flatbread made of deep-fried wheat-flour dough. It is a food item typical of northeastern Indian cuisine. More specifically, luchi is associated with the Indian states of Orissa and Assam, as well as the Bengal region, which comprises West Bengal state and parts of Bangladesh.
In addition to the flour, which comes from a refined product of wheat called maida, luchi requires salt, water and ghee, which is a type of butter that originated in South Asia. Some recipes add baking powder or milk. The ingredients are all mixed in a bowl to produce a dough, which is then kneaded until it is soft without being sticky. The dough is covered for 15 to 30 minutes, and after that portions of it are shaped into balls, then flattened and rounded. Some ghee, oil or shortening is heated in a pan for frying the flat and round dough.
Luchi is cooked pancake-style, with each side flipped over in the oil when golden brown. The frying process is very quick, lasting no longer than 10 seconds. The resulting flatbread has a diameter of about 4 or 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters). Luchi is typically eaten hot with any of the vast array of curries or stews popular in Southeast Asia, particularly India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It can also be eaten with vegetables.
When maida is substituted for atta, which is the Hindi word for whole wheat flour, luchi becomes poori. Also known as puri or boori, it is an unleavened bread that is usually eaten at breakfast in India, although it can also be treated as a light meal or snack. In some instances, luchi can be stuffed with spicy ingredients and turned into a snack called kachori. In the northern Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, people stuff luchi with a baked combination of ingredients that include green beans, chickpea flour, red chile powder and black pepper. People in the western Indian state of Gujarat usually add ginger paste to kachori.
Luchi is just one of the several types of flatbread that originates from the Indian subcontinent and enjoys widespread popularity in several Asian countries. Bhatoora is also deep-fried, but yeast is added for it to rise, and it has a fluffy texture. Chapati, like poori, is made of whole wheat flour, and naan is oven-baked rather than fried.
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