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Poori is an Indian bread made from wheat flour that is fried so that the dough puffs up. It does not have your typical "tzurat hapas", at least when it's fully puffed up. (See What blessing is made on a taco, burrito, or plain flour tortilla?) BTW, poori is astoundingly delicious plain, and even better with chutney :-)

Do you wash and say Hamotzi for this or any other deep fried wheat flour bread, or is it mezonot because it is fried and not baked?

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Sounds like a noodle. –  Double AA Jul 9 at 2:44
    
@DoubleAA - The method sounds similar to how they make "Chinese noodles", but if you see the pic on the web site, it's not even close to it. –  DanF Jul 9 at 13:02
    
I mean Halachicly. –  Double AA Jul 9 at 14:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This was the subject of a dispute between Rishonim.

The Gemara in Berachos 37b says that cooking ( = heating through a liquid medium) bread (meaning baking it, then cooking it) does not remove it from its bread status, as long as it has the appearance of bread

אמר רב ששת האי חביצא אף על גב דלית ביה פרורין כזית מברך עליו המוציא לחם מן הארץ אמר רבא והוא דאיכא עליה תוריתא דנהמא

The question is if cooking it can make it into bread to start.

Rabbeinu Tam (cited in Tosefos s.v. לחם on Berachos 37b) held that anything which started off as regular dough, even if subsequently fried, is Hamotzi, based on a Mishnah in Maseches Challah:

ופסק ר"ת אם כן בניבלי"ש ורישולא"ש דתחלתן עיסה מברכין עליהן המוציא וחייבין בחלה אף על פי דסופן סופגנין ... דהא לעיל קתני נטלן לאכלן מברך עליהן המוציא גבי מנחה אף על פי דעכשיו הם סופגנין שהמנחות מטוגנות בשמן.

The Chazon Ish explained the position of Rabbeinu Tam to be that the frying/cooking of the dough serves as its baking. The Mishna Berura (168:82) explains that Rabbeinu Tam held that the status of Hamotzi is conferred at the point of its being dough, and it does not lose this status through cookings, as per the Baraisa on Berachos 37a that cooking bread does not remove it's Hamotzi status.

Rabbeinu Shimshon, commenting to the Mishna in Challah (1:5) says that even if the cooked/fried dough has the appearance of bread it does not get Hamotzi but rather Mezonos, as Hamotzi is a result of specifically baking. His opinion is cited by Rabbeinu Yona, and Beis Yosef brings many opinions who agree with him.

Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 168:13) cites both opinions, bringing the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam as a "there are those who say." The Rama says we are lenient, which is explained by the commentaries to mean we follow the first opinion and say mezonos. The Shulchan Aruch concludes that someone with fear of Heaven should be stringent to only eat this type of bread when they have made Hamotzi on other bread (which has no doubt about it's Hamotzi-ness).

The definition of "תאר לחם" - appearance of bread - is a gray area, but judging from the pictures that come up when following your link, it is no worse than kreplach, which the Rama explicitly identifies as having the appearance of bread.

It is worth noting that the Taz (168:19) holds that any dough fried in oil automatically becomes (at best) Pas Haba B'kisanin according to Rabbeinu Tam, as being cooked in oil is no better/worse than having oil kneaded into the dough, and therefore would be Mezonos unless one ate an amount that would make a meal.

CYLOR, but I would conclude that this is included in this dispute and one should preferably make Hamotzi on other bread.

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@LazerA See edit. I mushed together two points in my memory and mixed up something the Orach Hashulchan says in another sugya. You can flag this to delete once you see it. –  YeZ Jul 10 at 22:15

It seems that poori is deep-fried, in which case it is not bread (not even pas haba b'kisnin) and is always mezonos/al hamichya no matter how much is eaten. (Deep frying is the halachic equivelant of cooking. See The Halachos of Brachos by Rabbi Pinchos Bodner, ch.27.)

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Thanks. This is good. If possible, please link your sources. –  DanF Jul 9 at 13:03
    
@DanF I don't believe Rabbi Bodner's book is available online. He writes that deep-frying is "halachically equivalent" to cooking, and he cites oral statements that he received from R' S.Z. Auerbach and R' Elyashiv. –  LazerA Jul 9 at 13:11
    
@DanF -- try here (not a link to source .... but just to show you the source ;) –  Shokhet Jul 9 at 13:21

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