The other day it was Varalakshmi Vratham, so while my mother-in-law took care of all the puja, I took care of all the cooking. One of the dishes to be made was puran poli. Honestly, I could not wait to make this, but the process of resting the dough and pressure cooking the dal ensured that it was the last dish to be made. The puran polis came out great, soft, moist and filled with a lot of puran. I am not very fond of the ultra thin and dry polis that requires you to have a glass of water nearby whenever you are eating one. I love my polis to be plump with puran, soft, moist and fragrant with the smell of cardamom and nutmeg and this recipe produces such a poli.
They are actually quite easy to make the trick is to have a very soft dough. If you make the regular roti / paratha dough, it will be very difficult to roll, your puran poli will end up as a disaster during rolling. Also ensure that you thicken the channa dal and jaggery / gur mixture by evaporating as much water as possible without burning it. Remember that the puran will thicken as it cools down, thick enough to roll out in soft round balls.
I do apologise for the lack of photos of the finished product, you see my hungry hubby was glaring at me for cooling all the hot rotis while I snapped photos.
Makes 8 polis
For the poli
1 cup whole wheat flour / atta
1 cup all purpose flour / maida
2 tbsp oil
a pich of salt
water, for kneading to a soft dough
10 tsp oil
oil for toasting the roti
some whole wheat flour for dusting and rolling
For the puran
1 cup channa dal ( split, Bengal Gram dal )
1 cup jaggery / gur , powdered and packed in the cup
1/8 tsp cardamom powder / elaichi powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder / jaiphal powder
- Mix the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add 2 tsp of oil and rub it in the flour mixture. Now add the water a little at a time and make a really soft dough. It should not be sticky, just very soft.
- Once the dough is formed, add another 2 tsp oil to the dough and knead it in. Cover with a damp cloth / kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
- After the 1 hour remove the damp towel and add another 2 tsp of oil to the dough and knead it in and let it rest for another 15 mins. Repeat this process for a total of 4-5 times or when the oil is all finished up, letting it rest for 15 mins in between each addition of oil.The end result with be this super soft, nearly pizza-dough consistency. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside till ready to roll.
- Pressure cook the channa dal with lots of water ( I let it cook till 3 whistles are blown ). If you do not have a pressure cooker, just soak the channa dal for 30 minutes and cook in a pot with lots of water on the stove, till fully cooked.
- Wait for the pressure to go before opening the pressure cooker. Drain the dal properly ( you can use this water to make Katachi Amti , I will give that recipe another time ). Now add the drained dal and jaggery to a medium saucepan and cook on a low to medium heat . Keep stirring intermittently to ensure that it does not stick at the bottom. Once the jaggery melts it will look very watery, but it will cook down. Remove from the stove once the water is evaporated, it will still look soft and mushy, but it does thicken after it cools down thoroughly. Make sure you do not evaporate all the water and dry the mixture out, unless, you are specifically looking to make dry polis :o)
- When it cools a little add the cardamom and nutmeg powders and mix well. The end result should look like a thick paste, if the paste is not homogeneous put it in a blender and grind it to a smooth paste.
- Divide the dough into roughly 8 round balls. Also go ahead and divide the puran into roughly 8 balls. Just make sure that the puran balls are nearly twice the size of the dough balls.
- Take one round ball of the dough and roll it out roughly to a round of about 3-inch in diameter. Place the puran ball in the center and bring up the edges of the dough to cover the puran fully. Flatten the round a bit with your hand and dust with some whole wheat flour and roll out to an 8-inch in diameter, round circle.
- Add a little oil to your tawa / griddle / non-stick pan ( preferred) and place the poli on it. When you see bubbles forming on the top side , add a little oil and flip it. Cook on both sides once again till the poli is fully cooked and had some brown spots on it. Do the same with the rest of the polis.
- Serve warm with a dollop of ghee / clarified butter on top. Enjoy your poli and then get ready for a sweet nap* !
Channa Dal ( split Begal Gram Dal )
Jaggery / Gur.
Puran is made up of channa dal and gur cooked together.
The cooked and cooled down puran. Moist yet firm enough for a spoon to stand on its own.
Make round balls of both the puran and the poli dough. Note that the puran balls are bigger than the poli balls, it doesn't show that well in the photos.
Make equal number of balls for both the puran and the poli dough.
Dust the dough with ample flour, as the dough is too soft and will get sticky.
Place a ball of puran on the poli round.
Cover up the puran with the poli dough. The dough is very flexible, so it can be pulled and stretched over the puran.
Flatten it lightly with your hand and roll it out.
Make an 8-9 inch diameter round. Roll lightly or else the stuffing will burst out.
Lightly grease your non stick pan or tawa.
Toast both sides properly till fully cooked.
Enjoy warm puran polis with a dollop of pure ghee on top.
* Nutmeg causes a little drowsiness and so if you need to be fully awake after this, do not eat it...
I remember when our hostel owners made this for us the day before exams. Needless to say we were in a food coma the whole day and did not get in any last minute cramming !! ( the speciality of yours truly ).
I am sending this recipe to Kalyani's Indian Mithai Mela. Also sending this to Anu's Healthy Kitchen. Thank you so much for hosting this event.