Apr 28, 2010

How to make Puran poli- festival recipes

      Puran polis are always a favourite . My friends know how I adore these sweet polis and its sure to be there in the menu when I am invited to their homes during my India visits.I have tried my hand in making them around three times in last five years. Somehow I have always thought it was a time consuming and difficult and messy job to make them, but whatever, the results are definitely worth the efforts.
           I remember a very funny incident when I was making them for the first time after I got married. I had just come to Singapore and one fine day I decided to make these polis. I had not got too accustomed to the fine granulated sugar available here instead of the regular crystals we use in India. It looks very similar to salt. And in the excitement of attempting the puran ( sweet stuffing for the stuffing) for the first time, I added two heaped spoonfuls of salt to the cooked channa dal. When I realised this, I was in tears and felt so helpless. Fortunately my sis was with me and both of us managed to mix a huge quantity of sugar and jaggery to shield the taste of salt in the puran. Finally the polis turned out quite good and I was thankful that the whole thing was consumed without ending up in the trash.  Today, we have a hearty laugh whenever we remember the incident especially when we have puran polis.
         People in South India use maida for the cover while in North India generally use wheat flour. I will be certainly trying with the maida someday and posting it in my blog. While some use sugar , others use jaggery for the stuffing. Some even use a combination of both. I used jaggery this time. I add a little sugar to make it more sweeter if needed. So here we go to the recipe.
puran poli

Wheat flour/atta- 2 cups
Salt- a pinch
Oil- 2tsp

Channa dal- 1 cup
Jaggery- 1 cup or more
Cardamom powder- 1tsp
Nutmeg powder/jaiphal/jathikai - 1/2tsp

Ghee- 1 tbsp + for brushing on the polis/parathas

puran poli
For the stuffing
   Wash the channa dal well and cook it in a pressure cooker till well cooked and somewhat mushy. Now drain the water. You can reserve the water to make a side dish called aamti(maharahtrian cuisine).
Heat ghee in a pan. Add the cooked dal along with the jaggery. Cook well till the jaggery melts and mixes well with the dal.Add the cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Mix well.
     Allow this to cool and grind it in a mixer till you get a smooth paste.
( It takes around 10-15 minutes to grind properly. Initially , you may feel there is lot of moisture in the mixture. But as you grind it, the mixture becomes quite dry , but binds well, consistency very apt for stuffing.)

For the cover
Make a firm dough with atta and water adding a little salt to atta. Add oil to make the dough non sticky.

Shape the dough and the stuffing to small balls. Roll the atta into a circle. Place the stuffing in the center of the circle. Seal them. Roll into a circle. Heat a tava. Place the roti on the tava. Cook till brown spots appear on it. Brush some ghee on top and cook well on both sides.
  Serve hot.
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