Puran Poli is a traditional and popular Maharashtrian flat sweetbread that is prepared in Maharashtrian households during every major festivities and celebrations.
In fact, Puran Polis are the major highlight in Maharashtrian homes for the festival of Holi and the aroma of ghee roasted Polis emanating from the kitchens of several houses fill up the locality during Holi. The ritual of making Puran Polis for Holi is an old one and it was offered to Gods as Naivedya or Prasad when the bonfire was lit.
On the face of it, Puran Poli may look as chapatis that are stuffed with sweet filling of Jaggery and Chana Dal, but it does require some degree of expertise to make Puran Polis. A Popular Maharashtrian saying “Sun sugran aahe zar ti puran poli changli karte” (A girl can be taken in as a daughter-in-law if she can make good Puran Polis), highlights how critical a skill of making Puran Poli is deemed for a bride-to-be.
Puran Poli of Maharashtra has few close cousins in its neighboring states. It is also known as Vedmi in Gujarat, Obbattu, Holige in Karnataka, or Oligalu in Tamil Nadu. I have had an opportunity of tasting Holige during my stay in Manipal and I loved it. While Maharashtrians prefer Chana Dal for Puran (filling), Gujaratis prefer Tur Dal for their version of Puran Polis.
The preparation of Puran Poli is not identical in entire state of Maharashtra and it differs region wise. In some parts, dough is made of Wheat flour and in other parts a mixture of Plain Flour and Wheat Flour is preferred as it gives more aesthetic appearance to the Polis. In some places, sugar is added to the Puran for sweetness, while in Konkan Jaggery is relied on for imparting the sweetness to the filling. Filling made with sugar is more on a soft side whereas Puran made with Jaggery can become dry after a day or two and hence it is always served with Milk.
One of the highlights of Puran Polis is its long shelf life and hence it is always packed as a meal especially when one is undertaking a long journey. Puran Poli also has its nutritional value which is due to its primary ingredients like Chana Dal and Jaggery. (source wiki)
- Chana: It is a variant of Chickpea. It provides Fiber, is a major source of Protein, may help reduce Cholesterol and also contains Zinc, Folate and Calcium. Toor dal can be used in place of chana dal and it has similar properties as of Chana dal.
- Plain flour, Jaggery or Sugar: These are the major sources of Carbohydrates. While plain flour adds Complex carbohydrates, Jaggery and Sugar are Simple carbohydrates.
With several festivals being around the corner, it’s a perfect opportunity for making Puran Polis. Make this Maharashtrian delicacy for your family and friends and share your feedback with us in comment section below.
Read this recipe in Marathi
- 1 Cup=250gms Chana Dal (soaked for 4 hours and drained)
- 1 Cup=250gms Grated Jaggery
- ¾th Cup=150 gms Plain Flour
- ½ Cup=100gms Wheat Flour
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ¼th tsp Salt
- 3-4 Green Cardamom
- A small piece of nutmeg
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- ½ tsp Dry Ginger Powder
- Few Saffron threads
- Cooking Oil
- We will start with cooking Chana Dal. For 1 Cup Chana Dal, we will boil 5 Cups water (5:1 ratio). Cover the Pan and Boil the water.
- As water begins to boil, add Soaked Chana Dal. Dal can be cooked in Pressure cooker as well. However, cooking in a Pan is a very traditional way and yields stock which is used to cook Katachi Amti.
- Cook covered on medium heat until Chana Dal is completely done.
- Meanwhile, let's knead a dough for Puran Poli. In a large plate, put Plain flour and Wheat Flour and mix well. Add Salt and Turmeric Powder and mix well. Add 1-tbsp Oil and mix well. Rub well between the palms. Rub for 3-4 mins so that the consistency of flour becomes like bread crumbs.
- Use water as needed and knead into a soft dough. Do not make it too hard or too soft. We are going to rest this dough for an hour. Hence ensure you do not make the dough too soft. I have used ¾th Cup water for kneading. Smear the dough with 2 tsp Oil. Knock the dough. Let the dough rest for an hour.
- We have been cooking Chana Dal for about 30 mins on low-medium heat. Dal is well cooked now. Remove from heat. Separate Dal and its stock. Reserve the stock. This stock is referred as Kat in Marathi and is used to make very delicious and flavorful Katachi Amti.
- In the same pan, heat 1-tbsp Ghee. Add grated Jaggery. Add Chana Dal while it is hot. Don't wait for it to cool down. On a low-medium heat, cook Chana Dal-Jaggery mixture. Meanwhile, we will make a fresh powder of seeds of Green Cardamom, Nutmeg and Fennel Seeds. Pound in mortar and pestle and make a coarse powder. Coarse Powder is now ready. Add this aromatic blend to our Puran.
- We have cooked Jaggery and Chana Dal for 15 mins. Excess moisture of Jaggery can also be no more seen. If a spoon stands vertically without collapsing then the Puran can be said to have cooked well. This was how my granny would check. Add freshly grounded powder and dry ginger powder and mix well. Remove from heat and allow it to cool down completely.
- Let' see two different ways how Dal and jaggery mixture can be grounded into Puran. Grind half of the mixture in an electric mixer. Use grinder jar. For second and traditional way, we will use a manual device called Puran machine. This device is easily available in supermarkets, at local shops and can be even found on online stores (Amazon.in). Add remaining mixture in the device and rotating the handle grind into a fine powder. This way we can grind into fine Puran. Keep a vessel below for collecting the fine powder. Ensure Puran is not too coarse else Puran Polis will develop cracks.
- Dough has rested well for an hour. This is very important for making puffed and soft Puran Polis. Knock the dough one more time.
- Apply some Oil on your palms. Pull a portion of dough and roll into big or small sized balls (as per your choice of Polis.) Take a board and rolling pin. We will use rice flour for making Puran Polis. Rice flour has more grainy consistency and won't stick to the dough thus we can retain the color of Puran Polis. Shape dough ball into a small bowl. Stuff this bowl with Puran ball. Bring the edges together and seal the bowl. Do not overstuff. If you are used to making stuffed Parathas, you may find this process very similar. Apply some rice flour and roll into rotis.
- Puran Polis must not be too thick or too thin. Let's cook this on a hot tawa. Heat Tawa on medium flame. Put Puran Poli on this tawa and cook on low-medium heat. Cook underside for 30 seconds and change the side. Smear this side with generous helping of melted Ghee. Change sides again and apply some more Ghee. Cook on both sides until you see brown spots on Puran Polis. Remove from pan after 2 minutes of cooking.
- In these measurements, and shape of Polis we can make 12-15 Puran Polis. Let's serve the Puran Polis now.
- Puran Polis can be served with Shrikhand, Milk, Ghee and Katachi Amti. Make Puran Polis on occasion of festivals and share your feedback with us in comment section below.
Click to watch recipe video