Puran Poli – a sweet, a skill, and a symphony of flavours. It’s a therapeutic experience for the one who makes it, and the one who relishes it. Puran poli is essentially made in Maharashtrian households, for festivals like Holi and Gudi Padwa.
My memories of eating puran poli, go back to childhood, growing up in the households where mothers, aunts and grandmothers would make them with a sleight of hand. And also my youth, where I was on fad diets and would avoid eating it, with greedy glances at others’ plates!
- Very fine whole wheat flour – 1 or ½ cup (Sieve it a few times to separate the bran)
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Water to knead
- Rice flour for rolling the Poli
Method for the Poli
- Make sure that the flour is very fine and sieved, to remove any bran.
- Add water to the flour gradually and knead it into a tight dough.
- Keep covered for 10 Minutes.
- Then sprinkle the salt and some water and knead it further to make a soft stretchy dough.
- Keep kneading until you get a good dough.
- Put it in a container and soak the dough in oil, so that it does not dry up, while you prepare the Puran.
- Chana Dal (Split Chick peas) – 1 cup
- Shredded or Grated Jaggery – 1 cup
- Cardamom powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Nutmeg powder – ¼ teaspoon
Method for the Puran (sweet stuffing)
- Wash the chana dal thoroughly and add 3 cups of water to it.
- Pressure cook it or cook it in a pot till it’s well cooked, soft, and mashable.
- Strain out the excess water (tip to use this water is to the end of the recipe).
- In a wide bottom pan, cook the chana dal and jaggery together, on a medium flame. Keep stirring till it all comes together into a thick consistency. The trick to know whether the puran is cooked and ready is to use is by placing a wooden spoon in it. If it stands upright, the puran is ready.
- Take it off the flame and add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Mix well, and let it cool completely. Then pass it through a sieve or through a contraption (as shown) called Puran yantra. This will make the Puran soft and moldable to stuff.
To make the Puran Poli
- Place an iron tawa / girdle on medium flame to heat.
- Take a small portion of the dough soaking in oil. Knead it and shape it into a flat thick disc.
- Make a slightly bigger ball of the puran and stuff it in the dough disk, as demonstrated in the reel.
- Roll it further into thin polis by dusting rice flour on it.
- Cook it on the tawa/ girdle on both sides.
- Handle the polis with gentle hands at this step as they are too delicate and may break open.
- Serve it with spoonful’s of ghee or milk or katachi aamti – a must with puran polis. Katachi aamti is made with the discarded water from the cooked chana dal. It’s seasoned with salt, spices and tamarind to get a tangy spicy taste to go along with the sweet puran poli.
Watch this recipe here – Puran Poli
Malavika Gadiyar is based in Mumbai and is a home baker. She is passionate about cooking, understanding food & nutrition, and sustainable living. She comes from a Maharashtrian family and is married into a Goud Saraswat Brahman community. In her daily meals she tries to balance out food preparations from both the communities. The city life has led her to experiment with many cuisines. However, traditional Indian food is something she reaches out to when she has to entertain people with a home cooked meal.
Translations and detailed descriptions are provided to give a better understanding of the story to people from different cultural backgrounds across the globe.