January and February are auspicious months for the Hindus all over the world. Next week is the Harvest Festival, also known as Pongal, Makara Sankranthi, Lohri, Bihu and Uttarayana in different parts of India. It’s a day for all to thank God for all the food we eat. Any festive season is marked with sweet dishes. Here I am sharing a recipe for Puran Poli. A simple description would be –chapattis stuffed with sweet lentils, cooked with jaggery and flavoured with cardamom and ground ginger. The best way to eat this is of course, to brush it with Thirumala Ghee generously while the Poli is still hot.
Instead of Bengal gram, you can experiment with mung dhal – this will give you added fibre. Instead of coconut, try using roasted chopped cashew nuts or almonds.
Let me know how you like to eat it!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
TO MAKE THE STUFFING
150 g Bengal gram
1500 ml water
120 g dry roasted grated coconut
50 g white sesame seeds, dry roasted and pounded coarsely
150 g jaggery, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons Thirumala Ghee
1 teaspoon freshly pounded cardamom powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
TO MAKE THE DOUGH
300 g wholemeal flour (Atta flour)
200 g plain flour
50 ml milk
300 ml lukewarm water
1 teaspoon yellow colouring (optional)
10 g (2 teaspoons) Thirumala Ghee
- Wash and place Bengal gram in water and boil till it is soft.
- When Bengal gram is soft and very little water is left, add in dry roasted grated coconut, sesame seeds, jaggery, salt, Thirumala Ghee, cardamom powder and ginger powder and cook over medium heat till the beans absorb all moisture and becomes like a paste. You need to use the back of a spoon to mash the paste lightly.
- Cool it and shape it into balls the size of 3 cm diameter.
- Combine the flour, water, milk and salt together to make a dough, by hand or in a food-processor. Then add the Thirumala Ghee.
- Knead by hand for at least 5 minutes, preferably 8 minutes as this process will make the dough slightly elastic, and the Poli will have a softer texture.
- For best results, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 1 hour.
- On a table top, sprinkle a little flour. Make 100 g balls of the dough you had kneaded.
- Roll one ball at a time into a thick small circle.
- Now lift the circle in your left hand, and place the prepared filling that has been rolled into a ball, in the centre.
- Fold the edges inwards like you do in a dumpling, ensuring that no filling is exposed.
- Sprinkle some flour on the ball and the work top. Place the ball down, and with your rolling pin, gently press so that stuffing is spread evenly all through.
- Very gently roll the ball in to a flat but not too thin circle. Keep in mind that the stuffing should not come out.
- Heat a flat frying pan and grease it with oil, ghee or butter. Then cook both the sides of pancake, by flipping it over, so that the sides brown properly.
- Brush with Thirumala Ghee or butter before serving.
- You can also roll the Poli into a semi-circular shape.
- The filling can be made and kept frozen for almost a week. The Poli will not keep well for more than 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Poli can be served with milk or with tangy, tamarind sauce which would really enhance the experience of eating by combining many flavours.