Puran Poli - A Sweet Split Bengal Gram Stuffed Paratha
Puran Polis are mainly a dish of Western India, especially of Maharastra. Here, the puran refers to cooked chana dal (split Bengal Gram) mixed with jaggery or sugar, flavored with cardamom and nutmeg powder. One can add saffron too. This mixture is mashed and the smooth 'pasty' powder is called puran, while poli means roti. This is made specially on festive occasions.
I have boiled and drained the water completely from the cooked chana dal. Then, after adding sugar or jaggery while cooking, it turns into a smooth paste which dries up soon. I have also added cardamom and nutmeg powder which gives an immense flavor to the stuffing. If you add saffron, the flavor is further enhanced - but this is optional. While the rolling of the rotis seems tough at first, it really isn't, as it just takes a bit of getting used to. I can tell you, after all the effort, the resulting polis are just worth it.
So, let's take a look at this recipe.
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
- 1 cup chana dal (split Bengal Gram)
- 1 cup grated jaggery
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 4 or 5 pinches of nutmeg owder
- 3 or 4 strands of saffron (optional)
- 3 pinches of salt
1. Boil the soaked chana dal in a pressure cooker with a little water for 5 minutes or till it gets tender. Pour the cooked chana dal in a strainer to drain out the water completely - this drained water can be used to make a dal of thin consistency called Katachi aamti.
2. Mix the wheat flour and maida with salt and 2 tbsp oil, and then knead it to a soft consistency. Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
Instructions for cooking
1. In a pan, take the dry, cooked chana dal, and heat it on a slow to medium flame, occasionally stirring it.
2. Add jaggery to it, and keep stirring, and as the jaggery melts and the chana dal becomes of thinner consistency, keep your stirring up and you'll notice the mix thickening in consistency. Now, add cardamom and nutmeg powder. If you have saffron, add it to the mix (make sure you would have soaked it in 1 tbsp of milk beforehand). As the mixture dries up, switch the flame off. Let it cool, then, with a masher, mash this mix until it becomes a smooth powder-y paste. This is called Puran and this is what is going to be the stuffing for your paratha.
3. Make small balls of the kneaded dough.
4. Make a small puri from one of the balls. Make a cup of the puri and add 2 tsp or more of the puran mixture into it. Close the edges of this puri so that it becomes a stuffed ball. Now, slowly roll this to a round shaped roti with a rolling pin, using some dry wheat flour for dusting these rotis - make sure to roll these rotis carefully or your puran may pour out the rotis.
5. Now, heat the pan, and on a slow to medium flame, roast the roti on both sides. Then, apply oil on both sides and roast further till they turn golden in color. Remove from pan and apply pure ghee to it. Make all your Puran Polis this way.
6. Your delicious Puran Polis are ready.
This is a wonderful, festive stuffed paratha, sweet, soft and flavored and I just love it. Make the puran the way I have described and you'll have a finger licking paratha at the end of it all. This is served with sweet milk or aamras - aamras is easy to make at home, when the mangoes are in season that is - just make a pulp of the mangoes (2 for example for 2 people) and blend it in a blender, then add 1/4 cup of milk and a little sugar and blend it again and you have your aamras.
So try this recipe out for your puran polis, and enjoy.