“Puran Poli” or “Puranachi Poli’ is a tradtional sweet dish from Maharashtra (a state in the western region of India) usually served during Holi (festival of colors). The stuffing is called Puran and outer covering is called Poli. Traditionally, the stuffing is prepared by boiling chana daal (split yellow gram), when it is cooked and soft sugar or jaggery is added and cooked. Then this stuffing is removed and sieved through a utensil made specifically for puran to get a smoother texture.
Puran Poli brings back the memories of my childhood days when my mom used to make it and then me and my sister would go out for playing Holi with friends. It is usually made on Holika Dahan day (when the bone fire is lit;a day before color holi). Preparation of Puran Poli at home itself creates an environment and a feel of Holi. I wasn’t a big fan of Holi but Puran Poli was the major attraction.
So, like every year,this time also I made Puran Poli for Holi. I do not follow the typical process for Puran. This is how I make puran.
- Chana Daal- 1-1/2 cups
- Sugar- 1cup
- Jaggery- 7-8 cubes
- Nutmeg powder- To taste
- Cardamom powder- To taste
- Whole wheat flour (Aata) – 1 cup and little more but less than 1/2 cup
- All purpose flour (Maida) – Same as whole wheat flour
- Rice flour – For rolling the poli.
How to make puran:
- Soak Chana Daal in enough water and cook it till it gets smooth. I pressure cooked it..6-7 whistles should be fine.
- Let it cool down. Add Jaggery, mash it, jaggery will melt, add Sugar to it.
- On a medium-low heat let it cook stirring it at regular intervals until all the water gets dried.
- Add Nutmeg powder and Cardamom powder as per taste.
- Puran is ready. It will look something like this.
- In a mixing bowl add whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour and oil; add water slowly while mixing and kneading to make very soft dough. The dough should be soft, but not sticky to touch (same as chapati dough).
- Cover and set dough aside for at least ten minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. (If you want you can divide the Puran into 12 balls.) Roll is into to small circle. Take the stuffing ball, place it inside the rolled ball, seal the ends and then again roll it. Ideally, the quantity of Puran should be double the dough ball size but you can reduce it if you want. If the dough is sticky while rolling, lightly sprinkle dry rice flour on both sides. Rice flour helps the Poli to spread evenly.
- Side by side heat the griddle/skillet. Place the Puran Poli on a griddle on medium-low heat. Once you see some brown spots flip it after few seconds. Then again flip it. If you want to serve it immediately then after first flip spread some Ghee and then flip.
- Puran Poli is ready to be served.
- It may be served with a spoonful of ghee. Poli is often served with milk too.
- I prefer to cook it without ghee and get all the Polis ready, and when we are ready to eat that time I again cook it with Ghee as per requirement. This way you can keep the rest of the rotis (without ghee) for later use.
- Don’t wait for Holi. You can have it as a post-meal dessert. Whatever you decide to do, Puran Poli is worth the effort involved in making it.