Holi is still a month away, but if you are craving for Puran Polis, here's Chef Bhanwar Singh's classical recipe.
Made with tur dal, or chana dal, this Indian flatbread, which is sweetened with sugar or jaggery and flavoured with cardamom, is popular in western and central India and parts of the south too. Even Parsis eat a cake variation of it called Dar ni Pori.
For the dough
- 2 cups atta or whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp ghee (if vegan skip)
For the filling
- 1 cup tur dal
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp green elaichi or cardamom powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder, optional
- Ghee, optional
- Jaggery, optional
To make the dough
- Mix the whole wheat flour, ghee, oil in a bowl.
For two parts of flour add one part lukewarm water.
Knead thoroughly to make soft dough.
Rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and keep aside.
To make the filling
- Rinse the tur dal thoroughly in water.
Transfer to a pressure cooker.
Pour in enough water to cover the dal.
Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat and for 1 whistle.
Drain the excess water from the boiled dal well and leave to cool.
Or blend to a coarse paste carefully in a food processor.
- Heat the ghee in a frying pan or kadhai.
Add the mashed tur dal.
Add the sugar and cook the mixture for 10 minutes till it thickens and the sugar has melted.
Keep stirring all the time.
Add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and mix well.
Take off heat.
Let the mixture gets cool.
Divide it into 10 equal portions.
To make the puran poli
- On a lightly floured surface, using a belan or rolling pin, roll out a ball of atta dough until very thin like a roti.
Place one tbsp of the filling in each roti and bring the the edges together like a potli.
Again, roll out very carefully, to avoid spilling of the filling.
Repeat for the balance 9 rotis.
- Place a tawa over medium-high heat to warm up.
Roast each puran poli on the tawa till golden brown.
Serve hot with a dot of ghee and ½ tsp jaggery crumbled on top of each puran poli.
Note: The sugar can replaced with jaggery if preferred. And a few tbsp fresh grated coconut and/or saffron and/or saunth or dried ginger powder may be added to filling.
Puran Polis may be served with fresh coconut milk too, an excellent vegan option. For a gluten-free version, opt to replace the whole wheat flour with oats flour. The wheat flour can also be swapped for maida. Haldi is sometimes added to the atta dough.
Maharaj Bhanwar Singh is the corporate chef at Khandani Rajdhani.