Indians celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi on 19th September this year. Keeping that in mind, Team Avant Garde Cookies decided to make Lord Ganesha’s favorites for the 1st week of AGC. Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival.Puran Poli happens to be one of the commonly prepared sweet flat-breads during this festival. Although many believe its origin lies in the state of Maharshtra (which may as well be true coz the Maharshtrian Puran Polis are out of this world!) it is not exactly known in which state this originated. Maharshtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujrat and even Goa is known to prepare this sweet.
Puran Poli is a type of sweet flat-bread traditionally prepared with all purpose flour, yellow gram, jaggery and ghee (clarified butter). I however decided to skip the refined flour and make it with wholewheat flour. To my surprise, it was far easier to roll the dough (since wheat dough is less elastic) and I could make thin breads!
HEALTHY PURAN POLI RECIPE
(Print this Recipe)
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 3-4 min per poli
Makes: 6 medium
For the dough
1.5 cups wholewheat flour
4-5 TBsp water / milk
a pinch of salt (optional)
For the filling
1 cup chana dal / split bengal gram (split yellow gram)
2 TBsp jaggery* (refer to point 3 in notes)
1 tsp green cardamom powder (elaichi)
Ghee (clarified butter)
To make the dough (similar to roti dough)
1. In a mixing bowl, mix flour & salt (if using)
2. Add water (or milk) little by little and knead to a soft dough. (shouldn’t be too sticky to too hard)
3. Let that rest.
To make the filling
1. Wash & soak the chana dal (split yellow gram) in water for around 30 min
2. Boil the lentils in water until they are soft (takes around 15 min)
3. Drain the water completely
4. Add the lentils to a blender / food processor and blend it to a coarse mixture
5. Add in the jaggery (or sugar/ brown sugar / sugar substitute) and again blend until it is well combined and you are left with a mixture that holds its form
6. Add in elaichi (cardamom powder)
7. Knead it to a nice dough like consistency
To make the Polis
1. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll each portion with your hands into a ball.
2. Take one portion of the dough to your rolling board and add some flour. ROll twice to make a slightly flatter dough.
3. With your hands, make the dough into a small cup
4. Place some of the filling in the center.
5. Very gently, pinch in the dough to seal the filling.
6. If the filling comes out from any place, take more dough and seal the opening.
7. Place it back to the rolling board and dust with some flour. Roll it to a circular disk. Make sure it is as thin as possible. However be careful while rolling as the filling tends to come out.
8. Carefully transfer the rolled out poli to a hot flat griddle. Let it cook on medium 2 minutes on one side. Add 1 tsp of Ghee (clarified butter) or oil.
9. Flip it over and let that cook again for 2-3 min on medium heat.
10. Remove. Serve garnished with some ghee (optional!)
11. Since I was going for ‘healthy’, I skipped the garnish part
- As you can probably see in step 7, my jaggery fillings starts to show in the center. I’m still honing my rolling skills! However, as long as the filling is evenly spread, there shouldn’t be a problem with the taste.
- Ideally, the dough should me made worth plain refined flour. I’ve tried that before and had a hard time rolling the dough. Since refined flour tends to be more elastic, it was difficult to manage. But I loved it with wholewheat flour. It has a nuttier flavor and the dough is easy to manage too!
- Don’t worry if you cannot nail the rolling. What you see here is after 6 attempts of rolling Alternatively, you could roll 2 thin disks. Spread some filling on one & enclose with the other disk.
- Jaggery is traditional whole cane sugar commonly available in Asia, Africa & Latin America. If you cannot find that, substitute with equal amounts of sugar or brown sugar or any sweetener. However, for authentic taste, I suggest you look for Jaggery!
To make traditional and flavorful Poli, you will need -