This popular and traditional dish from Maharashtra. Puranpoli is made to mark the beginning of the Hindu New Year! Extremely Delightful in taste it is the authentic combination of gram dal(lentil) sugar/jaggery, cardamom and saffron!
Puranpoli is an authentic sweet dish from India made popularly during festive times. Just like the popular gajar ka halwa or kheer this authentic preparation is popularly made at the time of Padwa/Ugadi (welcome hindu new year) and Holi. Other times like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi people love to eat it. Check our other holi and diwali recipes on the link below.
Puranpoli is a sweet flatbread made by stuffing made from chana dal and sugar/jaggery and rolled and roasted with loads of ghee/ clarified butter.
It is an authentic combination and the preparation takes a lot of time as the dal/lentil is cooked outside in a pot and then smashed until a soft dough paste. In Maharashtra it is served with ghee, and amti (Check recipe on the link) made from the stock in which chana dal is cooked. Its authentic taste and the preparation involves various spices and coconut.
Puran Poli is made in southern parts of India as well. The preparation method and the ingredients differ with every region.
As a child I loved to eat the puran(cooked dal with sugar) while my mom was preparing it. I sat down beside her to eat that before she churned all. Earlier sugar was not an issue. We all ate our favourite foods without counting on calories. My mom made puran poli regularly because we loved it ! We even loved to eat the poli the next day with milk. That was the yummiest combination we had. Cold Puran Poli with warm milk wow! That’s nostalgic…
My daughter loves to eat Puran poli with lots of ghee and my son loves Puran poli with the sides of popular kanda bhaji(onion fritters).
Puran poli is made with Gram Dal and hence it is a little heavy to digest. To make the digestion easy they use a generous amount of ghee over it. Some people make puran poli with moong dal to avoid the heavy chana dal. That works perfectly fine too.
Puran poli is popularly served with amti (Check recp on link) , kanda bhaji(onion fritters), mattha(buttermilk made using mint and ginger) and some pappadums.
What goes in Maharashtrian Puran Poli
- Chana dal / Gram dal
Preparation time and method
Puranpoli requires a lot of time as the chana dal requires time to get cooked properly until smashed well. It varies from an hour to two depending upon the quantity.
To reduce the cooking time we can cook the dal in an Instant pot or pressure cooker and continue the rest of the process outside in a pot. Pressure cooker can cook the dal in about half an hour. But the colour and taste in pressure cooker might differ.
Below are instructions in detail for instant pot, Pressure cooker and the traditional way.
What can go wrong
Cooking the Dal right and churning it and cooking it proportionately with sugar is a challenge.
*If the puran is too hard the poli(flatbread ) can burst and the puran can spill out.
*If the puran (stuffing) is too soft and flowy the poli(flatbread can still burst)
I prepared the puran poli by cooking dal in a pot.
Let’s check out the recipe in detail
For Puran (Sweet stuffing)
- 1 cup Chana Dal/Gram dal
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 cups water
- 1 teasp cardamom powder
- 8 Saffron strands
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
For the outer cover (roti)
- 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup All purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- Water to knead the dough
For the Puran (Sweet stuffing)
- Instant Pot or Pressure cooker Puran
- Rinse the chana dal 2-3 times and soak it for 2-4 hours. Drain the water and add it to the instant pot along with a pinch of turmeric and 2 cups of water. Close the lid with vent to sealing and pressure cook on manual high for 20 mins. Allow natural release. 6-7 whistles on medium high in traditional pressure cooker simmer it for 5-7 minutes and then natural cool down.
- Start the instant pot on saute mode. Mash the dal using an immersion blender to make it smooth.If using pressure cooker either continue to cook in it without lid or you can transfer the ingredients to another pot.
- Add jaggery or sugar to the mashed cooked dal and mix well. The mixture will turn wet once the jaggery/sugar melts so cook for another 8-10 mins until the mixture dries (yet is soft like a soft cotton or a pom pom ball). Add cardamom powder and saffron strands and incorporate well.Switch off the pot and remove the container and keep aside or else it will continue to cook and dry out the puran.
- Puran the traditional way
- Wash 1 cup of Gram Dal (Chana Dal)(lentil) and boil it with 4 cups of water in an open pot. Allow it to boil and cook until the dal is soft and smooth and keep on checking it with the water level. If required add more water cup by cup.
- To check if the dal is cooked smooth, take a piece of it between 2 fingers and press it. If it gets smashed completely and easily it's cooked well.
- Now switch off the flame and strain the dal. Keep the water(stock) for the amti(curry) to be served with puran poli.
- Now take the separated dal again in the pan and add equal amount of sugar i.e. 1 cup of sugar/jaggery and start cooking it again with low medium flame.
- The sugar begins to dissolve and the mixture begins to thicken.Keep stirring to avoid burning.
- As it begins thickening add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder, a few saffron strands and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder.
- The mixture begins to dry a bit and separates out from the pan. Then switch off the gas .
- We will now blend it fine into a thick paste. Not very thick and not flowy. It should be a soft cotton ball/pom pom ball after blending.The puran is ready, keep it covered aside.
For the dough
- Take ½ cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour in a bowl. Add pinch of salt and add water to knead a soft dough.The dough needs to be a little softer than regular, so that it can be rolled easily with lighter hands and no pressure.
- Take a lemon sized ball of dough and roll it a little.
- Stuff double sized ball of the puran (the sweet dal stuffing) to the rolled dough and close the roll again tightly so that the dough doesn't pop out nor the puran. (Stuff it like a stuffed paratha)
- Now roll the stuffed ball again to a roti (flat bread) round shaped. Keep it light while rolling and do not press or over roll. Make sure the poli is thick enough about 1/2 cm.
- Flip the rolled poli on a hot tawa (pan) and cook it. Flip it once and apply ghee on both sides and cook it until golden brown.
- The poli fluffs up if the proportion and consistency of the puran is correct. It flattens down again when out of the pan.
- Be very gentle in handling the poli as it might burst and the stuffing might spread out.
Serving Puran Poli
- It is best served with amti (curry made of burnt coconut, chili, onions , coriander and the cooked dal water).Serve it with the sides of kanda bhaji(onion fritters)A bowl of buttermilk made with fresh mint and coriander leaves.Fry some favourite frymes and pappadums and the puranpoli is all ready to serve!Serve and garnish it with lots of desi ghee.
- In case the puran (sweet stuffing ) is too thick you may add a teaspoon of milk or more to make it little soft. *Do not add too much of milk or water.
- You can use only whole wheat flour completely to make a dough. We need a very fine and soft flour so sieve the flour with a fine sieve.
- The dough used for puranpoli is half compared to the stuffing used for each poli.
- Use light hand to fill and roll it and avoid any breaks. The puran (stuffing) might fall off otherwise.
Puran poli is mainly made with dal and it contains a high amount of protein and fibers.
The poli made with jaggery contains high amounts of iron and manganese.
The amti is a great source of protein and vitamins with coconut and coriander in it.
Buttermilk serves as a great probiotic. Hence the traditional composition.
Also check our other Maharashtrian recipes and links below.
- Kanda Thalipeeth
- Katachi Amti
- Kothimbir vadi
- Vada pav
- Kairichi dal/ Ambe dal
- Pav Bhaji
- Bharwan Baingan / Bharli vangi
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