Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Puran Polis - Sweet Maharashtrian flat bread

When it comes to cooking Indian food, especially Maharashtrian cuisine, there is only person I trust to hand down the yummiest tasting dishes, and that would be my Mom. She makes the most intricate desserts, the most delicate savouries and makes it look like she was just dusting off a speck of dirt....but every time I get a recipe from her, I get this feeling of walking on a ledge, exhilarating and scary.......

This Holi festival, I finally had enough courage to attempt making those really delicate Puran Polis(Puran = stuffing made of Chana dal also called as Bengal Gram Dal I think, Poli = flat bread), because even for people who make these regularly, there are several things than can go wrong, and instead of a delicate golden yellow tastes-like-a-piece-of-heaven bread might end up with a really heavy Paratha with the taste of flour coming through like a normal bread, and thats a strict no no.

Making the stuffing:
1 cup Chana Dal
1 cup Jaggery, 2-3 cups sugar
Cardamom, saffron and nutmeg for flavor( around 1/2 a tsp each, and 7-8 strands of saffron)

Boil chana dal until soft (6-7 cups of water to boil if cooking directly in a vessel, I used a pressure cooker and 1.5 cups of water)
Strain any remaining water from the dal and keep it on the strainer for 10-15 minutes till most of the water is removed.

Add jaggery and sugar to the chana daal and cook over medium heat. The jaggery and sugar will melt and with the Chana daal will form a liquidy mixture.

Keep cooking and stirring on medium heat until the mixture starts coming together into a ball and becomes a bit shiny(It's a good workout for the arms). The mixture should stay together and should be of a soft dough consistency.

Take it off the heat and grind it( I used a hand grinder, it works best. An electric mixer makes it too soft to form a proper stuffing) and try not to eat it too much....but then resistance is futile!!

After it's cooled down mix kesar, cardamom and nutmeg and slightly knead it to form a stuffing ball.

Making the dough:
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Make a hard dough. Let it sit for 15 minutes
Now add almost half to one cup of water while continuously kneading the dough, until it becomes sticky and comes off in layers while kneading. Add 2-4 tablespoons of oil and keep kneading until the dough stretches without breaking. Add more oil/water if required.

The dough should be extremely soft and stretchable so that a ball of dough should stretch and cover stuffing almost 3ce its size.Use rice flour for dusting.

The actual making process is in pictures:

Make a flat disc of the dough and gently push the stuffing in it in a circualr motion.

Roll out gently....
Gently slide onto skillet on medium heat...


cayun said...

hai,nice post, keep blogging
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L Garcia Muro said...

sounds great, I can use this for my mom, thanks.


Rujuta said...

thanks :)