PURAN POLI or VEDMI
Puran Poli is an emotion. A feeling of contentment. A feeling of being at home. I have the fondest memories of puran poli. It is my father’s absolute favorite dish – his mother, my grandmother used to make it often. They made it with yellow moong daal (without the skin). It is lighter on the tummy, and easy to digest.
My father enjoys it with Gujarati Kadhi, and moong daal nu shaak (dry yellow moong daal, cooked in spices) OR bateta nu shaak (potato curry). That is how I enjoy it too. Mom would make this meal on a Sunday, when she had more time to put together a few dishes at a time. We would eagerly wait for lunch time – and have a longish nap in the afternoon!
WHAT IS PURAN POLI?
Puran is the filling, usually made with some kind of daal. Gujaratis make it with moong daal or toor daal, that is cooked, mashed and mixed with jaggery, and some spices. Maharashtrians make it with channa daal. Poli is flatbread, hence it literally means a stuffed flatbread! It originated in Maharashtra, Gujarat and some parts of South India as well. They are all similar with some minor differences, and also how they are eaten as a meal.
Since the puran poli is a sweet bread, cooked in ghee on a skillet, it goes well with the savory and spicy Gujarati kadhi, and bateta nu shaak or potato curry which is spicy and flavorful. I simply love making this combination and it is inhaled in my home without no time! It is healthy for you as well, with the lentils, jaggery, spices and ghee in it! It is usually eaten in the winter months, and gives energy to the body.
The puran ingredients are really simple:
- Yellow Moong Daal or Toor Daal: These daals are lighter on the gut, and easier to digest as well. They break down easily too when pressure cooked.
- Jaggery: This is the rawest form of sugar and very good for you. It gives instant energy and makes the puran sweet.
- Cardamom: Always use freshly ground cardamom, the aroma is insane!
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg is not a common ingredient to add to puran, but my mother used to add it, and it truly makes the puran very fragrant and unique.
- Saffron: Saffron adds a tinge of yellow to the puran, along with its beautiful fragrance.
- Ghee: Ghee is required to soften the puran, and make it smooth in consistency.
The puran does not take time to make. After boiling, and softening the daal, the consistency of which should be thick. The idea is to evaporate all the liquid from the daal, add fragrance from the spices, along with jaggery and ghee. Cook the daal, along with the jaggery, spices and ghee, and thicken the mixture. Once it cools, it thickens more and almost solidifies, so that you can make balls out of it as a stuffing.
The outer dough is simply made with 3 ingredients: Whole wheat flour, water and oil. Dough comes together literally in 5 minutes. You have to let the dough rest so that the gluten develops, and it becomes easier to roll the puran poli. Additional flour on the side is required for rolling out the puran polis.
To make the puran poli, divide the puran and the dough into equal pieces. In my recipe, I was able to make 11. Roll out the dough on the marble board to about 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter. Place the puran in the middle, enclose the dough around the puran to make a potli or a parcel. Flatten it onto the board. With additional flour, rollout the puran poli carefully, so as not to break it, but yet get an even flattened shape. It is around 7 to 8 inches in diameter.
Next we cook it on the stove, with some ghee or oil, again with even browning on both sides. You want the dough to cook evenly. This results in a beautiful puran poli. It is best served immediately.
My favorite way to serve the puran poli, as I have mentioned above, is with Gujarati Kadhi. You can find the recipe here and also Bateta nu Shaak or Potato Curry. You can find the recipe of the shaak in my cookbook – Mumbai Modern.
If you did enjoy this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post. I will appreciate it so much!
Have a wonderful week!
- Makes 11 puran polis
- 1 ¼ cup toor daal or moong daal
- 3 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 170 grams jaggery
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 pinches of saffron
- 360 grams whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Extra flour to roll the dough
- Ghee to smear on the puran poli
- Rolling pin
- Marble board
- Wash the toor daal in water 3 to 4 times, until the water is clear. Drain out all the water.
- In a pressure cooker, add the toor daal and water. Soak for about ½ hour.
- On medium to high heat, pressure cook the daal, for 4 whistles.
- Open the pressure cooker, mash the daal as much as you can.
- In a medium skillet, on medium heat, add the ghee.
- Next add the daal, jaggery, cardamom, nutmeg, salt and mix to combine. Saute continuously using a rubber spatula for about 12 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
- Crush the saffron between the palm of your hands, and put it into the mixture. Keep mixing, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 more minutes. Let cool completely.
- Make 11 balls about 60g each. Set aside. Cover with a wet kitchen towel, until ready to use, to avoid drying.
- Make the dough:
- In a medium bowl, add the flour and water. Mix with your hand to combine, until homogenous in consistency. Add the oil, and knead the dough for 2 minutes, until smooth and pliable. Rest the dough for about 20 minutes.
- Make the Puran Poli:
- Divide the dough into 11 equal sized balls.
- Place a medium skillet, on medium to high heat.
- Roll out the dough to about 3.5 inches in diameter.
- Add one puran ball in the middle. Pinch the dough from the rim, into the center, to enclose the puran ball, like a covering, and seal it on the top. Roll the ball between the palm of your hands to form a smooth round ball.
- Flatten the ball between the palm of your hands to form a disc. Dip it in the extra flour to coat the disc.
- Roll it out onto the marble board with the rolling pin with smooth and even pressure on both ends of the rolling pin, to form a round shape, about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. You may need a sprinkle of extra flour, to prevent the puran poli from sticking to the board.
- Place the puran poli on the skillet. Add about 2 teaspoons of ghee around the poli, and on the top.
- Cook the bottom for about a minute or so, until brown spots appear on the bottom. Using the spatula, turn the poli to brown the other side, about a minute or two. Smear ghee on top of the poli. Once cooked and browned evenly on both the sides, place it on a plate on the side. Smear another teaspoon of ghee on the top.
- Repeat for the remaining puran polis. Serve immediately.
- Note: The puran polis will keep for about 3 to 4 days, wrapped in an aluminum foil, and in the fridge.