Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Holi with Puranpoli

It is Holi today. Holi or the Festival of colors is a widely celebrated festival in India. In Maharashtra, Holi is celebrated by burning a pyre of wood, which symbolizes triumph of good over evil. Holi means Puranpoli.

Except for last some years, there had never been a year when I did not eat Puranpoli on the day of Holi. Last time I made Puranpoli was 4 years back. But it was so much of work, that I did not make it after that. This year both A and I were craving for Puranpoli, so I decided to make it. I would like to dedicate this post to my Mami (aunt) who taught me how to make it. I was about 20-21 when I first tried my hand at Puranpoli and I definitely give her the credit for it. Thank you Mami!

But, before I write this post let me say this loud and clear that though I know the process of making Puranpolis, I am not an expert. I must tell you that I make very good Puran and I can make a very good poli (chapati), but I am not that good when it comes to making Puranpoli :) Those who have tasted a real Puranpoli should know what I mean. Anyway... I still keep on trying hoping that one day I too will master this art.

Puranpoli is made by stuffing Puran (which is a concoction of cooked chana dal and jaggery) inside a whole wheat dough.

Ingredients for Puran:

1 cup chana dal (pressure cooked until soft)
1 cup jaggery
1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder or cardamom powder

In a deep pan, mix cooked chana dal and jaggery and let it cook thoroughly. The mixture will start to thicken and will look dry. To check if Puran is ready, make the spatula/spoon stand in it. If it falls or leans, it means that you need to cook it more. If the spoon stands strong, your Puran is good to go. However, to use this Puran for making poli, you need to make it soft and free of lumps. You can use a food mill or simply your food processor. Once you have this soft puran, add nutmeg powder or cardamom powder to it as per your liking.

To make dough for Puranpoli, mix the following in a bowl -

1 cup whole wheat flour (sifted)
1 tbsp all purpose flour (sifted)
1 tbsp sooji/rawa (sifted)
A pinch of salt

To the above, add water to form a loose dough. Once you form a loose dough keep adding oil until it becomes soft and elastic. You probably would need about a quarter cup of oil. Let it sit for about half an hour. When ready, the dough will look like this -

To make Puranpoli, start by taking a small ball of dough, and roll it out a little just so that you can stuff the Puran in. Now, take a ball of Puran and put it inside the dough and close all sides. Roll it out and cook both sides on a pan. Puranpoli is ready to be served.

Serve it hot or at room temperature. Puranpoli is generally served with ghee, milk or Katachi amtee (a tamarind based curry); ghee being the most popular.

Wish you all a very happy Holi!

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