A sweet stuffed flat bread that gives the cinnamon roll a run for its' money. That is puran poli for you, a step by step recipe so you can make this decadent soft flat bread for yourself..
Stuffed with a delicate mixture of chickpea and jaggery and lightly spiced with cardamom, rolled out to make a flaky crust encasing a melting goodness of a uniquely sweet filling. As simple as that.
This sweet stuffing is so tasty that it defies the fact that it is made using a simple and cheap ingredient. Actually when I made it for my MIL when I was a newly wed, she guessed it to be khoya and jaggery. The texture of the chickpea cooked with jaggery or sugar becomes almost like khoya and given the fact that a certain khoya paratha was a family favorite there, this sweet puran poli fell in the same category immediately.
I like my puran poli stuffed with a melt in the mouth kind of filling and not a dry crumbling type which makes it tough to swallow the poli without a slug of milk. I have a similar reservation about a certain daal ki puri too which is made with a savory stuffing of chickpea. This melt in the mouth kind of filling is not that tough to make my dear friends. Actually a lot easier than the dry filling. Let's see how to make the filling of puran poli....
(makes about 10-12 puran polis)
for the filling..
chana daal (split chickpea) 1 cup
jaggery powdered 3/4 cup (i used unrefined brown sugar)
green cardamom 2 nos.
water 2 cups
for the pastry..
whole wheat flour 1.5 cup approximately (depends upon how much filling you can stuff in each poli, it is a skill to stuff more filling in a small ball of dough)
pinch of salt
water to knead a dough
procedure for the filling...
Boil the split chickpea in pressure cooker along with the water indicated.
Cook for 7-8 minutes after the first whistle, lowering the flame after the first whistle.
Let the cooker cool down, open the lid and add the jaggery to the cooked daal.
It is time to blend the mixture now. A hand held stick blender is a useful device for such things and helps in blending the mixture right inside the pot. I used the stick blender but the mixture can be transferred to the food processor to be blended smooth.
The mixture still looks a little loose consistency to make a chapati filling. But the secret to a melt in the mouth kind of filling is this consistency of the filling mixture. Almost like molten chocolate.
Look how it looks after a half an hour rest in the fridge. It is a small portion and needs lesser time in the fridge. For large quantities you will need to keep it longer in the fridge.
Just follow the instructions and note the pointers.
procedure for the pastry...
Knead a dough exactly when required, kneading enough to make it soft and elastic and a little softer than roti dough. Refrigerated dough does not behave well with a meting type filling.
The consistency of the dough should be exactly like the filling, so if the filling is soft, the dough should be as soft, or just a bit harder than that.
Use finer dusting flour to roll the poli, using maida for dusting is a good option as whole wheat flour does not stretch as much as maida.
Also, if you are making puran poli for the first time, use maida instead of whole wheat flour to make the dough as it will be easier to roll with such a tricky filling.
Pinch a small portion of the dough, make a ball and then make a depression in the middle to shape it like a bowl. Now spoon out a bigger portion of filling and place inside the dough bowl, stretch the edges and seal the bowl to make a ball again.
Use some dusting and flatten the ball with your fingers on the rolling board first before rolling it with the help of rolling pin. Some of the filling mixture may look like being exposed and it enhances the taste but take care not to let the filling leak out of the pastry. A thin even layer of pastry over a rich filling is what you have to work for.
Carefully lift the poli and flip it over the hot pan. Roast both sides till pinkish brown patches are formed and the poli is cooked through. Apply little ghee after taking the poli off the heat.
Repeat to make more polis and keep them in a butter paper lined container. Serve hot.
Such a dark color of the filling is due to the dark brown colored unrefined sugar I used. This kind of filling makes a really nice and soft puran poli whose puran doesn't get crumbly and scatter in the plate. It sticks to the pastry and melts in the mouth when you take a bite.
Use of whole wheat for the pastry and a dark brown colored filling makes a rustic looking puran poli, but the taste will blow your mind away.
We have always liked it this way, the way we were introduced to this dish in younger times.
Puran poli had come to our house through a marathi friend of my younger sister and this is the way they used to make it. We adopted it and it stayed with us the same way.
The puran (filling) keeps well in the fridge and a freshly made dough is all needed to make fresh polis anytime.
Have you tried any flat bread with a sweet filling? Some friends tell me it tastes great with fresh coconut milk. I am yet to try that.