Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Puran Poli

Come Holi, and it is time for Puran Poli! It is also a time for thandaai mixed with bhaang. That is definitely not on my agenda right now. Foodie I am, but  a junkie I am not.

I remember the last time my husband had bhaang. I was seven months pregnant, and it was the day before my 'Goad Bharaai'. As can be expected, I was very worried about him and my brother having bhang and making not just fools of themselves, but also putting their lives in danger (they were on a two-wheeler). But men will be men. Out of curiosity or simple case of over-confidence, they went ahead and had the bhaang. I don't know why they thought, that we wouldn't come to know. They reached home safe, thank God, but not before making a pitstop at a general store, and asking the poor shopkeeper to get them this and that, and half his shop, and then realizing that they had but 5 bucks in their pocket! Haha!

My husband spend the entire day laughing, even when I was furious. He laughed and laughed, till his eyes were ready to pop out of his head. I decided (and so did he, eventually, when the effect wore off) that we are staying away from bhaang forever.

But nothing can keep us away from Puran Poli! And katachi amti the way my mom makes it. So here comes the recipe of Puran Poli and the katachi amti follows in the next post.

  • 1 cup channa dal
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 cups maida or plain flour
  • one pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4th tsp turmeric powder (for that beautiful yellow color)
Pressure cook channa dal with ample of water. Allow it to cook for 4 to 5 whistles. Let it sit, till the cooker cools down. Then open the pressure cooker, and check the dal. It should be squishy between your thumb and forefinger. If it isn't, put it back in the pressure cooker for a whistle or two more.

Once it has cooked sufficiently, drain all the water from the cooked dal. But do not discard the water. Save it for the amti.

Break the jaggery into small pieces, and put them in a kadhai. Add the drained channa dal. Cook over high flame. The jaggery will first melt and the mixture will once again become watery. Keep stirring till the mixture dries up. Allow the mixture to cool down. Put the channa dal mixture in a puran maker, and grind it into a fine paste. You may do this in a blender if you don't have the puran maker, but remember to not use any water, and the resulting mixture will still be pretty grainy.

Make a soft dough with the maida, water, salt and oil. Add a little turmeric powder if you like the yellow color, but it is entirely optional.

Keep the dough immersed in oil. (This is my mother's tip, it keeps the puran poli soft) Remove a portion of the dough and make a deep receptacle in it with your thumbs (read my modak recipe for the method) and place a small lemon sized ball of puran mixture in it. Seal the edges of the dough shut by pinching them together at the top.

Apply a little dry flour, and roll it into a thin chapati. Be careful, the puran tends to come out a little. If it does, do not hesitate to do a little patchwork, who's to know? Perfection takes both time and practice.

Roast it on a griddle (tawa) with a little ghee if you like. Serve hot with katachi amti.

Happy cooking!

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