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Monday, 9 May 2016

Puran Poli Recipe

Puran Poli is a popular Maharashtrian flat bread with a sweet lentil stuffing. It is prepared during special occasions and on festivals like Akshay Tritiya , Gudhi Padwa , Holi , Diwali , Ganesh Chaturthi . In fact , a traditional Maharashtrian house will have Puran Poli as bhog / naivedhyam on almost all special occasions. 

In Marathi , Puran is the sweet stuffing and poli means a flat bread, hence the name. There are many variations to this traditional flat bread. The filling is made with split yellow gram / channa dal and jaggery or sugar is used as a sweetener. Maharashtrian Puran poli uses channa dal , while the puran poli made in Gujarat are made from Arahar dal (Pigeon Pea).

 Hailing from a typical Maharashtrian family, Puran poli has its own significance for me, but I have many sweet childhood memories also related to this sweet dish. The regular Puran poli's which we eat today are very simplified or i can say modified version of the traditional Puran Poli , which is also called as Mande or Khaparachi Poli. 

For those who do not know, Khapar, is an earthern inverted dome shaped pot and traditional mande are very big and thinner flat breads then the regular puran poli. The khapar has a small opening at its bottom and is kept on traditional chullah. One more major difference is that, the mande are stretched on hands and gain a size of rumali roti. They are then baked on the heated inverted pot (khapar). Making Mande is a skillful affair, and lots of practice is needed to make the perfect Khaparachi poli. In fact in earlier days, a girl was considered as sugran (a skillful cook) if she knew to make good khaparachi puran poli ;) Mande lasts for about 7-8 days and remain fresh even at room temperature. 

During my childhood days, whenever we used to visit our ancestral village, my grandma , used to make Mande for us. She used to serve Khaparachi Puran Poli with a thin kheer called as gulaoni and lots of desi ghee. And in summers, no doubt the mande were served with delicious Aamras !! Puranacha jevan used to be a big affair, as the thali would comprise of a scrumptious spread which would include , Puran poli , Amras or kheer , tikhat saar, bhaat, bhaji , kurdai , papad and salad. The flour used to make mande, was also not the regular one, Wheat was first washed and dried in shade for few hours and then ground into flour using the traditional stone grinder. Ladies of the house, used to get up early and sit together in pairs, to grind the flour . They used to sing bhajans, while doing so. This ground flour was then sieved using a muslin cloth or a thin sari. Making the dough for mande was yet another skill and usually the head woman of the house who was experienced would make it . The dough was worked upon for long time to make it elastic , so that after having stuffed with a big ball of puran , it could to be made the size of rumali roti on hands ! I wished i had some pics to show all of this, but i promise, the next time i visit our ancestral village will click pics of Khapar and the Mande and update here :)

Coming to the recipe, i have used only Jaggery as a sweetener here and both Cardamom and Nutmeg powder to flavor the stuffing. My MIL makes puran poli with sugar, and my mom uses both sugar and jaggery, 3/4 jaggery and 1/4 sugar. 

Ingredients for Puran: ( measuring cup used 1 cup = 200 ml)
  • 1 cup Chana Dal/ skinned split Bengal Gram
  • 1 cup crushed Jaggery / Gur
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom and Nutmeg powder
Ingredients for Dough: (outer covering of Poli)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • Pinch of Turmeric powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp of Oil
Other Ingredients:
  • Generous amount of Ghee to brush on the Puran Poli while serving
  1. Wash the Chana dal and soak for 30 minutes. Soaking step is optional but it certainly reduces the cooking time. In a pressure cooker add the soaked dal and 3 cup of water. Add pinch of turmeric and 2 tsp of oil to it. Put on the flame. Once the water start boiling on a medium flame, lower the flame and put the lid of the pressure cooker.( this step ensures the dal water will not come out through the whistle while cooking and thus reduces the mess created while cooking the dal) Now increase the flame to medium and allow the dal to cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked very well. ( if you are not soaking the dal then the dal may take 6-7 whistles for cooking )

 2.  While the dal is getting cooked , we will prepare the dough. If the weather is cold, the dough can be prepared and kept 2 hours ahead of time. In hot weather, make the dough just 20 minutes prior of making the puran poli. In a mixing bowl take the whole wheat flour, add a pinch of turmeric powder , pinch of salt and 2-3 tbsp oil to it.(adding pinch of Turmeric powder to the flour, gives nice yellow color tinge to the Puran Poli). Mix well and by using little water at time , knead the flour into a semi tight dough.

 3.  Now add 1-2 tsp of oil and knead the dough for 1 -2 minutes. Again add 1-2 tsp of water and knead the dough, like this work 2-3 times on the dough using water and oil. This will ensure the dough becomes elastic, and the stuffing will not come out while rolling the puran poli. Once the dough is ready cover it with a muslin cloth until our puran is done.

 4.  After cooking the dal for 3-4 whistles, allow the cooker to cool down. Open the lid once all the pressure has been released. Now strain the dal . Reserve the water(stock) , as it will be used to make another Maharashtrian delicacy (Katachi Amti- a thin tempered dal). Even if you do not want to make katachi amti , you can use the water in soups or gravies. The dal has to be strained very well.

5.  In a nonstick pan or a heavy bottom pan take the cooked strained dal and the crushed jaggery. Heat the pan , and keep cooking the mixture on low to medium flame. Keep stirring continuously to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom and sides of the pan.

 6. The jaggery melts completely and the mixture cooks further to become thick. To check for the doneness of puran , there is a tip , i learnt from my mother. The Puran is said to be done when a ladle stands straight into it without falling. Put off the flame , once this stage is achieved.

  7.   Pass this puran through a soup strainer while it is still hot. (Ideally it is passed through a special strainer meant for it, called Puran Yantra , i use this soup strainer, as i did not have Puran Yantra.) Keep pressing the puran with a ladle against the strainer. The fine puran collected below is what we will be using to stuff the poli. Add the Cardamom and Nutmeg powder to the puran. Mix well and keep aside.

8.  Divide the dough and the puran into equal portions. Take a small lemon size ball of dough, roll it little , take a big ball size puran portion ( double the size of dough) and keep it over the rolled puri. Collect the edges of the dough and seal them ensuring the puran is stuffed well within it.

  9.  Dust the rolling board with some flour and roll out the stuffed dough into a thin puran poli, using a rolling pin. Take care the edges do not tear off and the Puran does not ooze out. Actually if the dough is very well worked on and the puran is cooked well , the puran never come out and we can roll out the puran poli to a very thin chapati. Though this requires a little patience and off course some practice.

  10. Carefully lift the puran poli and put on a heated skillet , preferably a non stick one. Roast the puran poli on low to medium flame until nice light brown spots appear on both sides. While flipping the puran poli , be careful and use a flat spatula to do so.

  11. Ghee can be applied while roasting the puran poli on the skillet itself, but i follow my mom's recipe and brush the puran poli with ghee after it is been removed off the skillet. 

  12. Follow the same technique for rest of the dough and puran. The above quantity yield 6-7 medium size Puran Poli's. Stack all the puran poli in a caserol or a kitchen napkin.

  13.  Serve the Puran poli warm with ghee , milk , curd or kheer and enjoy with your loved ones !!

  For more festive recipes from Maharashtrian Cuisine, do check my posts on 


  1. delicious yummy poli looks so soft

    1. Thank you Marudhus Kitchen for stopping by my site to leave such and lovely feed back :)