8 Hacks To Make Perfect Puran Poli, a Maharashtrian Sweet Treat

If you're a food enthusiast or have an inclination towards exploring diverse cultures through their cuisines, then Puran Poli is an absolute must-try delicacy! A delectable Maharashtrian sweet treat, Puran Poli, is a delightful combination of lentils, jaggery, and aromatic spices, encased in a thin, soft, and slightly crispy flatbread. This scrumptious dish is often released during festivals, celebrations, and family gatherings, but making the perfect Puran Poli can be a daunting task. Worry not, as we bring you eight hacks to master the art of creating this Maharashtrian gem in your kitchen!

1. The Right Proportions:

The foundation of a delightful Puran Poli lies in the perfect balance of ingredients. Getting the proportions right is crucial. For the puran (the filling), use 1 cup of chana dal (split Bengal gram lentils) soaked for a few hours, and 1 cup of jaggery or to taste. The dough should be made with 2 cups of wheat flour and water as needed. Adjust the quantities based on the number of Puran Polis you wish to make.

2. Meticulous Dal Cooking:

Cooking the chana dal until it is soft and well-cooked is essential. You can use a pressure cooker to expedite the process. After draining the soaked dal, add it to the cooker with enough water to cover it. Cook until you hear three whistles, then reduce the flame and let it simmer for a few more minutes. A perfectly cooked dal will ensure a smooth and lump-free filling.

3. Balancing Sweetness and Spices:

The stuffing of Puran Poli should strike the right balance between sweetness and spices. Jaggery provides the sweetness, while cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron lend their fragrant touch. As you mash the cooked dal and jaggery together, add a pinch of salt, a generous amount of cardamom powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder, and a few saffron strands. Taste and adjust the spices to your preference.

4. Knead the Dough with Care:

The dough for Puran Poli needs to be kneaded with utmost care. Take the wheat flour in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of oil, and water gradually. Knead it into a soft and smooth dough, ensuring it's not too sticky or too dry. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Resting the dough allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out the Polis.

5. Size and Thickness Matters:

To achieve a perfect Puran Poli, size and thickness are vital. Divide the dough and the stuffing into equal-sized balls. Roll out the dough ball into a small circle and place the stuffing ball in the centre. Bring the edges of the dough together and seal the filling properly. Roll it out gently into a circular shape, ensuring it's neither too thick nor too thin. A thicker Poli might remain uncooked from inside, while an overly thin one might tear easily.

6. Patience While Rolling:

Rolling the Puran Poli requires patience and a gentle touch. Instead of rushing, apply even pressure while rolling the dough to avoid any cracks or breaks. If the filling starts to peek through, dust the surface with flour and continue rolling. Remember, practice makes perfect!

7. Temperature Control:

The temperature of the tawa (griddle) is crucial while cooking Puran Poli. Too hot, and it will burn quickly, too cold, and it won't cook evenly. Heat the tawa on medium flame and cook the Poli until golden brown spots appear on both sides. Drizzle ghee or oil around the edges to ensure a delightful crispiness.

8. Serve it Fresh and Hot:

Puran Poli tastes best when served fresh and hot! Once cooked, smear some ghee on the Poli and serve it with a dollop of yoghurt or a generous scoop of clarified butter. The combination of flavours will leave your taste buds craving for more!

With these eight hacks in your culinary repertoire, you are now all set to conquer the art of making perfect Puran Poli, the Maharashtrian sweet treat. Embrace the process, experiment with flavours, and share this delightful delicacy with your loved ones to spread the joy of this traditional Maharashtrian dish. Happy cooking!