Anyone with a sweet tooth cannot resist desserts, more so if it’s an Indian dessert. Be it a decadent barfi, delicious laddoos, or comforting halwas, Indian desserts offer a plethora of yummy options that can make us go weak in the knees. There is so much variety that each Indian state has some or the other yummy dessert to offer. If Delhi has daulat ki chaat, Goa has bebinca, Gujarat has basundi, and so on. Similarly, Maharashtra has puran poli, an extremely popular dessert bread that has a huge fan base, so much so that it has carved a niche for itself in the world of barfis and laddoos. 

Puran poli is essentially a sweet bread stuffed with mouth-watering sweet dal filling and oodles of ghee. It is a comforting mix of interesting textures and flavours. Traditionally a flatbread, puran poli is known to be a wholesome dish thanks to its decadent stuffing, and is usually eaten as is. But did you know about its many versions? No, we aren’t talking about just the flavours, but the south Indian version of puran poli which too is quite popular?  

Thengai poli, which is also known as obbattu in Karnataka, is a flatbread that has a similar recipe as Maharashtra’s puran poli, but differs when it comes to certain ingredients. While Maharashtra’s puran poli uses maida, South India’s thengai poli uses whole wheat as the primary ingredient in the dough. On one hand, puran poli has a dal and jaggery stuffing, thengai poli is a delectable mix of grated coconut, cardamom and jaggery, besides other ingredients used as flavourings.  

How to make thengai poli 

All you need to do is knead a smooth dough of whole wheat flour, let it rest for about an hour. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing by cooking and combining coconut, jaggery, and cardamom with some ghee. Let the stuffing cool down, and then stuff it inside the rolled out and divided dough. Just like a paratha is stuffed, flattened, and cooked on a hot griddle, thengai poli will be cooked in the same manner. Serve it warm with dollops of ghee on top. 

While the two dishes, puran poli and thengai poli, are essentially the same, it is the distinct ingredients that set the flavour apart. One can prepare thengai poli on special occasions and festivals including the upcoming festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi. The 10-day extravaganza is a celebration of Lord Ganesha, who himself was fond of sweets. Thus, during the Ganesh Utsav, devotees of the deity prepare many different types of sweets to offer him including modak, barfi, laddoo, puran poli, and more. Thengai poli can be a unique addition to your Ganesh Chaturthi bhog this year. Besides, people prepare this sweet treat on Diwali, Holi, Janmashtami, and Onam as well.