Poornalu- The Jaggery Laden Dessert From Andhra

Poornalu that finds its origin in Andhra cuisine, is mostly served as a part of prasadam. Also named as suyyam, seeyam, sukiyan, sugeelu or sugunta in various parts of Southern India, Poornalu is mostly claimed as a community’s culinary experience by historians, loaded with jaggery and deep fried has that intense crunchy outer layer and is surely addictive.

This celebration dish, that from Andhra that is prepared in most households during the seasonal festivals of Makar Sankranti in January and even Varalakshmi Vratham in August. Its purpose is to call upon a time of bountiful harvest. Often served hot, poornalu's exterior layer of crispy brown skin gently coats the interior of mushy coconut-jaggery mixture. The dish's structure is similar to that of Bengali Taal-er Bora (deep-fried, sweet palm balls) or even Kolar boda. 

The chana dal filling that is used here is also used to make bobbatlu, obbattu, or puran poli—a sweet paratha and all of these happened to be perennial festive favourite like ugadi, vishu, and gudi padwa.

In the majority of Telugu homes, Poornalu is rarely offered as an evening snack but rather comes after the main meal. Served with side of ghee, it just enhances the flavour of the dish. Mostly eaten hot, Poornalu is mostly made during Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival. During this time, poornalu is prepared vivaciously and enthusiastically, then shared with friends, family, and neighbours. Servings of poornalu are common at weddings and other celebrations. Nonetheless, there are slight variations in poornalu preparation and serving methods from location to location.

Ingredients for the Poornalu or stuffing

  • ½ Chana dal
  • 3/4 Jaggery made out of 3/4 cup
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered cardamom

The coating

  • 12 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/4 cup of urad dal
  • Taste-tested salt, deep-frying oil
  • Ghee for serving as side


    Rice and urad dal should be soaked for 5 to 6 hours. While grinding, add salt, and process until a homogeneous paste forms. A little bit thicker than idli batter is ideal.

    Chana dal should be soaked for two hours and pressure cooked for two whistles. Completely drain the water, then coarsely mash the dal.

    Preheat a pan, add the jaggery, and stir while adding the two tablespoons of water.

    Pour the roughly mashed chana dal on top and toss to combine. Sauté until the liquid is completely gone and the mixture is thick and lumpy.

    Remove it from the heat and stir in a small amount of cardamom powder. Reserve for cooling. Create ladoo-sized balls with a diameter of roughly half an inch once they have cooled.

    In a kadai, heat the oil. As you equally coat the balls with the rice-urad dal batter, dip them in it. Little quantities of food are deep-fried till golden brown. Ghee should be melted and served hot.