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Last updateSun, 22 Mar 2015 6pm

#NewBeginnings: Celebrate 'Ugadi'/'Gudi Padwa' with traditional Puran Poli

It it the beginning of ‘Chaitra’, which is considered the first month of the Hindu calendar.

The first day of the month is celebrated as ‘Ugadi’ or Yugadi (New Year’s Day) by the peoples of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. 

In the state of Maharashtra, the same day is referred to as ‘Gudi Padwa’. 

Irrespective of the names, in India, a festival means food – of a myriad varieties and tastes.

The most common ingredients used for any ‘New Year’ celebration in India are jaggery/sugar, tamarind, chillies, fenugreek and neem flowers.

A New Year and a new beginning calls for something sweet and what can be more auspicious than the traditional ‘Puran Poli’, a traditional sweet flatbread which is popular across India’s southern and southwestern states.

Given its geographical spread, Puran Poli is variously called Bobbattu, Holige, Obbattu, Ubbatti and Poli in different languages.

Ingredients:

For Poli:

1 Cup – Wheat Flour/Atta
A pinch of salt
Water
2 teaspoons of oil

For Puran/Pooranam:

¼ cup of Chana Dal
¼ cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Cardomom Powder
2 table spoons of grated coconut
1 table spoon of Ghee

Method:

- Add wheat flour in a mixing bowl.  Add a tiny pinch of salt and oil.  Mix water slowly and knead it until it becomes a soft and smooth dough (just like chappati dough).
- Take a pan and add the chana dal.  Dry roast it in medium to low flame.  Do not brown it.  Just when the Dal begins emanating a sweet smell, switch off flame.
- Take the roasted chana dal in a bowl and add 1 cup of water.  Pressure cook it for 4 - 5 whistles.  Wait for the steam to settle, open cooker and drain the cooked chana dal completely.
- The chana dal should stay in shape and at the same time 80% cooked.  If you press between your fingers, it should break but not be mushy.
- Take a cotton cloth and spread the cooked chana dal and leave it to dry for 15 minutes.
- Take a mixing jar.  Add the chana dal, cardamom powder and the grated coconut.  Give a quick pulse once or twice until the chana dal becomes a powder.
- Take a frying pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee.  Add the powdered chana dal mixture.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar.  Stir well.  The mixture gathers a thick mass. Switch off and leave to cool completely.
- Take a small ball of flour (poli) and roll it into a small puri.  Add an equal portion of the puran/pooranam in the middle of the puri and seal it by bringing the edges to the centre of the puri (like stuffed parathas).  Sprinkle some flour and start rolling it to a medium size circle depending on the amount of your stuffing.
- In a heated tawa, add some ghee.  Add the Poli and wait till it becomes slightly brown.  Flip over slowly and roast the other side equally.  Once both the sides are golden brown and the Poli slowly puffed up, remove and place it on a plate.
- Repeat the same process for the remaining dough and Puran.  Stack up the Polis and when serving, add a tsp of ghee on top for extra flavour.

Notes:

You can prepare the Poli with Maida/All purpose flour and substitute sugar with grated jaggery. Some add fennel powder, dry ginger powder or nutmeg powder in the Puran.

HAPPY UGADI!  HAPPY GUDI PADWA!

Sharmilee Sriram's portrait
Sharmilee Sriram
Sharmilee Sriram (Milee) hails from Chennai, India and now resides in London for the past 6 years. She is highly passionate about cooking, food styling and food photography. Currently working on her website to post her recipes. She believes that everybody can cook ‘good food’ as long as they have a secret ingredient. Just like the ‘secret ingredient’ in the Kung-Fu Panda movie. :-) Cook with Love!

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