Holi is almost here and it's time to start planning what sweets you're going to make. There are so many to choose from - every part of India marks this festival with their own special dishes. You can never go wrong with classics like gujiyas (or karanjis), laddoos, shakarpara, and malpuas. Another all-time favourite is puran poli, a paratha-like sweet made in ghee and stuffed with jaggery and dal. Many of us associate puran poli with Maharashtra, but versions of this dish are also famous in other states. Puran poli is known as bele obbattu in Karnataka and vedmi in Gujarat. In the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, a similar sweet called thengai poli is prepared. There are slight differences in each version, but all are equally tasty! If you're looking to make something special this Holi, try one of these unique puran poli recipes:
How To Make Classic Puran Poli with Chana Dal | Maharashtrian Style Puran Poli Recipe
To make the stuffing for puran polis, pressure cook chana dal with water for about 3-4 whistles. Drain out the water and then mash the dal in the cooker itself, on a low flame. Add sugar or jaggery and mix it with the dal paste. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Stir well to combine the ingredients. To make the dough, mix maida with salt and ghee. Add water and knead well. Cover the dough and let it sit for 10-15 minutes at least.
Later, make medium-sized balls of dough and roll them to make thick chapati-like circles. Spoon a small quantity of the filling on one half, near the centre. Bring the edges of the circle together and seal it well. Flatten the poli carefully again and then transfer to a heated tawa. Cook with a little bit of ghee until the poli turns golden brown. Enjoy with extra ghee on top.
How to Make Vedmi | Gujarati Style Puran Poli Recipe
The main difference between Maharashtrian puran poli and Gujarati vedmi is in the type of dal used. While the former typically uses chana dal, vedmi is made with tur dal. The dough for the Gujarati version is also made with whole wheat flour rather than maida. To make vedmi, you first need to prepare the dough and let it sit as usual. To prepare its distinctive filling, wash and then soak tur dal for half an hour. Later, drain it and cook it in a pressure cooker with fresh water. Once done, transfer it to a pan and mash it. Cook it on medium flame along with jaggery. Stir continuously to mix the two. Add cardamom, nutmeg powder and saffron. Stir and thicken the mixture. Allow the stuffing to cool before you add it to the flat circles of dough. Fold the circle in half and roll over it again before cooking it on both sides until golden brown. (As instructed in the puran poli recipe above). Serve hot with a drizzle of ghee on top.
Vedmi is a popular dish in Guajarati cuisine. Image Credit: iStock
How To Make Thengai Poli | South Indian Puran Poli Recipe
Thengai Poli differs from the above two varieties because this South Indian sweet also includes coconut in the filling. The dough used is similar to vedmi (whole wheat flour and not maida). To make the stuffing, heat ghee in a pan and then add coconut, cardamom and jaggery. Stir well to melt the jaggery and mix the flavours together. Once the moisture has been absorbed, let the mixture cool. Add small quantities of the stuffing in the middle of rolled-out pieces of the dough, seal and flatten again before roasting on a tawa. (Follow the same process as puran poli and vedmi). Thengai Poli also tastes best when served hot with ghee or butter on top.
Which of these 3 versions will you be making this Holi? Let us know in the comments!
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.