Puran (filling) Poli (flat bread) is one of my husband and his family's favorite dishes. During a holiday/festival you are bound to find it during meals at his family home in Gujarat, India.
For filling (puran):
- 1 cup toover dal (split pigeon peas)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups chapatti or whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup or less all-purpose flour, for rolling and dusting
- ¼ cup or less ghee (clarified butter), for brushing
- Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak in about 2 cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional).
- Cover dal with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour. Dal can also be cooked in a pressure cooker, according to manufacturer’s direction.
- While dal is cooking make dough. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and 2 tablespoons oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water and knead until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest while dal is cooking and you make the filling.
- Once dal is cooked, add sugar and cook until mixture thickens, stirring frequently, about 25 to 30 minutes. (You can also cook filling in microwave uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes). Let filling cool for 45 minutes to an hour or until cool to handle. Add cardamom and nutmeg and stir to combine. Divide filling into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
- Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
- Put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Dip the ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size (about 3 inch in diameter) small circle. Put one ball of filling in the middle. Gradually make folds around the edges to cover filling. Pinch the folds together, twist the dough on top and press the dough down so that it makes small circle. Dip the circle into flour on both sides .Roll out into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board. If some stuffing comes out or dough breaks, it’s fine.
- Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer puran poli on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for one minute. Remove from the heat. Brush the first side with about 1 teaspoon of ghee. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough and filling balls. Stack cooked puran poli. Serve warm with a shaak (vegetable) like okra, tindola or bataka ni sukhi bhaji.