Puran Poli, (a classic Maharashtrian puran poli) is a side dish which is made specially during festive occasions.It is an uncomplicated recipe of flatbread, filled with sweet lentils made from sugar and chana dal. You can use Jaggery and Bengal gram as alternatives too.Puran Poli is the Marathi name of the dish where Puran refers to the sweet filling and poli is the outer bread part.This mouth-watering dish can be easily prepared at home.A healthier variation of this dish can also be prepared by using a combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour.This recipe is also famous in other parts of the country as well, especially in parts of Karnataka and Gujarat.Puran poli ingredients(Makes 4 servings)For the Mixture (Puran)● 1 cup Chana dal (blanched)● 3 cups Water● 1 cup Sugar/Jaggery● 1 tbsp Cardamom powder● 1 tbsp Nutmeg (grated)● tbsp Fennel seed powderBread (Poli)● 2 cups All-purpose flour● 1 tbsp Salt● 2 tbsp Ghee/ Refined oil● 1 cup Water● 1 tbsp Turmeric (optional)The recipe is simple but it takes preparation, so do plan in advance.Preparing the filling of Puran PoliTake a pressure cooker and add chana dal along with 4 cups of water and a two-thirds teaspoon of turmeric.Tighten the lid of the cooker and pressure cook until 6 to 7 whistles over medium heat.Once the chana dal mixture is cooked, turn off the heat and let the pressure go down by itself.Remove the lid off of the pressure cooker and whisk the mixture with a cooking spoon. The chana dal should already be soft at this time. But still, cook the dal for another 15 minutes on low flame.Now drain all the water from chana dal using a strainer.To prepare the filling, heat a saucepan on medium flame and add Ghee/refined oil to it.When the ghee melts, add blanched dal to it. Roast the dal for 2-3 minutes and constantly stir it. Followed by the addition of sugar/jaggery, cook this mixture till it is completely dissolved.Now add ginger powder, cardamom powder, fennel powder and nutmeg powder into it. Turn the flame to low. Stir this mixture for 2-3 minutes until it gets dry and thick.Once done turn the heat off. And let the mixture cool down.Once cooled down, mash the puran mixture well with a potato masher or a strainer.Refrigerate the prepared puran for 3-4 hours so it is easy to handle.You can keep this mixture in the fridge for many days as well.Preparing the DoughTake a large bowl, and add 2 cups of all-purpose flour along with teaspoon of turmeric, and teaspoon of salt to taste. Mix it well using your fingers.Start by adding a small amount of water to the mixture and kneading the dough. The amount of water needed completely depends on the quality of the flour.Additionally, to make the dough soft you can also add refined oil to it.Do not add a large amount of water in one go as it can make the dough sticky and runny.Cover this dough with plastic wrap or damp cloth and put it on the side for 15-30 minutes.Preparing the Puran PoliTake a medium or large size ball of dough. Roll the dough into a circular sheet of 2-3 inches in circumference with a roller.Place a portion of puran mixture in the centre of our rolled sheet.Now, bring the edges together to cover the mixture and make a spherical ball.Roll the formed ball with a roller into a round shape. Try making the ends thinner than the centre.Cooking the Puran PoliHeat a pan on medium flame.Place puran poli on the pan.Cook the puran poli with lots of ghee on both sides.Remove from the pan when it becomes golden brown.Puran poli is ready to eat. Serve hot.Tips while cookingMake sure you grease your hands when rolling the puran poli balls.Soak chana dal for one hour before cooking.For a healthier version, use jaggery instead of sugar.To ensure the filling is cooked completely just insert a spoon into the mixture, if the spoon is able to stand in it then it is cooked properly.Important points to rememberMake sure to toast both sides of puran poli evenly and only apply the ghee once brown spots start to form on either side of the bread.Ensure that the mixture is tightly enclosed within the ball of dough, so it does not spill out while rolling.No chana dal should be left unmashed in the stuffing. The texture should be smooth and thick.Make sure the mixture is dry or else puran poli may become soggy.If the dough breaks while rolling, no issues, just use some dough and pinch it in the cracks.Finally, adding maida to puran poli dough helps to make it soft and tasty.ConclusionPuran poli, even being a side dish, is a crucial delicacy for Marashtrians, and is best enjoyed when served with hot tea.Puran poli can also be put into a heated casserole to be enjoyed at a later time in the day.You can also put puran poli in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Just reheat the dish, apply some ghee and you are good to go!It can also be frozen in a freezer for a longer amount of time. You can keep it between parchment papers and store it for six months. To eat, just reheat and toast it with ghee.FAQsHow can I substitute flour with all-purpose flour?It can be substituted either way, that is you can use all the flour as all-purpose flour or you can make half and half by using half all-purpose flour and the other half as whole flour that you prefer.It is much healthier and some people also prefer this personally.In the traditional recipe, it is made using whole wheat flour but you use all-purpose flour as well.How much filling should I add?It totally depends on your taste and how much stuffing you prefer.Try to use a small amount of stuffing at first. If you can roll the puran poli perfectly, try using more stuffing.It is recommended that you use an equal amount of dough and stuffing.Can I use any other kind of dal in this recipe?Yes, indeed you can. You can make use of toor dal. The recipe will remain the same. The steps followed should also remain the same.How do I make the dough soft?If your dough is turning out to be stiff you can try adding more ghee or oil and knead it. Your dough will eventually become soft.What to do, my filling is turning out to be runny?If your filling is runny and wet you can cook for more time till it gets dry or you can make it dry by adding more dal to it.Should I add turmeric to it or not?Turmeric is completely optional. In authentic puran poli recipes turmeric isnt even used.So using turmeric is completely up to your liking. Most people prefer to add this due to the lovely colour it gives to the dish.Is puran poli vegan?Since it uses ghee or clarified butter it can not be considered vegan.However, if you are using vegetable oils in this recipe then it is perfectly vegan.By using jaggery the colour of the stuffing gets really dark?Yes, it does, however, that is no problem.Using organic jaggery the colour may be dark but it is free from chemicals.Is there anything else that I can add to the filling?Yes, to enhance the flavour of the filling you can try adding ginger to the filling or you can also add fennel seeds to it. Some people also like to add grated coconut to the mixture.Which meal is the best to serve puran poli?You can serve puran poli at any meal of the day. In the morning people prefer to eat it with yoghurt and in the afternoon it is usually served with tea.And in Maharashtra, it is served with a spicy side dish called katachi amti with a side of cucumber. It is everyone's favourite!