Once the Winter blues are done with, it’s the warm welcome to the season of sunshine, colours and most important the row of festivities that Spring accompanies. I feel energetic once more and when the facebook comments “Bright colors, water balloons, lavish gujiyas and melodious songs’ are the ingredients of perfect Holi. Wish you a very happy and wonderful Holi.”..kept trickling in my profiles…it reminded me to check my pantry for the chana dal and jaggery. No, not for gujiyas.It is the time when the sweet aroma of cooked chana dal-jaggery and rich ghee fills every nook of my house. This is the time when I am naughty and ignore the fact that there is loads of stubborn fat on me that I need to shed off…:) This is the time when everyone in the family relishes the divine Puran Poli….
Holi is festival of colours. This is when all the young and old ones get together to splurge gulal and splash coloured water on each other. It is on the eve of Holi that a small bonfire is lit and Puran poli is offered to the fire…this symbolises the victory of good over evil.
This year, I missed out burning the bonfire because it rained on Friday.The garden twigs which I thought I could use,were not dry enough to light. But Puran poli …no chance that we would miss it!The mouthwatering puran poli had actually nullified the feeling of missing out holika dahan!! To accompany I prepared katachi amti and bittergourd panchamrut.
Let’s step into my kitchen for the preparations:
3 cups of chana daal washed and pressure cooked.
1.5 cups of grated jaggery
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
few strands of saffron.
When making Puran poli use all the flours mentioned in the list of ingredients. However, when we make steamed kadbus/Dind just the wheat flour is used. Kadbus can either be fried or steamed. For Naag Panchami, these kadbus’ are steamed and relished with dollops of ghee and kataachi amti.
3 cups of wheat flour
3 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of rice flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of oil/ghee and some more to make the dough smooth
Mix and prepare the dough and keep aside.
Keep a cup of rice powder for rolling the polis
Once the daal is pressure cooked, drain the daal in a sieve and save the stock in another container. This stock will be used for katachi amti. Once all the stock is retrieved from the cooked daal, the daal should be cool,dry but soft(check if it mashes when you press between fingers). If it still seems moist, try spreading on tissue paper. Transfer the daal into heavy pan. Add the jaggery and cook this mixture on medium heat.Keep stirring. The mixture starts softening and gains a reddish brown colour. Cook till the daal and jaggery are completely mixed. THe whole mixture tends to come together.Add the cardamom powder, saffron and nutmeg powder. Some like adding sugar to the mixture. I prefer my filling with jaggery and like it soft. Turn the heat off and cool.
Place a skillet on the heat to roast the polis. Roll the prepared flour dough with a rolling pin. Fill in the Puran(filling). Bring the edged together, so that the puran in completely covered with the dough. Spread some rice flour and roll the prepared puran poli dough lightly. It can be tricky, as the puran tends to creep out of the dough and can burn on the pan when roasting. But practice makes man perfect!!
Roast poli on the tawa(skillet). Flip when each side is lightly brown. Use a wooden spatula to fllip and do it gently.Use ghee to smear on each side. Melt some ghee and spoon on each poli when serving.