For the Stuffing
- 2 cups split Bengal gram (chana dal), rinsed in water
- 2 cups grated jaggery (gur)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed into a fine powder
- a pinch of saffron (kesar), optional
For the dough
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
- 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- pinch of salt
- water as needed
- 1/2 cup oil (olive oil or any other oil you use for home cooking)
- Mix refined flour (maida), salt, ghee and sufficient water (around 1/4 cup) to make a very soft dough. Note: The softness of the puran poli depends on the softness of the dough.
- Pour oil over the dough and let the dough soak in the oil for an hour while you make the stuffing.
- When ready to make puran polis, remove the dough from the oil and knead it till the oil sticking to it is fully absorbed. The remaining oil can be reused for cooking.
Making the stuffing – Microwave version
- Pressure cook chana dal (about 3 whistles) with 3 1/2 cups of water. Set it aside to cool. Once it has cooled down, open the pressure cooker and use a potato masher to mash the chana dal. [Note – you need the texture of the dal to be fine to be able to roll the puran polis without them tearing]
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the mashed dal, jaggery, saffron, cardamom powder and mix well.
- Microwave on high uncovered for 4 minutes. Remove the bowl and mix well.
- Microwave again for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl and mix well before putting it back again in the microwave. Repeat this process until the mixture appears dry and can be rolled into a ball. The microwave process takes around 16 minutes total. (Alternatively, this chana dal-jaggery mixture can be cooked over the gas too. Constantly stir the mixture till it appears dry enough to be rolled into balls)
- Leave it uncovered and let it cool for 20 minutes.
Making the stuffing – Instant Pot version
- Add chana dal and 3-1/2 cups of water in the steel insert of Instant Pot. Select “Pressure Cook”. Adjust the time to 30 minutes and set the pressure to high. Cover the Instant Pot lid and lock it. Make sure the vent is at sealing position. Once the vent returns to the venting position, open the Instant Pot lid to check on your chana dal. Use a potato masher to mash the chana dal. [Note – you need the texture of the dal to be fine to be able to roll the puran polis without them tearing]
- Press “Warm / Cancel” button and then select “Saute.” Use the “Adjust” button to set the selection to “low”. Add jaggery, saffron, cardamom powder and mix well. Continue to cook on low while stirring occasionally until the mixture appears dry and can be rolled into a ball. The cooking process takes around 30 minutes.
- Leave it uncovered and let it cool for about 30 minutes.
To make Puran Poli
- Divide dough into sixteen equal portions and roll into balls.
- Divide the stuffing into sixteen equal portions as well and roll into balls. The stuffing should be twice the size of the dough balls.
- Flatten each dough ball and stuff with one portion of the stuffing.Cover the stuffing with the dough and seal the edges properly.
- Dust the ball with flour and place it on a parchment paper with the sealed edge facing down. Use your rolling pin to roll into a flat, round shape and as thin as possible.
- Place a tawa/frying pan on gas on medium heat. Once heated, carefully peel the puran poli off the parchment paper and place it on the tawa. Cook until small bubbles form on the top. Turn it over and cook the other side.
- Serve hot with ghee.
- Sweetness of the stuffing – The quality of jaggery can vary. Do a taste test, if it is not sweet enough, add some more jaggery or you can add sugar as well.
- Stuffing size – Stuffing size should be twice the size of the dough balls.
- Make sure you use either parchment paper or plastic to roll the dough.