About this Recipe
Puran Poli, also called holige, obbattu or bobattu, is a sweet stuffed Indian flatbread largely made in the Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra/Telangana, Kerala and the Western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Usually made on all Hindu festive occasions and celebrations, puran poli is served with dollops of pure ghee or paal payasam/milk kheer.
Puran refers to the sweet filling inserted into a ball of wheat flour dough and then rolled into a poli or flatbread.
Besides the Bhaga Shastra, puran poli finds mention in medieval Indian text books on cooking such as the Manucharitra, a 14th-century Telugu encyclopaedia compiled by Allasani Peddanna hailing from present-day Andhra Pradesh. Bhavaprakash and Bhaishajya Ratnavali written by Govind dasa mentions this recipe as part of Ayurvedic preparations. There are other Sanskrit references in 12th-century texts written by King Someshvara of Southern India.
The main ingredients in Puran Poli are a lentil such as split pigeon pea (tur dal) or split mung bean (moong dal) or split bengal gram (chana dal), wheat flour, jaggery, cardamom/nutmeg powder, ghee and water. The method of preparation varies from state to state and region to region. There are many varieties of puran poli including those using peanut, sugar, coconut, sesame and groundnut flavours.
The nutritional value in puran poli is indicated by the fact that the lentil filling provides fiber, is a major source of protein, and can help reduce cholesterol and also contains zinc, folate and calcium. The wheat flour and jaggery on the other hand, are a major source of carbohydrates. The plain flour adds complex carbohydrates while the jaggery is simple carbohydrates.
This Bhaga Shastra puran poli recipe is made using coconut filling and is hence called Thengai Puran Poli!
“I WILL GIVE YOU A FEW UNDERSTANDINGS:
ENJOY THROUGH THE TONGUE WHICH YOUR WHOLE
INTESTINE ENJOYS. YOU WILL BE ‘YOGI’.
DON’T FORCE YOUR WHOLE INTESTINE TO TOLERATE
WHAT YOUR TONGUE ENJOYS. THEN YOU WILL BE JUST
YOGIS HAVE DEVELOPED A UNIQUE EATING STYLE WHICH
IS TASTY AND HEALTHY – THAT IS WHAT IS THE AGAMIC FOOD.
I WANTED THAT FOOD DESCRIBED IN THE BHAGA SHASTRA
TO BECOME THE LIFESTYLE, THE FOOD WHICH IS VERY HEALTHY
I WANTED BHAGA SHASTRA TO BECOME A LIFESTYLE – CHAIN OF
RESTAURANTS: EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT, DONATE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.”
– SPH JGM Nithyananda Paramashivam
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Servings : 3-4 persons
Course: Sweet Side Dish
Cuisine: Cuisine of South India and Western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat
For filling or puran
- Rice -¼ padi -375 gms
- Matured coconut -3 nos.
- Jaggery -30 palam -1050 gms
- Water -¼ padi -400 ml
- Cardamom powder -¼ palam -8.75gms
- Salt -1/12 palam -2.9 gms
For the dough
- Salt -1/12 palam -2.9 gms
- Wheat flour -½ padi -750gms
- Sesame oil -¼ palam -9ml
Bhaga Shastra gives ingredient measurements in measurement systems used in the olden days. When giving this recipe, we are not rounding any measurements in the modern units, so as to avoid any deviations from the Bhaga shastra. Go to this link for Bhaga Shastra Units Conversion to grams and kilograms:
1. Soak the rice in water and after a few minutes drain the water. Keep it aside.
Break the coconuts into two. Drain the water. And, grate them.
2. Grind the rice and grated coconut by sprinkling some water.
3. In a vessel add jaggery and water. Place it on the stove and allow it to boil.
4. Once the jaggery starts to boil, add half of the salt and cardamom powder and mix well.
5. Then add the ground rice and coconut and stir well. Close the lid and allow it to cook for a few more minutes. Then open the lid and once again stir well.
6. Switch off the flame and transfer it on the plate. Allow it to cool. Your sweet stuffing or puran is now ready.
7. Take wheat flour, add the remaining salt and mix well. Then add water little by little and knead it into a dough. Apply sesame oil on the dough and knead softly.
8. Now, take a lemon sized portion of the dough and make it into a ball.
9. Place it on your palm and flatten it. Take some puran/stuffing viz. 1.5 times the size of the dough in your hand. Place the stuffing on the flattened dough and close the stuffing making it into a larger round ball.
10. Put some fine rice flour on a rolling board/chapati board. Using a rolling pin/chapati belan roll out the puran filled dough into a round shaped flat bread (poli).
In rural areas this is also done rather expertly using only the fingers. If you prefer to flatten it using your fingers, then use additional sesame oil while kneading the dough.
11. Roll the dough only on one side. Do not turn it over to the other side, as the stuffing may come out.
12. Heat a frying pan. Bake/roast the flatbread on both sides, applying ghee or oil at each turn till it is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the flatbread. For this, maintain the stove heat at medium.
Note: In rural areas, a paste of ash, sand and salt is applied on the base of the frying pan. It is then left for some time and washed, before using it for frying. This helps to prevent the poli or flatbread from burning.
Step by step instructions
First step is to prepare the filling or Puran.
Wash and soak the rice for about 2 hours.
Break the coconut into 2 halves.
And, grate the coconut.
After soaking, drain out the water from the rice.
Add the drained rice to the grated coconut.
Put this mix of coconut & rice into a grinder jar and dry grind into a coarse mix.
Add a little water while grinding, if required. The ground mixture will look like this.
Now, place a kadai on the stove and add jaggery and water into it.
Boil the jaggery, add salt and cardamom to it.
To this melted jaggery, salt, cardamom mix add the coconut-rice ground mix.
The filling or puran will look like this!
Transfer the filling/puran to a bowl and allow it to cool.
Now, it is time to make the wheat flour dough.
Pour the wheat flour into a flat plate or parat. Add salt and oil into it.
Add water and knead the mix into a smooth dough.
Take a small portion of the dough and make it into a ball.
Flatten the ball in the palm of your hand with a slight hollow in it.
Into this hollow, place a portion of the filling/puran into it.
Now close in the sides of the dough so that it covers the puran fully, so it makes a larger ball.
Now take a banana leaf or rolling board and rolling pin (Chakla & Belan), and roll the puran filled ball into a poli/roti.
Now place a girdle or tava on the stove. Roast the poli on both sides, till it is fully cooked.
Serve the Thengai Puran Poli with pure ghee and offer it to Swamiji as naivedyam.