Oliga/Poornam Bobbattu/Puran Poli

The first post in my  blog is my mom’s Puran Poli recipe. It is my  favorite Indian dessert. I cannot thank my mom enough for teaching me how to make this delicious sweet dish. My mom prepared this traditional sweet for all of the festivals. She used to wake up at 4am and grind cooked dal using a mortar and pestle. I appreciate and thank my mom for all the love and effort she put to make this delicious traditional dish for everyone in my family for every festival. I am really happy to share my mom’s recipe with all of you. I hope you enjoy making them with this simple step by step recipe with pictures. Happy Vijaya Dasami to everyone who is celebrating it today.

Puran Poli is a soft, thin, flatbread with a delicious stuffing made with lentils and jaggery. There are different variations of this recipe. My mom uses all purpose flour or sooji (fine variety) to prepare the outer layer and she makes the stuffing using toor dal (split pigeon peas) and jaggery. It is known as Oliga at my mom’s place.

My MIL uses whole wheat flour to prepare the outer layer and she makes the stuffing using chana dal (split black gram) and jaggery. It is known as Pappu Polay at my MIL’s place. This traditional sweet dish is known with different names  Oliga / Poornam Bobbattu / Pappu Polay / Holige / Obbattu / Bakshaalu. Recently someone had mentioned that it is also known as ‘Tel Poli’.

Today I am sharing my mom’s method of making Puran Poli / Oliga.

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Lets begin by keeping all the ingredients ready. Planning ahead of time is very important to make this traditional dessert because the dough needs be rested for at least  1-2 hours.

Ingredients:

Measuring Cup used: 1 cup = 250ml

For the outer layer:

All Purpose Flour or Fine Sooji(also known as Chiroti Rava) – 1 cup

Salt – 1/8 Tsp.

Cooking Oil – 1/4 cup

Baking Soda – 1/8 Tsp.(optional)(Refer Notes in the bottom of the post)

For the stuffing/Poornam:

Toor Dal – 1 cup

Grated Jaggery – 1 cup

Turmeric Powder – 1/8 Tsp.

Ghee – 1 Tbsp.

Additional ghee to spread on the roasted puran polis(optional)

Procedure:

The first step is to prepare the dough for the outer layer.

The dough can be prepared using all purpose flour or fine Sooji. I have made them several times using all purpose flour. I used all purpose flour for the outer layer, to make puran polis in the above pictures. I made them during Navratri this year.

I used Sooji(fine variety) for the outer layer, to make puran polis in the below picture. I had taken the step by step pictures last year, when I made them with fine Sooji. The fine variety of Sooji  is also known as Chiroti Rava in India.

This recipe will yield 16 Puran Polis.

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Step 1:

Procedure to prepare the dough for the outer layer: In a wide bowl, add 1 cup all purpose flour or 1 cup Sooji(fine variety) and a pinch of salt. Mix it well. Make a soft dough by adding water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to the dough (You can add about 1/4 cup of oil to the dough). KNEAD IT WELL (about 3-4 minutes). This step is very important. Cover the dough with a lid and wait for 2-3 hours.

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Step 2:

Procedure to prepare the stuffing (poornam): Pour about 5 1/2 cups of water into a sauce pan. Add 1 cup of washed toor dal, 1 tablespoon of ghee and a pinch of turmeric into the sauce pan. Cook the toor dal until it is soft. Be careful not to get it too mushy. Remove the froth that forms on the top. Strain the toor dal and save the water for later to prepare rasam / poornam chaaru / oliga chaaru.

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Step 3:

This step can be done in 2 different methods. In the first method the grated jaggery  is used directly. In the second method we are melting the jaggery and filtering it to remove any dirt or impurities in the jaggery, if any. I have used the second method.

First Method: Add one cup of grated jaggery and one tablespoon of water into a wide pan. After the jaggery is melted add the cooked toor dal. Cook it on low heat until the mixture comes together. Let it cool.

Second Method: ( Note- This process takes little longer)
Add 1/3 cup water and 1 cup grated jaggery in a sauce pan, and heat it until the jaggery melts. Next, filter the jaggery water using a strainer. This process will remove the dirt and impurities in the jaggery, if any. Add this filtered jaggery water into a wide pan. Add the strained toor dal, and cook it on low heat until it comes together.

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Step 4:

Grind the toor dal and jaggery mixture until it is soft, then add cardamom powder. Mix it well. 

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Step 5:

If the mixture is runny, put it in the pan on low heat, and stir it until the spatula can stand in it without falling down. Let it cool.

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Step 6:

Make 17 equal sized balls with the prepared stuffing(poornam). One poornam ball can be kept aside and used in the rasam preparation. Cover them and keep aside.

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Step 7:

Take the dough prepared in Step -1 and knead it again. Divide the dough into 16 equal parts. Take one part of the dough, place it on the parchment paper and spread it a little with your fingers .Place a poornam ball in the center. Gently pull the dough from the edges and cover the poornam ball as shown below.

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Step 8:

Turn it upside down and add little oil on top. Spread it little with greased fingers.

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Step 9:

Add a plastic sheet on top and spread it into a thin layer with your fingers or rolling pin.   (Cut a ziploc cover into two sheets and use one sheet for this purpose).

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Step 10:

Transfer it to a pan and cook it on both sides on low heat. The pictures will help you understand the process.

Apply ghee on the roasted puran polis. It is optional but I think the ghee elevates the taste of puran polis. Serve warm puran poli  with dollop of ghee or a bowl of warm milk. Dunk it in the warm milk and enjoy!!!!

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I am also sharing a short video to show the process from steps 7-10. Here is the video:

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Apply some extra ghee on top at the time of serving and enjoy!!!!

Notes: After a few hours of making puran polis, the outer layer of the puran poli might turn hard for different reasons. Here are some tips to avoid it.

  1. This happens if the quality of all purpose flour is not very good. Here is a tip from my mom: Adding 1/8 tsp. baking soda while preparing the dough will keep the outer layer soft for a longer time. Add 1/8 tsp. baking soda for 1 cup all purpose flour while preparing the dough.
  2. The dough should be kneaded really well. You need to punch and stretch the dough for 3-4 minutes and let it rest for 1-2 hours. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to knead the dough. I kneaded the dough in the stand mixer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Do not roast puran polis on high heat and do not roast them for too long.

Microwaving puran poli for 10-12 seconds before serving will make it softer.

I have included all the tips and techniques that I learnt from my Mom, who is an expert in making Puran Polis. My goal is to make the process easy for a beginner planning to make this traditional dessert!!!

Happy Dussehra!!!!!!!

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