Friday, September 3, 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi - Puran Poli

Welcome to the readers of Daring Kitchen FoodTalk. To my regular readers, I'm very pleased to announce that my article on Ganesh Chaturthi has been published at FoodTalk on the Daring Kitchen website. Please feel free to check it out. It will be on DK's main page for a week from September 11th 2010. It covers a little background on Ganesh Chaturthi - from a foodie's perspective of course :)

Puran Poli is like a sweet version of a paratha. Specifically made during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, it has always been one of my favorite sweets. Puran Poli's main ingredients include the classic combination of jaggery and coconut. This combination is actually used in many Indian sweets such as Modaks/Kozakottais, Payasam/Kheer and many others. The fragrance of melting jaggery itself takes me back to my childhood when my grandmother would regularly create fantastic sweets and desserts.

Raw Jaggery
The following is a recipe for puran poli. First make the dough base and let it rest for about two hours, in the meanwhile make the puran (sweet filling) and let it cool. Making puran polis is quite tedious. However it is well worth the effort. You might notice, for an Indian dish, this has very few ingredients. Thus it becomes even more important to have the right ingredients of the highest quality you can get. The best way to get the authentic taste, is to make homemade Ghee and use the dark variety of jaggery. It just isn't the same if you use brown sugar or mollases or anything else. Left is a photo of the jaggery I used.

Dough Base for polis
  • 2 cups of AP flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp of homemade Ghee
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Haldi/Turmeric
Sift together the dry ingredients first and then add the water and Ghee. Mix well till everything is incorporated well and then knead till soft and flexible. Keep it covered for an hour or two at the max. Make into 1 ½ “ balls. When making the dough balls make sure there are no creases in the dough, mix and knead each ball as you roll it. This is now ready to use.

While the dough is resting make the puran filling and let it cool down till you are ready to make the puran polis.

Puran Filling (Sweet filling)
  • ¾ cup Jaggery
  • ¼ cup Water
  • ¾ cup Coconut shredded (not dry but get the freshly frozen variety)
  • ½ tsp cardamom pwdr
Melting Jaggery
Break/chop the jaggery into small pieces. Using a thick bottomed vessel, dissolve the jaggery in the water. Let it boil and observe the syrup. Make sure to remove any pieces of scum/dirt. This is dependent on the quality of jaggery you get.

Final Puran consistency
Let it boil till it reaches a thick sticky ball consistency (similar to candy making) this will probably take about 10-15 minutes. After it reaches this stage, add the coconut and cardamom powder. Mix well till incorporated and let it boil for another 5 minutes. Take it off the gas and let it cool and make 1” balls. These will now be ready for use.

Making the Puran Poli
STEP 1 - This process is very similar to making Aloo Parathas or any other Paratha. Firstly, moisten hands with ghee or vegetable oil (to prevent any dough/puran ball from sticking). Flatten a piece of the dough, creating a flat circular area (about the size of your palm).
Step 1

STEP 2 - Put the puran ball in the flat dough area, take the dough from all sides and pinch at the seams to let it become a purse of kinds.
Step 2
Step 2 - Pursed up puran and dough
STEP 3 - Flatten it with your hand and then roll it out to let the dough and the puran seamlessly become into one flat paratha.
Step 3 - Flattened puran poli (pre-cooked)
STEP 4 - Cook on a skillet (without oil) on medium heat, one at a time. Make sure that it doesn't burn. Flip and cook both sides. Enjoy with a hot glass of milk or some ghee.
Stack of cooked puran polis


  1. I've never had these before but they must taste really good if they've got jaggery inside! I love palm sugar - I used to eat it in little chunks like candy, when I was little. Actually....I still do *blush*

  2. Wow! This is a recipe that I've never heard of and yet I'm aching to try it. It looks delicious! And congratulations on your article...I'm off to visit it now.

  3. Hi,
    I grew up in Maharashtra and so always make the chana daal puran pole but I do not add coconut. Today is Ganesh Chaturthi so I thought I'd try your version. You mention chana daal in your list of ingredients for puran but do not mention it in the recipe. Do you add it or not?
    I liked your article on DK.

  4. HI Nidhi,
    Thanks for checking out the article on DK. You noted correctly, I made a mistake in adding chana dal as part of the ingredients (I corrected it right now). I have not used chana dal in the actual recipe. That is another type I make, but I am more fond of this particular version. Good luck with making the puran poli, let me know how it goes :)

  5. Great recipe. I tried this last night and it came out tasting wonderful, but not quite as beautiful as yours. So delicious!