Puran Poli Recipe

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My delightful Puran Poli recipe with step-by-step photos will show you how to make the traditional Indian treat. This lentil stuffed sweet flatbread is a popular Maharashtrian recipe made during Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Holi or any other festive occasion. While it does take a bit of skill and patience to make, the results are well worth it! And as an added bonus, this sweet recipe also happens to be pretty darn nutritious, meaning you can even eat it for breakfast.

puran poli on a green plate.

About Puran Poli

Puran Poli is a flatbread stuffed with a sweet lentil stuffing. In Marathi language the sweet stuffing is known as Puran, and the flat bread is called Poli. While puran poli is considered a sweet, the ingredients make it quite healthy.

There are a few variations of this delish flatbread found in the Western and Southern parts and regions in India.

A similar variation in the South and from the Andhra and Karnataka cuisine is called Bobbatlu or Holige, where the proportions of flours may vary together with the kind of flavoring spices and lentils used.

In the authentic Maharashtrian Puran Poli recipe, the stuffing is made from chana dal (also known as bengal gram) which are husked and split black chickpeas.

The cooked chana dal lentils are sweetened with jaggery and spiced with cardamom, fennel, nutmeg and ginger. The chickpeas are full of protein, fiber, folate and vitamins.

Jaggery is an unrefined sugar that is easily available in India. If you live outside India, then check for jaggery in asian or Indian grocery stores or on Amazon.

Jaggery has a lower glycemic index than sugar, and also contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to health.

Note: If you are unable to procure jaggery, check for Mexican piloncillo, Latin American panela or muscovado sugar, all of which are similar.

The poli (flatbread) is made from a mix of whole wheat flour (atta) and all purpose flour (maida). Whole wheat flour is also chock full of fiber, protein and minerals.

If you prefer a yellow colored flatbread, you can add some ground turmeric powder in the dough, which would add some anti-inflammatory power to these treats.

So if you are someone who has a naughty sweet tooth but are trying to be nice to your body, try making this delicious dessert that you truly can feel good about.

Making Puran Poli is easy, but it takes time. Be sure to plan in advance before making it. Feel free to prepare the sweet stuffing a day or two before and refrigerate it.

This way you can break up the process into more easily achievable bites. The following day, make the dough, shape the poli and pan fry them. Easy peasy!

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Puran Poli

Make Puran (Lentil Filling)

1. Rinse 1 cup of chana dal very well in water. I didn’t soak the chana dal, but you can soak the chana dal for 30 minutes to one hour and then drain the water.

chana dal in a light green bowl

2. In a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker, cook the chana dal with 3 cups of water for 6 to 7 whistles on medium heat. The dal need should not be mushy or pasty but cooked well.

Allow the pressure to release naturally, then strain the cooked dal. Keep the dal in the strainer for several minutes so that all the stock is drained. The cooked lentils have to be drained very well.

Tip: Keep the lentil stock aside. It can be used for making Katachi Amti (thin spiced dal) or you can just add it to your veggie dishes or roti dough.

Note that you can also cook the lentils in an Instant Pot or in a pan/pot on the stovetop. If cooking lentils in a pot on the stovetop, make sure to soak them for an hour or two.

straining cooked chana dal for making puran poli recipe

3. Heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a pan and add ¾ to 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder, ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon fennel powder.

Fry for a few seconds on low heat; this will help the natural oils in the spices to awaken and taste more flavorful.

preparing puran mixture by blooming spices in oil

4. Add the cooked chana dal and 1 cup of powdered or grated jaggery. Stir and let the puran mixture cook on a low heat till the mixture becomes dry, stirring at intervals.

chana dal and jaggery added to pan with spice mix

8. The puran mixture has cooked now and the below photo shows the thick, dry consistency you should have. Let this stuffing mixture cool.

puran mixture for puran poli recipe after cooking. it is dry and thick.

9. Now mash the puran mixture very well with a potato masher or strainer. You need to mash the lentils thoroughly as the whole pieces of lentils may cause the dough to crack or tear while rolling.

Note: There is a piece of equipment called ‘puran yantra’ which is used in Maharashtrian households to do this work, but I do not have this equipment. In America, the puran yantra would be considered very similar to a food mill.

mashing puran mixture

Make Poli (Flatbread) Dough

5. Meanwhile while the sweet lentil filling is cooling, prepare your dough to make the outer cover or poli.

Take 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Mix well.

dry ingredients for making poli dough

6. Add a little bit of water and 4 tablespoon ghee or oil and mix.

water and oil added to dry ingredients

7. Begin to knead the dough, adding water as required. The dough should be smooth, supple and soft. Cover and rest the dough for 15 to 20 minutes.

dough to make poli after kneading to a smooth consistency

Assemble Puran Poli

10: Take a medium or large size ball from the dough. With a rolling pin, roll it 2 to 3 inches in circumference on a dusted rolling board. Place a portion of puran mixture in the center of the rolled dough.

add puran mixture to round of poli dough

11. Bring the edges together towards the center as shown in the below pic.

dough is wrapped around puran mixture and looks like a purse or knapsack

12. Join all the edges and pinch them as shown in the picture below.

top of poli dough is pinched shut around puran mixture, leaving a shape that looks like a head of garlic

13. Sprinkle some flour and start rolling the dough.

rolling stuffed poli with a rolling pin

14. Make a medium or large circle (poli) as depending upon the size of the dough and puran filling you took. The cover should be rolled rather thin, so you can almost see the filling beneath it.

puran poli is rolled out thinly and is ready to cook

Roast Pooran Poli

15. On a heated tawa or griddle, spread some ghee.

ghee heating on the tawa

16. Place the rolled poli/dough circle on the tawa.

puran poli added to tawa to roast

17. When one side gets browned, turn over and cook the other side till you see some brown spots.

after first flip, the poli is speckled with brown dots

18. Once the second side gets browned, then turn over and apply ghee. If everything is done properly then puran poli will puff up.

Make all pooran poli this way and stack them in a casserole or in a kitchen napkin.

the puran poli puffs up on the second flip

19. You can serve puran poli warm or at room temperature with milk, ghee or curd (yogurt). Enjoy!

three puran poli on a green plate with a red tealight in the background

FAQs

Can I make these ahead of time?

Absolutely! They will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Can they be frozen?

Yes! Cooked puran poli can be separated with sheets of parchment paper, placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. To reheat, simply warm some ghee on the tawa and griddle them until warmed through.

Can I make these vegan?

Sure! Simply swap in a neutral flavored oil for the ghee. I recommend vegetable oil or grapeseed oil or sunflower oil.

How much filling should I use?

I’d say the proportions should be roughly 1:1 for the amount of dough and filling used.

More Festive Sweets To Try

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puran poli folded and served on a green color plate.

Puran Poli Recipe

Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread stuffed with a sweet lentil filling made from hulled and spilt bengal gram/chana dal, jaggery and ground spices. This traditional recipe is from the Maharashtrian cuisine.
4.92 from 37 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Cuisine Maharashtrian
Course Side Dish
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 6 large Puran Poli or 8 medium Puran Poli
Units

Ingredients

For puran mixture – sweet filling

  • 1 cup chana dal (skinned split bengal gram)
  • 3 cups water – for pressure cooking the chana dal
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder (ground fennel)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder (ground ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (ground cardamom)or 4 to 5 green cardamoms crushed finely in mortar, and husks removed
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder (ground nutmeg)
  • 1 cup jaggery powder or 1 cup grated jaggery

for the poli – outer covering

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional – to give a faint yellow color to the poli)
  • water as required to knead the dough
  • oil or ghee, as required for roasting the puran poli

Instructions
 

Preparing Puran (sweet lentil filling)

  • Rinse the chana dal first very well in water. I didn’t soaked the chana dal but you can also soak the chana dal for 30 minutes to one hour and then drain the water.
  • In a 3 litre pressure cooker, cook the chana dal with 3 cups water for 6 to 7 whistles on medium heat.
  • The dal has to be cooked well. If you soak the chana dal, the cooking time will be reduced.
    Once the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, then only open the lid. Carefully strain the cooked dal using a sieve. Drain all the water or stock from dal.
  • Keep the stock aside. This stock can be used for making Katachi Amti which is a thin tempered dal or you can just add it to your everyday cooking of roti, rice or vegetables.
  • Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadai (wok) and add the ground ginger powder, ground nutmeg powder, ground cardamom powder and ground fennel powder.
  • Fry these ground spices for a few seconds on a low heat.
  • Add the chana dal and jaggery. Stir and let this puran mixture cook on a low heat till the mixture becomes dry.
  • Keep on stirring the puran mixture at intervals.
  • Once the puran stuffing become dry and thick, switch off the heat.
  • Let it cool and then mash the puran mixture with a potato masher. You can also use your mixer to mash the puran mixture very well. Set aside.
    You could also use puran yantra if you have it.

Preparing the poli dough

  • Meanwhile take whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in a bowl mix well.
  • Add a little bit of water and ghee and mix. Begin to knead the dough adding water as needed.
  • The dough should be smooth, supple and soft. Cover and keep aside the dough to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Making puran poli

  • Take a medium or large size ball from the dough. Roll it 2 to 3 inches in circumference on a dusted rolling board.
  • Place a portion of puran mixture in the center of the rolled dough.
  • Bring the edges together towards the center. Join all the edges and pinch them.
  • Sprinkle some flour and start rolling the dough.
  • Make a medium or large circle (poli) as depending upon the size of the dough and puran filling you took.
  • On a heated tawa or griddle, spread some ghee. Place the rolled poli/dough circle on the tawa.
  • When one side gets browned, turn over and cook the other side till you see some brown spots.
  • Once the second side gets browned, then turn over and apply ghee. If everything is done properly then puran poli will puff up.
    The poli should be cooked well with brown spots and golden.
  • Make all puran polis this way and stack them in a casserole or in a kitchen napkin.
  • You can serve puran poli warm or at room temperature with milk, ghee or curd (yogurt).

Notes

  • While rolling the puran poli, be careful. If it breaks a little, then no issues. Just add some dry flour to that part. When making for the first time, the pooran poli may break. But that should not stop you from making puran poli. With practice, one gets better.
  • Instead of whole wheat flour, you can also make the dough with all purpose flour or half-half of both the flours. Or opt to use whole wheat flour entirely.
  • The color of the puran poli will vary with the color of jaggery used.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Puran Poli Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 202mg9%
Potassium 133mg4%
Carbohydrates 83g28%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 3IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.2mg13%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 86mg9%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 32µg8%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 47mg12%
Phosphorus 121mg12%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Puran Poli recipe from the archives first published on September 2012 has been republished and updated on December 2022.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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126 Comments

  1. Thank you Dassana for a such perfect and easy to understand recipe. I now make it every week!! I keep the dough and puran separate and use it to make a quick snack/breakfast/a small treat after lunch. I didn’t have ginger powder (we’re in lockdown here and couldn’t go to the Indian store to buy it) and have been making it without it. I also use a little turmeric as that is how I remember eating them at home as a kid.5 stars

    1. Thanks a lot Nivedita. Glad to read your comment. Yes turmeric can be added. Even I add turmeric at times. Thanks again.

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