Puran Poli

About This recipe:

In my words, puran poli is heaven on earth. God wanted us, people on earth to know what They have for their meals, so he gave us the recipe of puran poli!!! Yes! Puran poli is THAT good. Puran poli is very important part of a Maharashtrian meal. The 2 occasions on which my mother definitely makes puran poli are Holi and my birthday. Though now I stay very far ( saata smudra palikade) from her, she still makes it on my birthday. J

My granny use to tell me that in her days, making puran poli was one of the parameter on which a woman’s ‘paak-kaushalya’ (cooking skill) was tested. If a woman can make ‘good Puran Poli’ she was considered as ‘sugran’ (Sanskrit origin – Sugrihini), meaning ‘good cook’. It meant that if she can cook Puran poli, she can cook anything! The logic behind this was that making Puran poli was very much complicated then and required lot of effort, expertise and practice. Also since Puran poli was made as Naivedya, tasting it at every step was not allowed!!. Nowadays, it is neither crucial to know how to make this nor it is complicated. But if you make it, it is still considered as a great achievement and you get the Master’s degree in Maharashtrian cooking!

The only reason I even thought of ‘trying’ this recipe was because the frozen Puran poli could not satisfy my taste bud, in fact it made my craving worse and my determination to make it stronger. I made it and yessssssss! I succeeded. I can safely say this since the verdict came from my hubby, mother in law, father in law (who is not a fan of sweet food) and few of my friends.

The following recipe I think is foolproof; I really hope that it works for you.  I have used this recipe at least 4/5 times in last 3 yrs. Thanks to technology for inventing ‘food pro’ and to my mom for gifting it to me J because of which many recipes have become less complicated.  This is one of them. Earlier ‘puran yantra’ was used to blend the ‘puran’. I have explained about it in my earlier article. Do not worry if you don’t have either of them, I had made my first puran without use of any electric appliances.

Now after expressing my love for this heavenly delicacy and giving the significance of it, here is the recipe. (source: my mother J)

 Ingredients:

– 2 cups chana daal

– 2 ¼ cups sugar

– 1 tsp cardamom powder

– 1 tsp nutmeg powder

– 2 cup whole wheat flour

– 2 tbsp oil

– Pinch of salt

– Maida for dusting

 Method of preparation:

Covering:

1.    Add oil and salt to flour and make dough.  Do not make it hard else puran will not spread properly.

2.    You can also add 1-2 tbs maida to the flour which will make rolling very easy and the poli will not tear.

3.    Keep it covered for some time.

 Puran (stuffing)

1.    Add 2 ½ cups of water to washed chana daal and pressure cook it. 4-5 whistle on high and then keep on low gas for 2-4 minutes. 

2.    When you open the cooker, check whether the daal had cooked properly. Most probably, it’ll be cooked but just in case if it is not add ½ cup water and cook it for some more time. I generally prefer to cook it so well that there is no need for blending and it can be mixed simply by a spoon or ‘ravi’

3.    Mix/blend it in food processor/ blender.

4.    Take it out in a non-stick pan and cook it on slow gas. Keep stirring continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom. Cook it till the puran starts to get dry. Keep checking the corner/ upper layer of puran which is touching the pan (Marathi word – kada).

5.    Let it cool. Pinch it in your fingers and if it feels sticky then heat it a little more.  

6.    Mix cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Let it cool.

  

Puran-Poli:

1.    Make medium sized ball from the dough and similar sized ball from puran too.

2.    Roll the dough a bit and place the puran in the middle. Gather it together to form a well covered ball.  (Tip: when I gather I do it like modak first and then remove the tip so that no extra dough is left in the middle of the poli)

3.    Roast it on a tawa from both the sides. Do not turn it many times as it might break the Poli. You can fry it in ghee while serving or just spread it on both sides.  

 

 

 

Tips:

1.    Using maida instead of the wheat flour for dusting makes it easy to roll. Also since it does not stick like wheat flour, the ‘powdery’ taste can be avoided.

2.    If you are not feeling very confident about making this, you can first try it on smaller scale by taking half or quarter of all the above measurements.

3.    While making puran, I usually cook the daal directly in the cooker instead keeping it in smaller vessel. This helps in cooking the daal properly and also u can directly mix it first in the cooker. If daal is not cooked properly you can just add water and continue to cook.

4.  The puran can be stored for about a month in an airtight container in refrigerator.

5.   The puran poli can also be stored in the same way but only for 3 – 4 days.

October 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm 2 comments

Naivedyam

Naivedya che Paan – Marathi / Bhog ki thali – Hindi

I really love and enjoy all the Maharashtrian festivals and traditions. One big part of any festival is the food. The people of Maharashtra regard their food as ‘Anna he poornabrahma’ which means ‘anna’, or food is equal to ‘Brahma’, or the creator of the universe. In other words it means food is God, thus it should be worshiped. And not only Maharashtrians but all the Indians believe in offering their food first to the lord as a thanksgiving ritual for all that he has given.  This article is focused not on the recipes of the food but the placement of the food.

 ‘Naïvedya che paan’ means the special plate of food for God.  For every festival or puja, before the formal meal begins, first the Gods are offered the food and then it is given to others. The placements of each item in the plate are very much important. We were taught this in our childhood and ‘waadhne’, serving food, was one the chores that by default came to us.

Traditionally in formal meals, the food was served on a banana leaf. There were many reasons for that. One of the reason was that banana plants were abundant and so its leaves. So to serve a big crowd instead of the usual plate, leaf was more convenient. Also the other reason was hygiene. Nobody has to eat in a used plate!!!! And then again the ‘Go green’ is not really a new idea for Indians, right?

However, nowadays the regular plates are used. I have tried to show (with whatever little skills I have)a pictorial view of the placements of food items.  Also soon I will try and put up links so that you can see recipes under each item. 

September 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

Shrikhand

Shrikhand always reminds me of all those festivals that I love.  This is very traditional sweet dish. The recipe of shrikhand has evolved over the period of time.  I remember my mother used to make yogurt/ curd at home and then make chakka. The mixing part always came to me. We have a special hand blender for this and that is called as puran yantra. Here’s a pic of it.

 

However nowadays readymade shrikhand and chakka both are easily available in stores. And being a true ‘Puneri’ how can I not mention Chitale’s!!! They have the best Shrikhand and Amrakhand (and I badly miss thatL). Amrakhand is mango flavored Shrikhand. Recently I came across blogs which have mentioned many recipes of flavored shrikhand. Few of the flavors were: pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, etc.

Here I have mentioned the plain Shrikhand recipe. It is a tried, tested (tasted) and successful recipe. Hope you all like it. 

Ingredients:

– 1 container of whole milk yogurt. Any brand can be used but I prefer Dannon.  If you like shrikhand a bit sour (ambat/ khatta), I suggest use the yogurt available in Indian store and keep it outside for half a day. However, it is necessary that the yogurt is from whole milk only.

– 1- 1 ¼ cup sugar (or sugar substitute.)

– Few strands of saffron

– 1 tsp cardamom powder

– ½ tsp or less nutmeg powder

– Crushed almonds and/or cashews (optional) 

Method of preparation

1.    Take out the entire yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it overnight or 7-8 hrs.

2.    Next day take out the yogurt in a bowl. (This is also called is chakka)

3.    Mix the sugar (or its substitute) 1 Tbs at a time. You can mix it by hand or in a food processor. Continue stirring till all the sugar melts.

4.    Take 1 Tbs of warm milk in a bowl and crush a pinch of saffron in it.  Keep it aside for 5-10 mins. Mix it in the above yogurt.

5.    Add some cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and nuts.

6.    Refrigerate it and serve cold.

Tips:

1.    You can also use sugar substitute like splenda or equal.  This is very good option for diabetic people who have a sweet tooth.

2.    However, if you want to use splenda only because your weighing machine wants you to, then I would suggest to use atleast ¼ cup sugar and remaining splenda/equal. The reason is it gives more shine or glow to your shrikhand.  

3.    It tastes great when served puris.

September 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Chutney

About this recipe:

Chutneys are must haves of my refrigerator. I also call them FMFs (Fast moving Foods). These chutneys are very easy to make and great to taste. The recipes for these chutneys can be altered very easily depending on taste and with what other foods they are being served. So, before I write a speech on “How great chutneys are!!” I should start with the recipes. Here are few of my favorite chutneys:

EVERGREEN CHUTNEY

Uses:

– This chutney can be used as spread for variety of sandwiches and spread for pizza.

– For naivedya/prasad/bhog (without garlic only).

– This chutney if mixed with yogurt also tastes great and I usually serve it with paranthas.

– This is an important ingredient for bhel or any other chaat items.

– I also add this chutney to a variety of other sabzi or rice item just to give an “its different”! Taste.

Ingredients:

– 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves

– 2-3 green chilies

– 1 tsp grated ginger

– ½ tsp cumin seeds/powder

– ½ tsp black salt (kaala namak)

– 1 pinch sugar (optional)

– 1 tsp lemon juice

– 1 tsp roasted peanuts (whole or crushed)

– Salt to taste

– garlic (optional)

Method of preparation:

  1. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste and that’s it!! chutney is ready!!

Tips and tricks

  1. Store it in either plastic/glass airtight container and refrigerate
  2. This stays for 10-14 days. Though the color changes to a bit darker green but still the taste remains the same.
  3. You can add fresh mint leaves to give a different taste.

September 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

House

 I made this house as a gift for my DH (then my fiancé). Since we soon were going to start a life together, I thought a house would be a perfect gift. He loves all the handmade gifts that I make (along with those branded clothes, of course ;)).  I had learnt a new technique called molding. This was a trial part and I thought it came out pretty good. What do u guys think? 

September 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

Photo Frame

This is a wooden photo frame. I simply painted it, added some broken glass and made some roses from clay.  

 here’s a close-up

 

 

 

September 13, 2008 at 11:37 pm 1 comment

Durga Devi Mask

This is the mask of Durga Devi that I made with plaster of paris. This is one of my favorite projects.  I love the way the details came out.  There are very few masks of Durga Devi that are peaceful and calm looking.

September 13, 2008 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

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