Puran Poli With Red Bean Paste
Although, I consider myself a well organized person, sometimes life never seems to go according to plan. When Jeff a fellow plusser on Google+ shared a photo of his stuffed asian flat bread, Gin Loong Pau, it brought back nostalgic memories of my childhood and left me feeling hungry. My mother used to make Puran poli with a sweet lentil stuffing, which was very similar to Gin Loong Pau. It was a snack for our long train journeys and a lunch on the festival of Holi. The taste of these polis was so heavenly that we never cared how many we ate and the sides served with it were always eaten as leftovers in the dinner. Although, Sikhs do not celebrate Holi but since I have lived at different places in India, some food-cultures of these places have become part of my life. And, I know Holi is not complete without Puran Poli, Gujiya and thandai ( cooling drink with seeds and spices).
Jeff’s recipe had a stuffing with red bean paste and because I love adzuki beans I decided to make Gluten free puran poli on Holi. That being a weekday I thought to make it on Saturday. However, Holi came on 27 th march and passed, I got busy at our friend’s house, where another friend came from US for the weekend and there everybody planned to go for a picnic the next day and then watch a comedy show in the evening. It was a lot of fun but I felt I had not done anything productive and the long weekend vanished in a flash. This has not happened with me for first time. Often when I plan things they don’t go accordingly, surprises come which I least expect it. And then in re-planning some of the things get delayed or overlooked which is what happened with this recipe. It skipped from my mind and then Jeff checked with me how things were going ? I have no idea how my fellow blogger friends participate in food challenges and publish their recipes on specific days?
Better late than never. Here, I am with my gluten free puran poli recipe inspired from Jeff’s Gin Loong Pau.
Puran Poli is a traditional sweet flatbread commonly devoured in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa on auspicious occasions and during important festivals such as Holi. it is stuffed with a delicious mixture of jaggery, bengal gram daal, cardamom and nutmeg called Puran. The outer covering is known as Poli, which is made from wheat or all purpose flour with saffron and oil in it. The dough for Puran Poli is sticky, thin and pliable to make delicate polis that melt in your mouth (don’t expect such results from gluten free dough, mine is like Puran Paratha). It stay soft even next day and that is why its an excellent snack to be carried while traveling. Even though it is sweet, it is not served as a desert after the meal. It is a main dish served with clarified butter or milk and a spiced lentil soup called Aamti. Dipping the warm and sweet Puran Poli in a bowl of desi ghee or tangy, spicy soup is a treat not to be missed!
This is my second attempt to this recipe. At first I used GF white chapati flour but it was hard to roll, with the filling falling out and the edges breaking apart. Then I added custard powder and with that it was easier to roll. Does adding custard powder sound strange to you? Infact, custard powder works nicely in a dough that is to be used for sweet preparation. I have used it before in orange rolls. It gave nice yellowish hue to the polis which some people do by adding turmeric or saffron. While making wheat flour puran polis, the filling is twice (almost) the dough ball but in my recipe you will find it the other way round. It still tastes great and are soft, although they don’t look soft in the photo but they really are GF soft and I promise you can swallow without a slug of milk or soup. However, I highly suggest to take butter or desi ghee (clarified butter) with it to eat as a snack.
PURAN POLI WITH RED BEAN PASTE
- 140 g red bean paste ( at the end of cooking stage add 1/8 tsp green cardamom powder)
- 123 g (1 cup) gluten free white chapatti flour
- 27 g (1/4 cup) vanilla custard powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup water ( 1tsp water extra if required)
- Take GF chapatti flour and custard powder in a bowl. Add baking powder, canola oil and buttermilk.
- Rub flour with your fingers. The mixture will look like bread crumbs.
- Add water and knead a smooth dough. Let the dough rest covered for 15 minutes. Knead it again.
- Heat tawa (griddle) on low flame. Divide the dough into 4 balls (62.5 g each). Make 4 balls (35 g each) of red bean paste.
- Take a dough ball, roll about 5 ” with a rolling pin in between plastic wrap. Stuff the red bean ball in the rolled poli. Bind it nicely sealing properly.
- Press the ball with palm to flatten it. Roll gently with a rolling pin.(You don’t need dry flour but if the dough is sticking apply little oil on the inside of plastic).
- Carefully lift the plastic wrap and poli with your left hand and place it in the palm of you right hand spreading out your fingers to support it.
- Gently place the poli on preheated tawa. Cook one side of poli completely and then turn over and cook the other side.
- Transfer cooked puran poli to a napkin lined plate. Repeat the process for other polis and serve warm with butter or desi ghee.