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.




You need to make the red bean paste a day in advance. For recipe check here. If you want to stuff the polis with bengal gram daal, then check here.


  • 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)


  1. Take GF chapatti flour and custard powder in a bowl. Add baking powder, canola oil and buttermilk.
  2.  Rub flour with your fingers. The mixture will look like bread crumbs.
  3. Add water and knead a smooth dough. Let the dough rest covered for 15 minutes. Knead it again.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Gently place the poli on preheated tawa. Cook one side of poli completely and then turn over and cook the other side.
  9. Transfer cooked puran poli to a napkin lined plate. Repeat the process for other polis and serve warm with butter or desi ghee.

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  • comment-avatar
    CCU April 7, 2013 (2:26 am)

    I suppose a little lack of organisation is not bad thing, especially when these beautiful puran polis are the result! I have never tasted them but would love to try 🙂


  • comment-avatar
    Balvinder April 7, 2013 (5:39 am)

    Uru, I was shocked to see your comment when I checked my blog on cell phone because as far as i remember the post was still in my drafts. I sleep early but last night I was working on my post and I don’t know how I edited the publishing date. What was I thinking? Thank goodness I checked it before leaving the house and quickly edited it.

  • comment-avatar
    Coffee and Crumpets April 7, 2013 (6:32 am)

    You must’ve been reading my mind! I’ve been wanting to make puran puris for awhile now but then I ended up going away to the wedding and they are still waiting to be made.
    This is a a great idea to stuff them with the bean paste..kind of a fusion dish?
    They look great and gluten free too. I am back on my GF diet since I’ve been having a hard time with my RA flare ups. I will be visiting you quite a bit to get some sweet ideas.


    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder April 7, 2013 (6:43 pm)

      Nazneen, why do you think you want to go on Gf diet and what is RA? You mean Rheumatoid Arthritis?
      Anyways you can try out something Gf from my blog or create your own. I will be more than happy to see some GF baked good on your blog.

  • comment-avatar
    yummychunklet April 7, 2013 (4:17 pm)

    I love red bean! Yum!

  • comment-avatar
    Charu April 7, 2013 (5:39 pm)

    What a terrific idea to put red bean paste in Puran poli..and I live the idea of a gf Puran poli. Thanks, Charu

  • comment-avatar
    Asmita April 8, 2013 (5:15 am)

    My favorite! Looks yummy!

  • comment-avatar
    Nava Krishnan April 8, 2013 (7:33 am)

    That red paste is my fav. In fact I can eat loads as it is. But the layer of dough/flour of makes it complete. We too have something similar. I like that you added cardamom powder for the nice fragrant.

  • comment-avatar
    Liz April 8, 2013 (4:06 pm)

    Your stuffed flatbread is picture perfect! Beautiful. I have no idea what these would taste like as I’ve never tasted a red bean filling. But I would jump at the chance to sample your Puan poli.

  • comment-avatar
    anne April 8, 2013 (11:02 pm)

    Bal , we’ve got nearly ( sort of ) this kind of flatbread back home , filled with muscovado sugar or sweetened purple yam . We called it piaya 😀 Love your version , looks pretty yummy !

  • comment-avatar
    Nami | Just One Cookbook April 9, 2013 (10:36 am)

    I’m a huge red bean paste lover and I actually buy flat bread that has red bean paste in it (Chinese version). I should make it myself because homemade looks 1000 times better. I’m so jealous of these. I can eat 2-3 pieces at one sitting, easily!

  • comment-avatar
    Bam's Kitchen April 10, 2013 (3:18 am)

    This sweet bean stuffed treat looks fantastic. I used to love the little ones when I used to live in Japan but as we all know those are not gluten free. I really hope I can find chapatti flour here. I bet I can find that in the Indian provisions store. I am also delighted to see you made your treats big as I am sure I would want many… Take care, BAM

  • comment-avatar
    Erika April 10, 2013 (10:23 am)

    I’m so intrigued–I’ve never used chapatti flour before, but I am a huge fan of flatbreads. Do you ever use chickpea or garbanzo bean flour to make stuffed breads like this? I just bought a bag and am trying to figure out how to use it…but these look amazing!!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder April 10, 2013 (2:17 pm)

      Hi Erika! I have used chickpea flour in many dishes and it is commonly used in all Indian homes. You can find some recipes on my blog even pizza where I have used chickpea flour. Check out my page on Chickpea flours.

  • comment-avatar
    Minnie@thelady8home April 21, 2013 (3:16 pm)

    My husband loves puran polis, and these are looking so divine that I want to steal them off the screen from your blog, lol!!! I love the idea of red beans paste. But I have never thought of using custard powder before, very interesting tip Balvinder, thanks so much for sharing that. I guess it’s the corn starch binder that works. I will try that out next time.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder April 21, 2013 (8:07 pm)

      Yes, even I think so that its the corn starch that helps in binding the dough but I never added cornstarch as such in my chapatti flour.

  • comment-avatar
    Lail | With A Spin April 22, 2013 (1:32 am)

    Never tried puran poli but it sounds delicious to try out.

  • Holi Inspired Lavash Pinwheels | Simple Gluten Free Kitchen March 22, 2016 (7:47 pm)

    […] lot of sweets while enjoying ourselves in the company of friends. Some of the specials were gujiya, puran poli, thandai, and dahi bhallas. Thandai, is a sweet, milky drink made from a mixture of almonds, fennel […]

  • comment-avatar
    Katerina September 6, 2016 (12:41 am)

    I have never had anything like that but I love the idea of stuffed pita bread and they look so inviting!