Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ubbati / Puran Poli With Chana Dal Stuffing.

Ubbati / Puran Poli / Obbattu / Holige ….. Is a sweet flat roti / bread which has a sweet lentil filling / stuffing within. There are numerous variations in making of ubbati in India from North to South and East to West …. But one thing remains unchanged and that is its popularity not only across the country but around the world at large .…. This is one traditional sweet dish that is prepared during “Holi ~ The festival of Colours” and “Diwali ~ The festival of Lights” . A very popular sweet dish savoured by both young and old alike … The Credit for this recipe goes to my Mom and I have prepared it just the way she does ….. Here is a complete Step by Step procedure of Making of Ubbati / Purana Poli .... A complete guide to ensure you will not go wrong if followed properly ....... Yumz ….. Happy Holi …..

Ubbati brings in lots of childhood memories. Mom used to prepare these quite often as we children loved it very much. Preparation of ubbati / puran poli is a must during festive seasons specially during Holi, Krishna Janmashtami and Diwali. As our family was large in numbers, so also there were always, relatives, guests and neighbors dropping in. Mom prepared this is large numbers and I really wonder how she managed it so easily. Our ancestors should always be given their due credit for their dedication and enthusiasm towards feeding one and all. Preparation of Ubbati is quite a tedious job as there are many steps to be followed. We did help Mom by making balls out of the dough and puran / stuffing etc. Well sometimes the puran even went inside our tummy. I loved the puran as it is too and would keep eating it. So Mom would prepare more puran / stuffing in proportion so that we could enjoy eating them as it is too. The same puran is used in making of sukrundo another Amchi delicacy too. I will prepare and post the dish soon too just keep checking my Blog.

Coming to puran poli I am sure all of you are not new to this dish and have enjoyed having them often. If you are purchasing it from stores. Rest assured this recipe will make you want them to prepare and enjoy them at home. A bit tedious to do but if you are well versed with rolling of stuffed rotis / parathas then it is easier. But do not loose heart if not, I have given step by step pictures for better understanding of the procedure. I know now it’s the season of Video presentation of recipes and many of you have asked me to add on video films of the cooking methods. But I am sorry to say neither have I the facility nor have I any extended help regarding the same. All my recipes are cooked, prepared, clicked, edited and posted solely by me and all I can manage is to give you step by step procedures. But, I assure you if you read carefully and observe the pictures, you will not need a video film at all. Trial by error makes one perfect in whichever field they are. Once you do it regularly you will get the knack and then its simply breeze work. Do prepare these and enjoy with your family and friends. 

Ingredients :
For the outer cover / dough :
Maida / APF : One heaped cup.
Haldi / Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Sugar Powder : 1 tsp
Fine Rava : 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds / Rai : 1 tsp.
Oil : About 1 cup

For the Puran / Stuffing :
Chana Dal / Bengal Gram Dal : One heaped cup
Jaggery / Gud : ¾ cup
Sugar : ¼ - ½ cup
Coconut : ½ - ¾ cup freshly grated (White part only)
Cardamom Powder : ½ tsp

For the outer cover / dough : Grind the haldi, rava, mustard seeds and sugar powder with a little bit of water to a smooth paste. Add half cup of water and mix well. Strain this through a fine sieve. Collect the water and keep aside.

In a wide bowl add in the Maida and 1-2 tblsp of oil out of the 1 cup of oil. Keep the rest aside. Mix the maida and oil into a crumble mixture. Now add in the haldi water and mix well with the maida APF and knead into a soft dough. Do not add in all the haldi water at once. The keep adding only that much that is necessary for binding a soft dough.

Now add in the remaining oil (almost a cup) over the soft dough and keep kneading it so that the oil gets absorbed into the dough and makes it elastic. The dough should be kneaded very well till there is no trace of oil left in the bowl. The dough should stretch like and elastic and be very smooth in texture. Do check in the pictures. 

Keep the dough covered aside for some about an hour or so. You can also prepare the dough well in advance and keep it for a few hours. Though I would not advice it but if you feel its too much of work at one go you can prepare the dough and put it in a food grade tight lid fitting box and keep it in the fridge overnight. I have done this a few times when I had guest coming over and I needed time for other preparation. Just remove and keep it outside for sometime and then knead well for few minutes. Its ready to be rolled. 

For the Puran / Stuffing : Wash the chana dal well in plenty of water. Drain all water and put it in a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water. Pressure cook on medium heat to 4-5 whistles. When the pressure drops open the lid and check if the chana dal is cooked properly. It should be very soft and get mashed when you press it between two fingers. Only then it becomes easy to grind it to consistency without lumps. If not done, you can cook for a few minutes on medium flame till done or even cover it back and pressure cook to 2 more whistles on medium heat. 

Strain off the excess water from the chana dal through a very fine sieve and keep it aside. It can be used to prepare Katachi Amti, A traditional Maharastrian spicy and tangy dal. During holi when puran poli is done in bulk, there is lots of excess water, some keep cooking till the water dries up, but when I came and settled in Mumbai, My neighbour taught me to strain the excess water and prepare this yummy spicy and tangy dal that they serve during holi along with puran poli. This Amti can be relished as it is too like rasam or with rice. I am posting the recipe of Katachi Amti immediately next to this one as I have already prepared the same for Holi. Do try out the spicy Katachi Amti too. It’s simply awesome. Will also post the link to the same at the bottom of the recipe. Do check on the same.

Grind the drained soft and mushy chana dal to a smooth paste. We get a stainless steel puran poli masher / grinder in market. I have posted a picture of the same. I use that, but do not worry or purchase the same if you do not have it. This is a very old method and that equipment is nearly 25 yrs. Old. Now a days we get potato masher which serves the purpose well. I still use this as I have one. And yes I have successfully used the potato masher too. Just see to it that you sieve of the cooked water fully and then grind the chana dal when hot. It is easier to grind when the dal is hot as it hardens a bit when cool and mashing it become difficult. Check the picture if need be.

Put the ground chana dal paste in a thick bottomed kadai along with the jaggery / gud cut into small pieces or grated, sugar, coconut and put it on fire and cook on medium flame till all the sugar and gud has melted well. Keep stirring to avoid the dal getting burnt below. 

Lower the flame and continue cooking till the chana dal thickens and leaves the sides and comes to a mass consistency. I have posted a picture of the same for reference. It will take a good 15-20 minutes to come to consistency depending off course upon the amount of dal used. 

To check the correct consistency of the puran. Touch you fingers to water so that a film of water stays on finger. Now touch the puran / stuffing being cooked on low heat. If it touches or sticks to your finger it needs to be done. If not it is almost done. Another more convenient and foolproof method of checking the same is, remove one spoonful of the stuffing / puran and put it on a plate and allow to cool for a minute or two. 

Apply a little bit of water to you palms and try rolling the puran into a small ball. If it comes to rolling of smooth ball consistency without breaking or sticking the puran is done. Again plz. check on the picture to enable you to understand the same. 

This is very necessary, for if the puran goes hard you won’t be able to roll into ubbati. If done remove and keep aside to cool a little bit, say for 5-10 minutes. Do not allow to cool too much, it's easier to bind and prepare the balls when they are little bit hot. Also they tend to dry out a bit if left to cool fully, So prepae when they are bearable to do so. 

Add in the cardamom powder to the puran / stuffing and mix well. This should always be added at the end for the flavour to remain intact. Adding cardamom initially and mixing or cooking will not give you that unique aroma of cardamom as when you do it later on. Some people add in a pinch of nutmeg powder for flavour too. You may add if you wish. But we Konkani Saraswat's do not usually add in nutmeg powder as we are more partial towards cardamom and saffron. Most of us dishes have the flavour of these two items. But it is entirely upto you and you may do so. 

Now that the puran and outer cover are both ready its time to go further on preparation of ubbati / puran poli. Now prepare balls with both puran and the outer cover in equal parts and keep them ready. The puran balls should be slightly bigger than the outer cover balls. See to it that you divide them equally. I got about 14 balls of both puran and the outer cover equally with this measurement. The ubbati rolled size was about 8 inches in diameter. If you want larger or smaller then the quantity differs. So it is entirely upto you. But just remember that the puran / stuffing balls should be larger in size than the dough one’s. 

Now comes the major rolling part of the dough along with the stuffed puran. Dust / Roll the dough ball in some maida / APF and roll it with the help of rolling pin to a round shaped poori say about 3 inches in diameter. Do not dust too much. The dough should be rolled evenly. 

Now keep the puran / chana dal stuffing prepared ball in the center and fold over the dough from all sides to cover the puran / stuffing ball evenly from all sides.

Now roll on the stuffed prepared balls on your palms to make it into a full covering to the puran ball. Flatten a little bit and dust it / roll it in Maida.

Roll the puran stuffed dough evenly and gently into a round disc of say about 8 inch in diameter. The rolling of the ubbati / pruan poli should be done with a light and even pressure. This is the main necessity in rolling of stuffed items. If you apply too much pressure the puran ie. the stuffing will come out through the outer cover dough. This is so the case for any stuffed roties. 

So apply pressure lightly and keep rolling and turning the ubbati. If need be sprinkle some maida as dusting to enable free rolling. As you get used to it, the rolling becomes easier. Do not despair if things go wrong. These things always need practice. But I assure you once you learn You will simply feel top of the world when you serve these delicacies to family and see them enjoy the same. I would say it is really worth the trouble.

Heat a non stick tava till smoking point. Now lower the heat to medium and wait for 2 minutes, before you place the rolled ubbati / puran poli. Once you place the ubbati / puran poli in the center of the tava let it cook till you see bubble appearing on the top side of the ubbati on tava. Now after a few seconds with the help of a flat spatula flip over the ubbati / puran poli to let cook the other side that is the upper side too. You should see brown specks on the cooked side of the ubbati / puran poli. This will take about 2-3 minutes in all. Once cooked on both sides remove and keep it on a wired gauge to cool a bit before you keep it on a plate.

Repeat the procedure with the remaining puran and dough balls in the same procedure. Do not keep flipping the ubbati / puran poli while cooking on tava often, as the ubbati is soft and may tend to break and also flipping them too many times makes the ubbati / puran poli a little bit stiffer. For the ubbati to turn soft and fluffy, you should cook one side fully and only then flip it over to cook the other side. Then again flip over once for just few seconds and remove the ubbati and place it on the wire gauge to cool off. You can also place them on paper for cooling. Initially they used to be spread on newspaper to be cooled. But the awareness that the ink on the paper may get absorbed into the hot ubbati has made the new generation avoid such mishaps. Ordinary plane brown paper if available will serve the purpose. I use wire gauge to cool and then put them on a brown paper. Follow any method convenient to you. 

The ubbati that are evenly and well rolled often blow up like a balloon while cooking on tava. This indicates that the rolling has been done evenly and well. This also ensures that the ubbati will remain soft for a few days. If the ubbati does not rise into a ball do not worry. Just cook on medium heat and prepare the same. You will slowly learn the technique of rolling evenly as you keep preparing them. Remember Rome was not built in one day. Cooking is an art that gets perfected by practice. Do not be in a hurry to finish off things fast. Roll and cook with patience and above all with loads of Love. Disaster some time do happen, but that should not dampen your spirit. We have all crossed the bridge, so will you. 

Once all the ubbati / Puran poli are done remove and spread them on a wide plate of paper and allow to cool completely before you stack them and put them in a round air tight box / dabba. This will remain well for a week or so. You can take this with you when your travel too as it will remain fresh for quite some time. 

To Serve : Serve ubbati fresh with a large tablespoon of melted homemade ghee. It tastes yummy. Some people fry ubbati / puran poli with ghee. I do not, there is absolutely no need to unnecessarily add on calories by frying the same with ghee. You can always apply it while serving. Also some prefer to eat this with milk in which case there is no need for the ghee to be added on. Also I enjoy this without the addition of ghee applied to the same. The application of ghee is to cut down the heat level in the ubbati as puran poli is considered to create heat in the body. Serving it with ghee or milk curtails this to a great level. 

Do prepare and enjoy this Ubbati / Puran Poli / Obbattu / Holige with family and friends. You can prepare them during any festive season or just like that when you desire to have them. Children will love them and you can serve them when they come back from school hungry. My Mom always used to prepare these during noon time and keep them ready when we come back from school. We used to be disappointing that we could not help out but then the aroma of fresh ubbati would make us forget everything and gives us immense satisfaction in enjoying the same. We should thank God for creating Mothers who taught us all these things in life and made us self sufficient. This recipe is exclusively my Mothers and I have just prepared it the same way. So credit goes entirely to my dear Mom.

** For the Katachi Amti / Chana Dal Saar Recipe, Please follow the link given below …..

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