Puran Poli! Sweet memories of waiting with excitement as our grandmother rolled them out, one by one. I love them with a dollop of plant based cream. And you?
Puran Poli, Holige, Obbattu, Poli, Bobbatlu… this delicacy has as many names as variations, from different parts of India. It is one of the special feast recipes prepared during festivals like Ugadi, Diwali, weddings and other special occasions. There are several varieties of Holige depending on the sweet stuffing used like peanut holige, coconut (kai) holige, tur dal or bengal gram (bele) holige, and sesame seed (ellu) holige. Most people today prepare it using either maida/all purpose flour. But Maida is refined, and causes disease. One way around this is to find and use millets instead.
This is a millet version of the popular puran poli. After many weeks of experimenting, we have perfected this sorghum or jowar puran poli, and it tastes amazing!
Do try it out!
Recipe by Prathima Prashanth, Health Coach & Plant-based Cooking Expert, NutritionScience.in
Whole Food Plant Based Jowar Puran Poli Recipe
Course: Dessert in Course 3 (Grain Dish) at Lunch & Dinner Meals, Festival Dish, Millet Dish, Snack, Sweets
Cuisine: Satvik Maharashtra Recipe from North India
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Jowar roti for Puran Poli
1 cup Sorghum Flour / Jowar Atta
1/2 cup Groundnuts / Peanuts
1/2 cup Besan flour / Garbanzo Bean Flour
1/4 cup Flaxseed Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Xanthan Gum (optional)
Water as required
Puran Poli Stuffing
1 cup Bengal Gram Dal soaked
1 cup Date Syrup
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder / Elaichi
4 cup Water
Puran Poli Stuffing
- Soak bengal gram for 1 hour. Strain the water and use for your garden.
- Cook soaked bengal gram dal with water until it becomes soft. Strain the water and use for Obbattu Saaru Recipe.
- Blend cooked bengal gram dal with date syrup and elaichi powder. This is Puran Poli Stuffing. Keep it aside.
Jowar Roti Dough for Puran Poli
- Blend 1 cup raw groundnuts into a smooth raw peanut butter.
- Boil 1.5 cup water. When it starts boiling, add 1 cup jowar flour, mix well, switch off the stove.
- Mix this with 1/2 cup besan flour and peanut butter, turmeric powder, flaxseed powder and xanthan gum. Knead well to make a smooth dough. The dough should feel slightly oily at this point.
- You should be able to make a ball without any breaks. If it breaks, add a little water and knead again. If it is too sticky, add some flour.
Preparing Jowar Puran Poli
- Dust some flour on your hands and the kitchen counter. Take a small ball of dough. Flatten it first on your hands. Lay the flattened roti on the counter. You can choose to continue flattening it with hands or roll it with a chapati roller. Flatten it into a small roti or bread.
- Now, take 1 or 2 tsp of stuffing prepared. Place it at the centre of roti and cover it with the flattened roti, press it well so that stuffing is at the centre and doesn't come out.
- Now roll this again using dry flour so that it doesn't stick. Keep rolling to form a thin Holige or Roti.
- Heat an iron tava - make sure it is heated well. If required, smear a drop of oil on iron tava and clean it up. This should be done only for the first puran poli, to season the tava. Once it is ready, place the roti on the tava and immediately smear some water on the roti - like how oil is generally smeared on chapatis. Be careful not to put too much water.
- Turn the roti over just when the smeared water dries up. Let it cook on the other side. Once done, turn it over once more. Ensure both sides are cooked well.
- Once cooked, let it cool fully. Serve fresh with almond buttera dollop of plant based cream! An easy way to make your own plant based cream is to blend almond butter with some water and lemon juice.
Plant Based Chef Pro Tips for Best Jowar Puran Poli Recipe
- You can close the lid while cooking roti to make it softer. Make sure it is on low flame!
- Cook only for some time to get soft rotis. Cooking for more time will make it crispy but even that does taste good!
- Smear peanut butter once roti is cooked and is warm so that roti can remain softer.
- Serve with something watery, like plant-based cream or cashew mylk.
Nutrition Science Highlights for WFPB Jowar Puran Poli Recipe
- Why not honey, sugar or jaggery? Sugar and Jaggery are processed foods. Although jaggery is healthier than brown sugar, which, in turn, is healthier than white sugar, all forms of processed foods are unhealthy when compared to whole plant foods. Honey is healthwise as good as jaggery, which isn't saying much. In addition to not being very healthy, honey production kills millions of bees every year, affecting our environment adversely. The best sweetener alternative is a whole fruit or dry fruit. The easiest method of using these is date syrup, as it does not involve peeling or chopping.
- Why whole grains? Whole grains are healthier than refined grains such as white rice, refined flours, maida, rava, etc., as the bran layer is intact, with all its vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Whole grains have been found to be protective against a whole range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and lifestyle-related cancers.
- Why cool grains? When cooked grains are allowed to cool on the counter or in the fridge, the starch crystallises to form resistant starch. This can be eaten by our good gut bacteria and also reduces the glycemic index (the rate at which glucose is absorbed), making the whole grain even healthier. For the same reason, parboiled whole grains can be used as well.
- Why flaxseed powder? Whole grains are super healthy foods, but whole grain flours, not so much. Because of a smaller particle size, the starch from ground up grains gets absorbed much faster than from intact whole grains, causing a glucose spike and insulin spike in the blood. This is why we recommend coarsely ground whole grains as against finely ground whole grains. When we cook dishes using whole grain flours, it is wise to add an ingredient that makes the dish sticky and slows down absorption. Flaxseed is a perfect addition for making rotis. In addition, flaxseed contains high levels of omega 3 fats and cancer-fighting lignans. For the same reason, eating grain flour dishes with pulses and legumes, such as roti and dal, is a great idea too.
What's wrong with roasting? The brown color we get on roasting whole grains, tubers, legumes, or nuts is due to the formation of carcinogenic AGE compounds. We can reduce the formation of these compounds by roasting on a low flame, adding spices and herbs, and removing browned portions of rotis / flatbread before serving and enjoying them.
- Why not dairy? Dairy products have been found to be associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, asthma, PCOS, and heart disease. We can still enjoy our milk, cream, and butter though - as long as they are made from whole plant foods!