Sankrathi is the first festival of the year and I have such lovely memories of this festival. As long as I can remember we always had ‘bommala koluvu’ at home which meant meticulously unpacking and setting up all the dolls that have been in our family for years. Every day of this four day festival, Amma makes something special and at the evening, guests would come home to get the haldi-kumkum. It was also a time for family unions. The house would be bursting with my aunt and uncle’s family, with lot of cooking happening. Fun times they were.
Fortunately parents are with us this year to celebrate Sankranti and we are trying our best to revive the traditions. One of the must-do things in our family for Sankrathi – on the first day of Bhogi is to make Bobbatlu/Bobbattu. Bobattu, also known as Puran Poli is a sweet dish made from chana dal and jaggery stuffed into crispy, soft maida outer covering. This has been one of my most favorite sweets growing up and keeping up with the tradition, Amma and I made it for Bhogi this year as well. The sweetness from jaggery and the flavour of ghee makes this sweet one of the tastiest Indian sweets that can be easily made at home. There are a few tricks to getting softer Bobbattu or Puran Poli and it lies in the consistency of the dough. The dough has to be pliable, soft with ghee or oil added to it and the filling, when stuffed in should be equally spread all over the Bobbattu.
To make Bobbattu | Bobbatlu | Puran Poli
What I used –
- Maida/All Purpose Flour, 1.5 cups
- Oil, 1.5 tbsp (for making dough + rolling)
- Chana Dal, 1/3 cup (when cooked and powdered, should be ½ cup)
- Jaggery, ½ cup
- Green Cardamom, 2
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, 2 tsp
- Salt, a pinch
- Water, as needed
How I made –
1. To prepare the outer dough, take the all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add salt and mix water little by little until a firm dough is formed. Knead it really well and it should form into a ball of pliable dough. Add 1 tbsp of oil and knead well. Let it rest for atleast 30mins.
2. In a pressure cooker, cook the chana dal for 4-5 whistles until it is well cooked. Drain the water completely and mash it well. If the chana dal is too coarse, run it smooth in a blender (it should be fine and powdery) along with green cardamom.
3. Add the powdered chana dal into a thick bottomed vessel. Add powdered jaggery and cook on a low flame. When the dal and jaggery comes together and is thick, remove from heat and let it cool down completely. Divide this stuffing into equal lemon sized balls.
4. Divide the dough into equal lemon sized balls. Apply few drops of oil to your palm and apply few drops of oil on a plastic cover. Take a ball of dough and press it with your fingers to form a thin circle. Place a ball of the filling in the center and close it with the dough from all sides. Gently press it into a roundel again.
5. Meanwhile, heat a flat pan or tawa. Once hot, reduce the flame to medium. Gently remove the prepared Bobbattu from the plastic and add it to the hot tawa. When the bottom is slightly cooked, gently flip it. Apply few drops of ghee over the cooked side and flip it again after 10-15 secs. Apply ghee on the other side and cook until golden brown spots appear on both sides. Remove it on to a plate and repeat the same with the rest of the Bobbatlu.
6. Serve hot with ghee spread on top! Offer as naivedhyam if desired 🙂
- Resting time for the outer dough is really essential to get the required elasticity.
- Adding a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness of this sweet.
- The dough should be oily to work with and apply few drops of oil every now and then to work easily with the Bobbatlu.
- When hand pressing the Bobbattu, ensure that the filling is being spread all over the circle made and not to a side.
- When pressing the Bobbattu, be very gentle or else the filling can come out. Ideally the outer layer should be very thin and the stuffing should be thick and evenly spread inside.
- Make sure all the water is drained from the cooked chana dal. Otherwise, the stuffing would turn runny.
- Also, cook the stuffing on low flame to avoid burning.
- Tastes great when served hot, especially with ghee spread on top. Stays well for 2-3 days.