Sunday, 27 October 2013

Poli / Obbattu

Diwali  is just around the corner. And everyone would have started planning their list of sweets and snacks to be prepared. Here I am with a recipe of Poli (in Kerala) or Obbattu (in Karnataka).
In Karnataka, This sweet is usually prepared on festival days like Ugadi, Vara Maha Lakshmi Vrata and Diwali. On the other side It will be hard   to think about a marriage feast in the Thiruvananthapuram region of Kerala without poli and payasam.

Now this is the first time I am trying out Poli. I heard this is also called as Puran Poli and in Palakkad side iyer families this is called upputtu. The funny thing is in Karnataka Uppittu is actually Upma. Well my hubby after eating this was explaining to his friend about this dish and his friend has not heard the word poli or obbattu. My hubby said "well in aaloo paratha remove the aaloo and have a sweet filling - thats it". What a tag line for Poli!!! 

I also saw recipes where the ingredients for the filling differs. In karnataka people use only toor dal whereas in Kerala channa dal is used. In, Andhra, pasi paruppu is used. Well I used a mixture of toor dal and channa dal.

For the filling:
Toor dal - 1/2 cup - 125 grams
Channa dal - 1/2 cup - 125 grams
Jaggery - 1 cup - 225 grams
cardamom powder - 10 grams
nutmeg powder - 5 grams

For the dough / outer layer:
Maida - 3/4 cup - 200 grams
Fine rava - 1/2 cup - 100 grams
Turmeric powder - 5 grams
Salt - to taste 
Oil -  preferably gingelly oil
Ghee - 150 grams

For the dough:
  •  I didn't have fine rava. So I powdered the rava and used it.
  • Sieve maida, fine rava, turmeric and salt together.
  • Make a soft dough using water. The consistency should be that of chapathi dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a utensil. Add water to it, so that the dough is immersed in the water completely.
  • Keep aside for two to three hours.
  • After about 3 hours Drain the water completely from the dough.
  • Add 4-6 tablespoons of oil. Knead the dough, using your fingers till the dough becomes soft. When you pull-up small quantity of the dough, it should stretch without breaking. If it does not stretch, add little oil and knead again. The dough should look similar to that of a parotta dough now.
  • Smear the dough with little oil. Cover with a bowl upside down. Keep aside for at least one hour.

For the filling:
  • Wash toor dal and channa dal. Add about four cups of water, two pinches of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of oil. Cook till the dal is just tender. Do not cook till the dal is soft.
  • The toor dal and channa dal would have different levels of cooking time. So cook thm separately for best results.
  • Separate the water from the dal, using a strainer. Keep aside the water to make sambar or rasam.
  • Break the jaggery into small pieces. Fry the jaggery pieces and  the cooked dal in a thick-bottomed kadai. After few minutes, turn the flame to low and keep mixing.  Otherwise, the mixture will get burnt quickly
  • First, the mix becomes little watery. After sometime it becomes thick.
  • Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Mix. Switch off the stove. 
  • Grind this mixture to a paste. The filling is ready.

The polis:
  • Make lemon-sized balls from the filling and the dough.
  • The traditional ways is to take a plaintain leaf and on the outer side (the side which is plain) apply some oil. take a dough ball and spread the dough to the size of poori.
  • Place one ball of the filing in the center of the dough. Cover the filling completely with the dough, by lifting its edges and placing them on the top of the filling.
  • Reverse the dough and press it lightly.
  • Spread the dough into a thin chapathi, using your fingers or a rolling pin.
  • Instead of plaintain leaf we can also use a butter paper.
  • I have a chapathi press which I generally use for making pooris and pathiris. I made this poli with the help of that press and my life was easy...
  • Heat a tawa. Spread little ghee.
  • Reverse the plaintain leaf/butter paper which has the uncooked poli and place it on the tawa, so the poli will be placed directly on the tawa. Remove the plaintain leaf/butter paper.
  • Wait for 1-2 minutes. When the poli color changes, sprinkle few drops of ghee and flip the poli. Cook till both sides are cooked well.
  • I used a iron tawa so I always had the heat on minimum.

Poli / Obbattu is ready. Serve this with a teaspoon of ghee spread on the Poli.