Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sweet Boli

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will be enough to serve 6 - 8 people for Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.
Boli is a flat bread stuffed with mashed lentils that has been sweetened with sugar. Boli, as it is known in Kerala, have different names in different parts of India; Holige in Karnataka, Bobatlu in Andhra Pradesh,
Puran Poli in Maharashtra and Poli in Tamil Nadu . In Kerala, especially in Thiruvananthapuram, Boli is served with Pal Payasam for Sadya.

The recipe below follows Dr. Lekshmi Nair's recipe from Magic Oven, though measurements are not exact. It is an easy recipe, but the challenge is to flatten the bread with the stuffing as thin as possible (which I didn't nail down completely). It is best eaten fresh by itself or with Pal Payasam.

  • 1/2 cup bengal gram lentil/ channa dal
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter + extra to brush
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup plain flour
  • water, to make a smooth dough
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp gingelly oil or any cooking oil
  • turmeric powder, as required
  • Rice flour, to dust working floor
1. Mix plain flour with a dash of turmeric powder and salt. Add water, at room temperature, and mix well to form a pastry like soft, non-sticky dough. Pour gingelly oil or any cooking oil over the dough, cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hr.
2. Cook lentils with water in a pressure cooker for 2 -3 whistles until just done, not mashed up. Drain off excess water and grind cooked lentils to a fine paste. Mix this paste with sugar, cardamon powder, turmeric powder and ghee. Heat the mixture in a pan over medium flame, stirring continuously, until sugar melts and mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Take care not to boil the mixture too much because this could make the mixture very hard when it cools and hard to work with.
3. Divide lentil mixture into 6 - 8 balls. Do the same with plain flour dough. Roll out dough and place lentil balls in the centre and wrap it to completely to seal on all sides. Repeat for remaining dough and lentil balls. Dust the working floor with rice flour and roll out the stuffed dough balls into a round shape, as flat and thin as possible. Cook on a pan over medium flame, on both sides and brush with clarified butter just before taking flat bread off the pan. Place in single layers, let it cool and then stack and store.

This will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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