Monday, April 17, 2006

Puran Poli: Perfect!

Last week during Gudi Padva, M indulged me with some freshly made Puran-polis. A konkani delicacy! For those who have not tried one, imagine a paratha stuffed with a blend of chana-dal, jaggery and elaichi. Liberally spread tuup (clarified butter) on warm puran-polis and ... Yumm! M made 10, she ate 2 and I finished 8! What sacrifices the indian woman makes! A true pativrata. Hee Hee! And with a glass of milk, I didn't need dinner!

At home in Mumbai, the boiled chana-dal is well blended. Here, the chana though well cooked, was not all well-blended, resulting in their discernible outline in the puran-polis. For me, that added to the experience. I particularly enjoyed the heterogeneous texture while eating, as opposed to the creamy puran-polis in Mumbai.

My other favorite is a variation of the puran-poli called "Sanzori." Identically made, but the stuffing is a cream of wheat-based shira. This variant is commonly made in North Canara and I suspect has a marathi influence. Sanzoris don't crumble and are perfect while reading, not having to worry about crumbs between the pages.

Below are a few pics of sanzori making at our home in Mumbai, during Ganapati 2004.

Sanzori Making in Mumbai
In preparing most foods, particularly during Ganapati and other festivals, all my kakis (aunts) and other relatives will get together and help out. Here, some of them are in the midst of making sanzori.

First, the 'kanik' (yellow sticky flour) is spread on the palm (see aunt on the right); then, a round ball of stuffing (Shira in this case) is placed in the center (see left); and the kanik is 'pulled' so it covers the entire ball of shira (top). Making puran-polis is identical, except the stuffing is made of chana-dal, jaggery and elaichi.

A couple of cousin-sisters then roll the 'dough ball.' Covering the dough ball first with flour, prevents sticking.

Then, quickly roasted on a pan.

And cooled over old newspapers!

My aunts have this habit of slapping my wrists every time I pull one out! Ouch! Well we first offer this to Ganapati, and then partake of them as his gift to us! Makes us appreciate all the good fortune we are blessed with and thank God for the same. We do the same here in our home in Boston.

Go ahead! Pick one up, they have already been blessed, and I won't slap your wrists. Enjoy!
© 2005 Arun Shanbhag

No comments: