April 3, 2012

Bele Obbattu/Holige/puran poli - Whole wheat stuffed sweet bread

This is my favorite sweet of all times. It is sweet stuffed flat bread made for festivals.



The classic recipe calls using bleached flour, but I experimented it using whole wheat flour instead. I must say, it came out much softer than the original, and may I say, was more nutritious :-)

What you need: Makes 20 medium sized obbattus
For the filling
2 cups channa dal
2 and 1/4 cups jaggery powdered (whole cane sugar)
2-4 green cardamoms
5 cups of water
For the covering
2 cups whole wheat flour/ atta
1 cup warm water
½ cup oil
1/4 tsp salt
To make the stuffing:
Soak the dal in water for an hour. In a large pan, add the dal, water and cardamoms, bring it to a boil. When the dal begins to crack on the sides, and is soft to touch, turn off the heat. Drain in a colander and set both the water and dal aside.
In a thick bottom pan, add jaggery and water. On medium heat, bring it to a simmer. Test to see if it has reached a ball consistency. Add a small amount of the syrup in a bowl of cold water. Touch it with your finger, and slowly roll it, if it’s runny, it is not ready. If the syrup forms a soft ball, we are good. Filter the hot paste in a metal filter, to get rid of any fine sand.
Add the drained dal, and jaggery together and cook till the watery liquids evaporate. Let cool, and grind it in a processor.  Set aside.

To make the covering:
In a processor, using the dough blade, add in the flour, salt and  2 tsp oil. Pulse it 3 times.  Now add in ¾ to 1 cup water and turn it on, to make a gooey smooth paste. The consistency should be elastic (like soft chewing gum). Now add in ½ cup oil and finish it with 3 -5 quick pulses. Set aside. You can do the whole process by hand, you will have to knead it with greased hands, for a really long time, say 15 minutes, to get the same elasticity.


Rolling it out:
Take the filling dough. Make medium lemon sized balls and place it on a plate. Take the covering dough, grease your hands (by dipping it in oil), pull out a small lemon sized ball, and, on a greased paper, flatten it out to look like a cookie. 





Place the sweet filling dough in the center. Pull the covering over this from the edges, around, to the center, start layering the edges, on each other. Use the other hand to hold it, if it’s your first time, just till you get the hang of it. 





Completely cover the filling. Press any excess covering dough into the top center to form a pit.







Dip this white dumpling in a little oil. Invert the sealed pit face down, and gently pat it down with greased hands, flattening it out evenly to look like flat bread. You may also use a plastic sheet on top of the greased dumpling, and roll it with a rolling pin if you like.







Use a flat bread making pan, turn it on medium heat. When it starts to smoke, gently and quickly, invert the greased paper on to the pan. Peel the paper from one edge to the other. Let it cook on low heat.
Slightly lift the edges, if it’s a golden brown, make a quick and gentle flip. Cook it the same, on the other side. It is served with ghee/milk/mango puree or just eaten as is. Yum!