Diwali

Bobbatlu – Pooranpoli – Lentil Stuffed Sweet Roti

Diwali is the festival of lights , an occasion to celebrate the triumph of the good over evil. It is an auspicious day when one would try and please ….well pray to the goddess of wealth ‘Laxmi Devi’ .  Traders and businessmen celebrate Diwali by having  huge prayers at their place of work, give bonuses to the employees and distribute sweets to everyone you know. They organise parties , exchange gifts, lots of sweets and dry fruits. I remember the day after Diwali , we would be sitting there staring at fruit baskets, sweet boxes and dry fruits in addition to the cooked treats from the neighbours and friends not knowing what to do with all the food. But the women folk always had a plan , fruit salad for breakfast , smoothies and dry fruit laddus and  sweets sometimes have been recycled …oops!! There I go spilling the family secret J  . It was crazy looking at my mom running towards us when you are just about to open a new packet of sweets to stop ..I am actually chuckling while I am writing this ,  but looking back she had a point , what would you do with 20 packets of sweets which  you know won’t last more than a week. But as kids , we always want one sweet from a gift box, another sweet from a different gift box and never finish the whole thing. It’s basically the thrill of unwrapping and opening the gifts. Adding to that , we ourselves end up cooking so much at home, stocking up savoury and sweet meats weeks ahead of Diwali.

On the day though, you ought to cook at least seven different things as an offering to the goddess laxmi. This is where the home chefs want to get creative and strive and plan to cook something that different and unique to impress the friends. We usually did well at this task at ours but there has to be one thing that is to be made repeatedly in the name of tradition and for you to carry forward. We have the pooranpoli or Bobattlu, in our case as a must for Diwali. Now, I am not that keen on deserts and sweets but this is quite different. It is almost like a sweet parata , so the carb element in it does enough for me to keep making it again and again. The pooranpoli and bobbatu are very similar while the former is a north Indian version , the latter is a south Indian version. The cooking method and seasoning does vary from region to region. I personally prefer the south indian version , because its more luxurious and made with plain flour whereas most pooranpolis are made using wheat flour. So , while six of the dishes are cooked , offered to god and enjoyed by afternoon , we have to wait for these bobattlu till evening. Reason being, the dough needs to soak in oil for at least four hours …..yes, immersed in oil until its absorbs some of it. Now, you know why I called it luxurious 🙂 . So , the usuall practice is get out of the house and start on some lightweight fireworks, come back to eat bobabbtlu, sit there with a cranky dog petrified of the loud crackers and bombs. Poor thing , it used be exhausted at the end of the day. The crackers , bombs keep going off till really late. We used to take turns , lock ourselves up in a room and keep ‘Nancy’ (our dog) distracted  in our laps most of the time to calm it down. Fireworks  are fine but , the 1000 wala , 2000 wala 5000 walas , which are literally 1000 small bombs tied together  are just too much …how can one gain pleasure putting the labyrinths through that sort of sound, is beyond my understanding. As they say  there are always some things that can change and this is one of the things that should definitely change with Diwali. Well , along with the green movement ,  cleanliness movement, a lot of awareness towards a responsible Diwali has been promoted both by Ngo’s, private sectors and government and hopefully we will see some change soon.

Staying back home all night , means us chomping on more and more bobattlu . As I said I am not a big fan of sweets , so I used to ask for just the paratha  without the filling or with very little filling. My brother used to love the filling (I think he still does) so he used take away balls of the sweet lentil filling to munch on. Worked out perfectly with no fights and arguments for a change. I started making them for every Diwali in my kitchen as well and again my son just loves the paratha  J …just like me J . They can seem a bit tricky at first but as you make them , you will get used to it as with anything else and you will get the hand of it. Give this recipe a try and enjoy the bobattlu my family style, especially if you have tried the north Indian version of them and let me know what you think of them .

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You will need :

500gms Plain ( Maida)

650gms Yellow split lentils (Chana dal)

200gms Sugar

1 tsp. Cardamom powder

500ml groundnut oil

Pinch of salt

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Bobbatlu – Pooranpoli

Method:

Make a soft dough with the plain flour adding a pinch of salt and one tablespoon sugar.

Soak this dough in a bowl of oil ( Fully immersed ) for at least 4 hrs and keep aside.

Meanwhile boil the lentils in a pressure cooker and make a nice paste of it. Add the remaining sugar, cardamom powder and mix well, try and keep this thick with no added water. You should be able to make balls and handle it to shape the roti’s. Keep aside until you are ready to make the Bobbatlu.

When you are ready, divide the dough and the lentils mix in equal balls . Take a clear plastic sheet, smother some oil on it and flatten the ball of dough with your fingers to form a small roti .

Place a lentil mix ball on top of the dough and seal the lentils mix with the dough from all sides and make a parcel. Now press to make a roti with your fingers.

On a pan cook the roti with more oil if required on both the sides till it’s done. The lentils are already cooked so you don’t need to worry about the inside bits being cooked.

Enjoy hot Bobbatlu with desi ghee …Ah …the aroma is to die for !!

Some pointers :

You can make with whole wheat aswell , equally tasty and this definitely can be made without soaking it in oil , they just won’t be as indulgent.

For a clear sheet , I usually use the liners which in between frozen paratha’s , works perfectly. Or, you can shape the rotis on the back of an oiled plate.

Cardamom is optional, but it does add a lot of flavour !

Serving the bobbatlu with ghee takes the dish to a new level so try not to miss it J

I make cupcakes with the bobabbtlu/pooranpoli flavours and they are quiet good. So if you have some lentils mix left over after making these for Diwali , head over to my pooranpoli Cupcake post and make some delicious fusion cupcakes !!

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Scrumptious Pooranpoli Cupcakes

Deserts are the way to celebrate any occasion and if that’s cupcakes then it can’t get better. But hey, It CAN get better when they are shared with fellow bloggers and when you get to taste quiet a selection of them. It gets even better when you are feeding your brain aswell in the process by learning how to photograph those delicious cupcakes. That is exactly what had happened at the bloggers buzz photography club session which was led by Nisha Thomas of  Look who’s cooking too and hosted by Suchismita Mazumdar of Kitchen Karma .  A very informative session which had focus on diffused lighting and post processing. The videos for the post processing  are up on Blogger’s Buzz  website which, for me, is a feast. I have been cupcake fed all the tips and tricks of using lighting for your advantage and of course lot’s of insight on how to finish up your photo using picmonkey.

Here are some photos I clicked during the session and have been processed using picmonkey. 

Rose petal cupcake                      Beautiful Cupcakes by Vinnetha Sush of  Ruchi

chocolate cupcakes           Delicious Cupcakes by Manjiri Chitnis of Sliceoffme also

Also Joined by Vaishali of Cloves & Capers

It was ‘world cupcake week’ and we were asked to bring some cupcakes to photograph. I had this fusion cupcake concept in mind for a while now and I thought , who else could be better judges than some of the food blogging experts. The whole idea was inspired from the pooranpoli or bobbattu which is a paratha stuffed with sweetened yellow lentils. This is a must for us, in the family for Diwali. I remember my grandmother used to soak the plain flour dough in oil in the morning and make the pooranpoli in the evening after we returned from the community diwali celebrations. I never used to like the stuffing which is too sweet for me. My granny always made a couple of plain ones with very little the stuffing and my brother demanded for the stuffing on its own. So, that compensated the amount she had to cook. The pooranpoli’s also have a very significant flavour of cardamom.

This fusion cupcake has got almost all the major ingredients and especially the cardamom and the yellow lentils. I started off with the basic Hummingbird cupcake recipe but, by the time I developed the entire recipe, the ingredients and the measurements have changed. I used mascavado sugar which gives you really earthy flavour which most of the Indian deserts have.

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To make 12 these amazing cupcakes you will need:

For cupcakes:

140g  Plain Flour
160g Dark Mascavado Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
40g Unsalted Butter
1 Tsp cardamom Powder
110ml Whole Milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the Lentils and creamcheese Frosting

30g Yellow lentils boiled and mashed (drain all extra water)
150g Cream cheese
300g Icing Sugar
20g Unsalted Butter

Method:

For the cupcakes: Combine the flour, butter and the mascavado sugar. Don’t worry if the sugar is slightly lumpy. It will caramilze and give a very good texture to the cupcake. Add the cardamom powder, baking powder, salt and give it a quick mix.
In a separate bowl, combine milk vanilla extract, egg and start adding the flour mixture slowly while beating the mixture in medium speed.
Line the cupcake tray and fill the cupcake cases half way. Bake for  25 minutes or untill the skewer comes out clean when you run it through the cupcake. Cool the cupcakes.

For the frosting : Beat the Icing sugar, butter and cream cheese untill well combined and add the smoothly mashed lentils and mix it.
Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, and wait for the compliments and praises!!  I have even caramalised some lentils after dry roasting them and sprinkled them on one of the cupcake. They were crunchy, delicious and make a great garnish for your cupcake.

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