Holi Celebrations in Maharashtra

Growing up in Maharashtra, a state in western India, I have fond memories of grand celebrations for Holi, which spanned multiple days. The main day of the festival of colors, celebrated across the country with the splashing of powdered colors and water, is known as Dhulivandan in Maharashtra. However, people may choose to use colors or not. The day when color play typically happens in Maharashtra is Rang Panchami, a few days after Dhulivandan. On the eve of Dhulivandan, called Holi, people celebrate with a bonfire at night and by making a special sweet treat called puran poli. This year, I’m giving the humble flatbread a makeover and turning it into an elegant Puran Poli Galette

Puran Poli Galette

Puran Poli for Holi 

Puran poli is an integral part of Holi celebrations and a staple in every Maharashtrian household on this festive day. It consists of an unleavened flatbread, known as the ‘poli,’ filled with a sweet stuffing called ‘puran.’ To prepare the puran, chana dal (Bengal gram) is cooked, mashed, sweetened with jaggery, and infused with aromatic spices such as cardamom and nutmeg. This delectable mixture is then stuffed into whole wheat dough, rolled out into thin flatbreads, and grilled on a flat pan until they achieve a beautiful golden brown color. 

Puran Poli Galette

Finally, they are generously drizzled with melted ghee or served with a bowl of milk. This traditional dessert takes center stage on the plate during Holi celebrations.

Puran Poli Galette

Childhood Memories of Puran Poli

I have fond memories of my grandmothers and my mother spending hours in the kitchen, especially during Holi and other special occasions or religious holidays, preparing this delightful sweet treat. Making puran poli was a cherished ritual in our family. While I have never had much of a sweet tooth, neither as a child nor now, I always looked forward to savoring one or even going back for seconds. What I appreciate about this sweet delicacy is its perfect balance – it’s not overly sweet and harmonizes beautifully with the neutral, slightly salty dough of the bread.

Puran Poli Galette

Transforming Maharashtrian Flatbread into a French Galette

Every year, I cherish the tradition of making puran poli for Holi, reliving those wonderful childhood memories. However, this year, I decided to put a unique twist on the tradition. I retained the concept of stuffing the dough with the sweet filling, but instead of rolling it out into a flatbread, I dumped the puran onto a store-bought, refrigerated pie crust, transforming it into a rustic French galette!

Puran Poli Galette

A galette is a free-form French pastry, similar to a pie or a tart, in which the pastry dough envelops the filling. Galettes can be sweet or savory and are baked on a flat baking sheet, eliminating the need for special equipment such as a pie or tart pan. While making a galette is simpler with store-bought refrigerated pie crusts, you can also prepare the dough from scratch if you have a preferred recipe.

Puran Poli Galette

The puran poli seemed like the perfect candidate to transform into a rustic tart by encasing the sweet filling with pie crust. Dusted with powdered sugar and generously drizzled with ghee, this fusion dessert captures the essence of the classic puran poli. It pairs wonderfully with warm ice cream, whether it’s simple vanilla or an Indian flavor like cardamom or Kesar Pista. Give it a try and experience it for yourself! I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

Puran Poli Galette
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Puran Poli Galette


  • Author: Vasanti

Ingredients

Scale

For the Filling

  • 1 cup chana dal (Bengal gram; see Notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup (approx 250 g) jaggery (see Notes)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Crust

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 46 small cubes
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (in the microwave for 3045 seconds, in increments of 15 seconds, see Notes)

Instructions

Making the Filling

  • Rinse the chana dal under cold tap water and transfer to a stackable insert pan for the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add the water and place on a trivet inside the inner pot of the Instant pot filled with about 1 cup of water.
  • Close the Instant Pot’s lid and turn the steam-release valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally after cooking is complete and then open the lid.
  • Add the jaggery on top of the cooked dal and close the lid. Let the jaggery soften and melt inside the warm Instant Pot for about 10 mins.
  • Transfer the cooked dal along with the jaggery to a medium mixing bowl and mix well with the help of a spatula or spoon. Season with ground cardamom and ground nutmeg and combine well.
  • Let the mixture sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes and cool down to room temperature. The mixture will thicken as it cools.

Making the Galette

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Unroll the refrigerated pie crust onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Transfer the prepared, cooled filling into the center of the pie crust and spread it into an even layer, leaving a 2-inch border of pie crust.
  • Gently fold the edges of the crust over the filling.
  • Brush the pie crust with the melted butter and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Dust it with powdered sugar. Cut into individual slices and serve warm with a generous drizzle of melted ghee.

Keywords: Baking Recipes, Store-bought Shortcuts, Holi Special

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Chana Dal Substitue

If you can’t find chana dal, you can substitute with split yellow peas.

Jaggery Substitute

You can also use coconut palm sugar instead of jaggery.

Don't let your butter explode!

Do not melt butter in the microwave for more than 15 seconds at a time otherwise it will explode all over the insides of the microwave oven.

Recipe Variations

Substitute chana dal (Bengal gram) with toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas) to make the Gujarati style Puran Poli Galette.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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