I wish all my readers a blessed New Year full of happiness and health! In this new year I aspire to rise up, glide above my comfort zone and hanker after the recipes I never dared to try before. Now I have tried traditional boli that I enjoyed in my childhood days but I never had the courage to try. There are a number of varieties of boli prepared by South Indians, but the traditional boli is the most delicious boli I ever tasted in my life. Those boli were made thin, flaky, papery & large and stuffed with mashed sweetened lentils. It is really challenging to prepare perfectly shaped boli as it is made thinner than any other boli and hence it turned out to be a larger boli. Nowadays it is hard to find these traditional boli in the sweet shops here, they are usually made thick, chewy, greasy & small which I feel unpalatable.

boli-recipe-scaled Boli
Traditional thin flaky Paruppu Boli popular in Nagerkoil

Traditionally sweet boli were served for breakfast during festivals or special occasions at home.

boli-bf Boli
Breakfast with Boli

They were also served in wedding feasts along with payasam for lunch.

boli-for-lunch Boli
Boli with payasam as dessert for lunch

But I like to relish sweet boli along with savory vadai (masal vadai or ulundha vadai) and we usually serve boli & vadai with coffee or tea in the evening.

boli-snack Boli
Boli & vadai as evening snacks

I always wonder how those traditional boli were made so large and thin as it might be difficult to handle such thin papery disks while cooking them. Now I learnt the secret to handle these thin large boli at ease after a few trials, it lies mainly with dusting these boli using rice flour. Lets look into the recipe with no further delay for the traditional paruppu boli popular in Kanyakumari and Nagercoil regions:

sweet-boli-scaled Boli

Yields: 8 boli

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 cup of maida (APF)
  • 1/2 cup of water for kneading
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp (or a pinch) of salt
boli-ingr Boli

Ingredients for the fillings:

  • 1/2 cup of Bengal gram
  • 1/2 cup of water for pressure cooking lentils
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1/2 tbsp of ghee
boli-fill-ingr Boli

Dough making:

  • Mix maida, turmeric powder & salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour about 20 ml of oil into the flour and mix again.
  • Pour water and knead for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour another 20 ml of oil and knead again for 5 minutes.
  • Pour remaining oil over dough and keep the bowl closed for 4 hours.
boli-dough Boli

Lentil fillings: 

  • Wash and soak Bengal gram for 2 hours.
  • Rinse the soaked lentils and drain the water completely.
  • Pressure cook them after pouring equal measures of water.
  • Simmer for 7 minutes after bringing to high pressure.
  • Meanwhile powder the sugar along with cardamom using a mixer and transfer to a bowl.
  • When the pressure is released mash the lentils into a smooth dough in the same mixer jar.
  • Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame.
  • Add mashed lentil into the pan and saute for few min.
  • When the lentil is hot add powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Saute until sugar is dissolved completely.
  • Add a tsp of ghee to level out the sticky dough.
  • Grease palms with ghee and roll into balls.
boli-fillings Boli

Boli making:

  • Grease palms with coconut oil and divide boli dough into 8 equal portions.
  • Roll them into smooth balls.
  • Stuff boli dough with lentil fillings as shown below.
  • Roll out a stuffed dough to a thin disk as much as possible up to the diameter of 9 or 10″.
  • Cook both the sides on a griddle in medium flame.
  • Transfer to a plate when done.
  • Repeat the same for remaining dough balls.
  • Store boli in an air-tight container for 3 or 4 days.
paruppu-poli Boli


  • Lentil filling should be prepared just before rolling out boli, else it would get harder over the time.
  • Lentil filling should be as sticky as boli dough, so you may sprinkle some water into the filling (if the moisture in lentils is completely evaporated) before adding sugar.
  • I used powdered sugar as it does not require much heat to dissolve into the mashed lentil.
  • We usually take equal measures of lentil & sugar for most of the fillings, but for boli we need to double the sugar considering the large covering of bland dough.
  • I used rice flour for dusting (instead of maida) as it helps to keep the dough elastic but not sticky and thus helps to roll out thin boli.
  • Boli should be cooked in medium flame only, it would turn hard if cooked in low flame, or it would get charred quickly in high flame.
  • I used a little larger lentil filling than the dough (they both are smaller than even a small tomato) and rolled into a 9″ boli. If you use larger dough ball you may have to roll out even more larger boli.
boli-filling Boli

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