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 the traditional boli that is fairly difficult to prepare. Generally, Indians prepare different varieties of boli or poli with soft or flaky skins and powdery or moist fillings, but I find the traditional one, popular in Kanyakumari & Nagercoil regions, is the most delicious boli. They were usually made thin, flaky, papery & large, and stuffed with a sweet dry filling (paruppu pooranam).

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

Nowadays it is hard to find these traditional ones in the sweet shops here. Most of the shops sell thick, chewy, greasy & small boli which I find unpalatable.

Meals with boli:

boli-bf Boli
Breakfast with Boli

We serve them for breakfast during festivals or special occasions at home. It is also a tradition to serve them for lunch along with payasam, especially in wedding feasts.

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

But I like to relish this sweet 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

Earlier I used to wonder how these papery crumbly boli were made because it is so difficult to handle such a large thin disks. Now I l have earnt to handle these them at ease after a few trials, and dusting the dough with rice flour helps to roll them out with no mess. Now let’s look into the recipe with no further delay for the traditional paruppu boli:

Paruppu boli recipe:

sweet-boli-scaled Boli
Paruppu boli recipe

Yields: 8 boli

Ingredients for 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.
  • Add about 20 ml of oil into the flour and mix again.
  • Pour the water and knead for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add another 20 ml of oil and knead again for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the remaining oil over dough and keep the bowl closed for 4 hours.
boli-dough Boli

How to prepare the pooranam: 

  • 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 using 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
Pooranam recipe

How to prepare boli:

  • Grease palms with coconut oil and divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
  • Roll them into smooth balls.
  • Stuff the 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
Boli recipe

Tips for making boli:

  • Pooranam (filling) should be prepared just before rolling out boli, else it would get harder over the time.
  • The filling should be as sticky as the 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 here we need to double the sugar considering the large covering of 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 them out thin.
  • 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 pooranam 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 it out even more larger.
boli-filling Boli
Size of dough & pooranam

107 comments on “BoliAdd yours →

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  1. One of my favorite sweet. My Mom prepares so thin and soft. Each steps are important in this to get the desired softness. As I always say, your presentation and preparation is awesome Megala.

    1. Your mom must be an excellent cook. I find it difficult to get the right texture, so I prefer to use store bought patties. 🙂
      Thank you for your kind appreciation!

    1. Yes, we can call it as stuffed chapati. Thanks much for stopping by.
      I’m sorry for the late reply, I missed to see your comment.

    1. Yes, nice to see the different variations in every region as well. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Absolutely love these puran polis…and also love the cute name BOLI?.
    Happy New Year with lots of happiness and peace?

      1. You are, person who didn’t even cooked before can do excellent in cooking by reading your posts. You deserve more. I know nowadays people are not interested in cookery books like before YouTube became first choice now.

  3. Excellent post Megala.
    Your post reminds me of the time when we used to make 1 kilo chana dal puran poli moreover the maida dough ball were much smaller than puran ball.
    It was like a super event day. My son loved to help grandma with puranyantra to make the chana dal and jaggery paste. Usually we cook the dal in big pan and use the excess of chana dal water to make kat like rasam.

    1. Wow! This is amazing, just can’t imagine how they managed to cook such a huge quantity of puran poli.
      Thanks for sharing your reminiscences with this sweet delicacy.

  4. Another sweet delight I’ve never encountered before! I love a good flatbread, and a flatbread stuffed with lentils is all the better. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

    1. Yes, they are same, but our traditional one has paper-like texture and is not smeared with ghee. .

  5. This is one of my favorite sweets and the pictures are so tempting. The traditional thin and big one has been made so perfectly hope to try making it some time!

    1. Yes, I was also afraid to prepare boli. I hope this post would give you some confidence to try this out. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Yes, you can very well add khoya, sweet potato, carrot, coconut, etc. that don’t make the filling hard, or soggy.

  6. Megala, A very Happy new year to you and your family. Puranpolis looks perfect?and elaborate pics would be helpful to a beginner also.

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