Puran Poli - Sweet lentil flatbreads #BreadBakers

This month, the Bread Bakers are making Indian Flatbreads/Parathas, a theme chosen by Renu from Cook With Renu.  I have made only a few true flatbreads before and Naan was the very first challenge bread I ever participated in for the BBB bread baking group.  After some googling, I found these Puran Poli lentil flatbreads and seeing that they had cardamom in them, which I love, decided to try them out.  I guess there are different kinds of Puran Poli, some thick and some thin.  I believe this recipe is the thicker style known as Gujrati Puran Poli.  I would be interested in trying the thinner ones some time too.  We love lentils, I keep red lentils on hand which is masoor daal.  The thin versions of this flatbread call for chana dal which google tells me is split yellow chickpeas and not lentils, and this thick one calls for toor dal, which is split pigeon peas.  But all the recipes call it a lentil flatbread.  Maybe it's a region difference?  Whether they are pulses or lentils, or peas, this is a recipe traditionally enjoyed for a number of Festivals, but also enjoyed as a breakfast or snack item by some.  It uses jaggery powder for sweetness, which has a lovely molasses aroma as it is an unrefined sugar.  Added along with the whole wheat and aromatic spices, it results in a golden brown, flavorful and aromatic flat bread.  Puran Poli
is commonly served with hot milk, flavored with cardamom and saffron.  I love golden milk, I think it would be lovely with that as well.

Puran Poli
makes 10 flatbreads

½ cup whole wheat flour (I used fresh ground)
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
~1/3 cup water

¾ cup toor dal
¾ cup jaggery powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder (I use fresh ground)

flour for rolling
oil or ghee for cooking

Make the filling first to give it time to cool.  Rinse and soak the toor dal in two cups of water for at least four hours.  It will double in volume after soaking.  Drain and rinse again.  Add the toor dal and turmeric to two cups of water.  Cook in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When dal comes to a boil, skim any foam from the surface.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan.  Cook for about 25 minutes, adding more water if needed.  The dal should be very soft and mushy, don't let it cook dry.  Add the jaggery powder and cook until the dal forms what looks like paste and starts to hold together. Mix in the cardamom and nutmeg powder.  The filling will be very soft and sticky.  Allow to cool.

To make the dough, combine the flours and oil in a bowl.  Add water slowly to make very soft dough. Knead to mix, the dough should not stick to your fingers but should be fairly soft. Cover and set aside to rest at least 15 minutes.

To assemble, divide the dough and filling into ten equal parts. The portions of filling will be a little more than twice the size of the dough balls.  Roll the dough balls into 2½ inch circles. Place a portion of filling in the center of each circle. Seal by pulling the up the edges of the dough together to make a ball around the filling.  Repeat to make ten balls.  Let the filled balls rest for 3-4 minutes to make them easier to roll out.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the skillet to test if it is hot enough. The water should sizzle right away when it is ready.
To roll out, dust each filled ball lightly on both sides with dry whole wheat flour.  Set the ball, sealed side up on a pastry cloth or work sureface and lightly press into a circle about 2 inch wide.  Roll the ball gently into a 5 inch circle.   Dust with more flour if needed to prevent sticking.
Place the puran poli in the pre-heated skillet.  When the color starts to change after 15-20 seconds, flip it over.  There should be some golden-brown spots and it will start to puff up.  After a few seconds, spread a teaspoon of oil or ghee on the puran poli.  Flip it again and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula.  Flip once more and press with the spatula to make sure the puran poli is golden-brown on both sides.
Repeat this process for the remaining dough balls.

Puran poli is best served hot.

And it takes some practice to roll them out so they cook well!

A little too thin and this one disintegrated after cooling a bit.

Be sure to check out the assorted Indian Flatbreads/Parathas presented by our talented bakers.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Approximate nutrition for 1 flatbread:



  1. Sweet lentils surprised me when I saw your title but I totally get it now that I see your lovely flatbread, Kelly. These would be a satisfyingly hearty breakfast or snack.

  2. Love the added protein from the lentils making this a complete handheld meal.

    1. Yes, the protein makes me feel better about the sugar!

  3. I have to yet make this Kelly, keeping it on hold for a long. But you have nailed it so perfectly. Yes you would have different versions but toor dal is the one that is preferred. Loving the puran poli you have done.

  4. I totally love cardamom. And look at you with the authentic ingredients! Lovely!

    1. I love the molasses smell of the jaggery, it smells exactly like a bag of "unrefined cane sugar" I have, which makes sense since that is exactly what it is. But it was not in the hard cake form where you have to grate it. I wonder if that would be slightly different.

  5. Kelly, I have to congratulate you for making perfect puran poli. It is not very easy to make and you have done a great job. Cardamom and nutmeg give it a great flavour, I am sure you must have loved it.

    1. Thank you so much! I am thrilled to have that endorsement from someone who knows how they should be!

  6. Congrats for attempting these and making them!


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