Saturday, April 1, 2017

Obbattu/Holigey/Puran Poli

This authentic gem of recipe of South India is passed on to us from ages. Kannadigas Obbattu is sweet dish made using flour with filling of lentils and jaggery. Aroma sparks the festive vibes making us crave for more. Our feast on auspicious days is incomplete without the presence of these obbattu. As grand mom says, they had luxury of nibbling these splendid preparations only during festivals in those days; hence preparation marks the celebrations in various aspects. However, as days passed it’s not confined to festivals.  It is served hot with dollop of ghee and/or milk. Use your hand, take a small bite, dip in the ghee and then in milk, then straight to mouth.
Lentils obbattu

Ugadi festival marks the significance of Hindu New Year in the Southern states of India as per Hindu lunisolar calendar. The day starts with decorating doors with thorana (Mango leaves) and flowers, taking oil bath, exchanging gifts, charity, and visiting the temple. ‘Bevu bella’ (Neem and jagerry) is the first thing to eat soon after pooja is completed. It’s symbolic reminder for complex phases of life that one must be ready to take bitter and sweet in the coming days equally. Obbattu is the showstopper of the scrumptious feast.

These being versatile it has different versions. Fillings can be as simple as khoya/maua, carrot, coconut or use your imagination to create your own. Yes! You heard that right, but traditionally it's made with yellow lentils and jaggery filling. I personally have tried my hands on lentils, Coconut, and carrot version. Each one taste absolutely different but equally delicious. I think the key to perfect obbattu/holige lies in dough preparation.

Carrot Holige

 For Dough

1 ¼ cup plain flour
2 pinches turmeric
Pinch of salt
6-7 tbsp Sunflower/vegetable oil + few spns for frying

 For Filling

¾ th cup lentils (toor dal)
2 cardamoms, powdered
1 cup jaggery, powdered
¼ cup grated fresh coconut


Step1: Take all ingredients mentioned under dough except oil in a large mixing bowl. Add 1tbsp oil, water as needed and start mixing. Dough is slightly sticky, add 2 more tbsp oil and knead dough for 3-4 minutes. Pour the remaining oil over the dough and keep it covered. Let it rest for 2-3 hours.

Step 2: Cook lentils in an open pan using 5 cups water in medium heat until it is 3/4th done. It should be firm, not mushy. Drain the excess water, don’t discard, can be used for sambar, soups or rice.

Step 3: Heat a sauce pan, add powdered jiggery and let it melt in low heat. Add boiled lentils and stir until there is not much moisture. Add coconut, cardamom, continue stirring for 2 minutes and turn off. Set aside until it’s completely cool.

Step 4: Using a blender/mixer blend the mixture to fine paste. Do not use water. Divide the mixture into 12 lemon sized balls.

Step 5: Knead the dough again, Divide into 12 equal parts. Oil your palm and slightly spread it by patting to accommodate the filling. Place 1 lentil ball in center and gently pull the dough from sides to cover the filling. Pinch the edges to hold filling intact. Repeat the same for rest of the dough.

Step 6: Grease the parchment paper. Take the prepared ball and flatten it on the paper by gentle patting using fingers to size equal to chapathi (3-4mm thickness approximately), you can take help of rolling pin but be gentle to make sure you don’t knock out the filling.

Step 7: Heat the tava/griddle, drizzle a tsp oil, invert the paper on tava and carefully remove the paper leaving the obbattu. Flip and cook both sides until light brown patches appear and transfer to plate. Repeat the same for the rest. Serve with milk and ghee.


Obbattu/holige sheet or banana leaf is generally used in preparation. Any sheet/paper with non-sticky surface can be used.