Boli is a south Indian sweet similar to a sweet stuffed paratha.
I got introduced to this boli in the train journeys from Chennai to Tirunelveli. The total traveling time may consume around 12 to 14 hours. Usually we board the train in the late evening and will reach Tirunelveli for breakfast:)
But before an hour to reach the destination, we have to halt in a station called 'vanchi Maniyachi' . It is the memorial spot for the Indian freedom fighter Mr. Vanchi Nathan. The train usually stops there for nearly 20 minutes , as it is a jucnction and also to get signal. But it will be a good time for the street vendors to sell their homely Boli, vadai ,Murukku, coffee, tea and Idly. The famous dishes are Murukku and boli.You know what, this stop will be my long waited one to get my favorite 'Boli'. I love to finish off my breakfast there with these yummy bolis alone. One more place famous for boli is Kadamboor in that area. My taste buds always crave to taste and compare them in different places. The differences I found were, the Maniyachi Bolis are thinner and made with sesame oil, while in other places they use ghee on the thicker version of boli.
Still it gives a native taste and I love it very much. I tried it last month and it came out very well. Here is the recipe and you can try it this weekend:)
Paruppu Boli/ Maniyachi Boli / Sweet paratha.
All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
baking soda - a pinch
salt - a pinch
Sesame oil - 1/2 cup
Mix the flour, salt , baking soda, Turmeric powder and mix well.
Add water little by little to get a thick chapathi dough like consistency.
Coat it with little sesame oil and cover it with a wet cloth.
Leave it for 4 - 6 hours . Mom used to make this dough in the morning and use it in the evening by 3 pm, so that we could have it with tea.(This setting time makes the dough very flexible and manageable. In the mean time prepare the stuffing or pooranam).
After that divide the whole dough into 15 equal portions.
Shape them in to balls. Keep aside.
Channa dhal (Bengal gram) - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
cardamom - 3
shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
Soak the dhal for 2 hours. cook the channa dhal completely and drain water.
(We can use the water to make rasam / soup).
Mash the dhal to fine paste using a mixie / a spatula.
Heat 1/4 cup water and dissolve the jaggery in it. Then filter any dust / sand present.
Mix the jaggery solution with mashed dhal and heat it in a wok.
Add coconut and powdered cardamom now.
Let it loose all the moisture and become a thick mass.
Switch off stove and let it cool.
Divide it in to 15 equal size balls.
Take one 'all purpose flour ball'.Apply oil to it. Using a rolling pin flatten it to a circle. Do not use flour to spread the circle. Instead apply oil generously to spread it.
Take one 'stuffing ball'. Place it on the center of the circle.
Now fold it with the covering dough closely , so that no stuffing can be seen from outside.
Now again apply some oil and carefully spread it to a thin circular shape (approximate diameter should be 5 - 6 inch). Don't worry if you see some pooranam from inside in this stage, as it will become fine after frying.
Heat a dosa tawa. Evenly apply sesame oil on the tawa .Reduce flame and fry the bolis on both sides till we see some brown dots all over.
Again increase the heat, apply oil, reduce heat and fry the bolis in lesser heat.
Take out and store in a container.
Like wise proceed with the rest of the dough.
Paruppu Boli is ready!
Serve as dessert or evening snack.
Makes 15 Bolis .
The leftover boli (if any) can be wrapped in ziplock covers and kept refrigerated for a week.
Like wise we can make numerous verieties of sweet stuffed bolis like, coconut boli , date fruit boli, sesame boli, fruits boli, ghee boli, Jeera boli (boli soaked in sugar solution) etc. I have tasted some varieties in the sweet stalls of KK nagar , Chennai,India :) . You can experiment any thing with it and will become a fan of bolis soon:)
Sending this boli to Purva's Holi haii ! event.