Who says festivals have to be fattening? This Gudi Padwa, or Ugadi, we bring you healthy festive recipes.
Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year, wouldn’t be the same without the classic delicacy puran poli, a stuffed roti with sweet chana dal filling topped with ghee. Originally made of maida, we recommend you use whole-wheat flour instead, which is rich in complex carbs, fiber, vitamin B and certain minerals. Jaggery (or gud) used for the filling is loaded with iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, and is also good for digestion.
The combination of cereal and dal makes it a great source of protein too. Use the ghee sparingly, and make it a healthy meal.
Ugadi Pachadi, a chutney prepared in Andhra homes to mark the Telugu New Year, is a healthy, low calorie dish made of neem flowers (margosa), fresh tamarind, jaggery and raw mangoes. You can add sugarcane, coconut and bananas also.
Each ingredient denotes the six tastes of life, signifying that life is a mixed bag of experiences and that we should be ready to accept everything life has to offer in the New Year.
1. Puran Poli recipe
For the dough
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tbsp oil
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For the filling
1 cup channa dal (you can substitute with toor dal too)
½ cup jaggery
½ cup sugar
½ tsp elaichi powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
2 tbsp ghee
A few strands of saffron
- Combine flour with little water at a time and knead into firm dough, adding oil to make it smooth and firm. Cover and set aside in a cool place.
- Cook the dal with 1½ cup water until it is soft. Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat, add the jaggery and sugar and stir until it dissolves completely. Add the dal, saffron, elaichi and nutmeg and stir until the mixture (puran) thickens and leaves the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and allow the puran to cool.
- Divide the dough and puran into 12 portions. Roll the dough out into 3-inch diameter circles. Place the puran mixture in the centre and fold the edges of the dough over to cover the filling. Pinch the edges to ensure it is sealed well.
- Flatten the stuffed dough; dust a little flour and roll gently into a roti. Make sure you don’t put too much pressure as the puran can spill out.
- Preheat a non-stick tava and cook the puran poli until it is brown on both sides. Repeat for the remaining dough and puran portions. You can serve it with milk instead of ghee as a healthier option.
2. Ugadi Pachadi
1 cup of raw mango cleaned, dried and finely chopped along with skin
1 tbsp margosa (neem) flowers
1 cup jaggery (gud), grated
1 tbsp fresh coconut pieces, finely chopped (optional)
3-4 tbsp tamarind paste
Red chilli powder and salt to taste
Grind all the ingredients in a mixer to a sauce-like consistency.
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