Boli / Puran poli is typical Indian sweet made with channa dal and jaggery or sugar filling. It is made on festive occasions. In South Kerala boli is made for Hindu weddings and for maru veedu (Bride's family visiting the groom's home first time after the wedding).
Unlike most of the world here the dessert is served in between the meal for weddings. 4 payasams are served in the middle of the sadya (feast). After which a small helping of rice with pulisherry /moru curry(yogurt curry) and sambharam(spiced buttermilk) is served.
- The sweet experience
- Recipe FAQs
- Points to note and plan
- Other typical traditional Kerala style sweet dishes
Experience this traditional Kerala sweet boli in sadhya :
After two helpings off rice and two desserts this sweet flat bread comes along with the third payasam. A boli is placed on the plantain leaf then a large ladle full of paal payasam or semiya payasam or paal ada pradhaman (milk based kheer)is served on top of it.The sweet filled flatbread immediately absorbs all the sweet milk from the payasam and becomes soggy soft it is simply smushed into pieces with the right hand and dripping wet delicious milk soaked pieces are shoveled into the mouth :)) . One needs to finish eating this fast and clean up the area on the banana leaf because the next payasam will be served in the same exact spot on the leaf.
What a delightful experience it is ! To have such unlimited meal and still not feel suffocated or choked. The traditional feast is planned in such a way that you feel good not bloated in full stomach.
Boli and Mysore pak was my Grandma's favorite. Wish I knew to make bolis at home in those days I bet Grandma would have been super impressed with this kiddo. Thanks to all the cookery shows I did learn how to make Kerala boli. These days I find my daughter asking for it hmm.. genes I guess.. :))
Sweet boli is a very thin flatbread, a South Kerala speciality made with a flour base outer covering and lentil jaggery based filling. The texture is very soft and fragile. It will give in and fall apart with very little pressure.
For a traditional Kerala sadhya boli is served after two rice and curry rounds and two payasam round just before the paal payasam is served a single boli is gently kept on the lower half of the banana leaf towards the right then a large ladle of paal payasam is served on top it. Smush the boli and let it soak up the milky dessert and relish it.
Use left over boli as a super breakfast by simply tearing a few into a bowl pour some milk microwave for a minute voila its better than cereal and tastes awesome.
Points to note and plan :
- Before u start I would like to say it is a little delicate work u need some patience to get it right.
- Boli is usually made with sugar but jaggery tastes even better. If u are making with sugar simply replace jaggery with sugar and thicken it after grinding on low flame until the consistency becomes thick. Then you can shape ball out of it thats all the rest is same.
- Slight presence of white powdery coating of rice flour on cooked boli is absolutely fine. It prevents them from sticking to each other.
- PS: Make perfect rounds as much as possible. I choose to go with a very wet consistency of maida which is tough to handle but the moisture content helps the boli to stay soft and breaks into pieces with just two fingers..
How to serve the traditional sweet boli at home ?
It can be served with plain milk, coconut milk or milk or vermicilli kheer/payasam, paal ada pradhaman.
Other typical traditional Kerala style sweet dishes :
BOLI KERALA STYLE
- 1 cup Channa dal
- 1 cup Jaggery (Break it into small pieces – I use a stone to hit:))
- 1 pinch Dry ginger Powdered
- 1 pinch Cumin dry roasted and powdered
- 2 pods Cardamom Powdered
Outer covering :
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- 1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
- a small pinch Salt
- 3-4 tsp Sesame oil
For spreading :
- 2-3 tbsp Rice flour
- Ghee as required
- Cook the channa dal( in a pressure cooker) adding just enough water to cook until almost done. (Not mashed or paste). On touching the cooked dal/lentil/parippu it should break into grainy powder.
- Drain off excess water if any and immediately add the jaggery to hot dal /parippu (do not put on heat) Simply mix well until cool.(the heat from the dal is enough to melt the jaggery)Grind it in a mixee to fine smooth paste.
- Take a heavy bottom pan and pour the mixture add the dry spices powdered earlier and heat until it thickens stirring constantly (this will take only a minute or two) to a thick dough consistency to shape into a ball. When it cools divide the dough into equal portions and make ball out of it.
- Meanwhile make the outer covering by mixing maida,turmeric powder and salt add water and make a smooth sticky dough add sesame oil on top and let it rest for say half an hour **while the filling is made.
- Dip fingers in water take a small ball of the maida dough (just enough to cover the filling)spread the dough in the palm of ur hand keep the filling inside, cover the filling entirely with dough put it into the rice flour roll for dusting once then roll it into disc as thin as possible. Dip fingers in water only if the dough is too sticky.
- Use rice flour to prevent the disc from sticking on to the surface. Heat (medium to high) a tawa and cook boli one side when it puffs slightly turn cook for few seconds apply ghee on just this side and transfer onto a butter paper to cool with ghee side on top.Store in a airtight container for two days in room temperature.Or it can be stored up to a week in the fridge.
- Kerala Boli can be served with plain milk, coconut milk or milk or vermicilli kheer/payasam, paal ada pradhaman.
- The maida dough coating should be as thin as possible.The consistency of dough is very important the softer and more pliable the dough the better.
- The channa dal should be ground fine and really smooth otherwise while spreading the the disc the filling will fall out.
- Do not keep flipping the boli more than once. That ensures each side gets only one cooking chance and keeps it soft.
- If the boli is cooked for too long on one side it will become hard as the jaggery is getting harder inside.
- Do not spread more than two discs at a time and try to cook them immediately. If too many discs are made at a time and cooked later they dry out and become hard and chewy.
- Instead of the palm of ur hand use an oiled aluminium foil to shape and cover the filling if u like.
Hope You like these traditional festive sweet bolis.
This is so unique and there is something I learn new today! 4 types of payasam and also in the middle of the feast! WOW! Just simply wow. The pictures are gorgeous and lighting is impeccable Meena. Very well done.
Ur motivation on lighting means a lot to me. Thank u Dolphia.
Anupa Joseph (Palaharam)
Once a friend of mine from TVM asked me what he needs to get when he is back from kerala from his vacation.... I said I like Boli(I meant Ethakka boli) but it would get spoilt by the time he gets back....but he was so sure that it wouldn't...when he was back he brought this boli...and we had a huge discussion on how boli meant Ethakka boli in our part of kerala and not this boli...Anyways, that was the first time I had this goodie...and it was superb....u have made it just perfect....
And never knew about the serving of different payasams for sadya...good to know about it....ella ittu unnan kothi ayi 🙂
I like the chana dal filling. My fav. Had a feast over such a dessert and the various types of payaram at Kerala recently.
aah.. lovely writeup n awesome lighting...
looks super delicious. beautifully written. loved it !
kandittu veendum kazhikkaan kothiyavunnnu..yummmy !!!
Remya Elizabeth Anish
Enikku kothiyayittu irikkan vayyayae....... I'm a big big fan of this boli n paal payasam...... which I would be eagerly for this combos turn...... ur pics r making me irresistible dear.... 🙂
looks so yumm and very well explained