Puran - Chana dal halwa

Last Sunday was Holi. It is the festival to welcome spring. It also has a religious significance in the story of Prahlad and Holika. While many people love it for the play with colors, for me, it has to obviously link to food. The food synonymus with Holi is Puran Poli.
I did not do the poli part, and just went with Puran. The puran poli making process is a little difficult and time consuming. And it is so delicious that it is easy to overdo it. I just made a little bit of puran to offer as prasad.
The puran made for eating on its own is a little different than the puran used to stuff the polis. The chana dal is kept whole instead of pureeing it and it needs much less sweetner than the puran for polis. And the biggest advantage, it is quick and hardly requires effort. I am all for the foods that deliver great taste while being easy to make.
If you are like me and want a taste of puran poli without all the effort and time, this puran, which is more like a halwa, is just the thing.

Puran (Chana dal Halwa)

Makes 4 small servings
3/4 cup chana dal
3/4 cup jaggery
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp ghee
1 tbsp cashew halves
  • Soak the chana dal for around an hour, if possible. Even half an hour will work.
  • Pressure cook the chana dal for 1 whistle (for me, it takes 15 min) and let the steam subside on its own.
  • Once cool, open the pressure cooker and drain the chana dal. (Make sure to use the drained water in other dishes otherwise you just lose precious nutrients). The chana dal should be whole and intact, not mushy.
  • Add the jaggery and sugar and let them melt and reduce.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ghee and fry the cashews in it. Add the cashews to the dal.
  • Once the Puran/halwa is thick, take it off the heat. It will not take more than 5-10 min. It will also thicken slightly once cool. Take it off the heat when it has a little bit of liquid still left.
  • Add the cardamom and nutmeg powders.
  • This is a heavy dessert and a couple tablespoons are enough for a serving.

  • Sugar is optional and can be left out if you prefer the halwa to be mildly sweet.
  • About a tablespoon of fresh grated coconut is also a good addition to the halwa.

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