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Sweet Pumpkin Boli (Puran Poli)

Deepavali (Diwali) traditions can be different for different people as India is so very diverse and each state and region has their own legend, tradition and tastes. Our Deepavali tradition have evolved a lot from what we have grown up with to what we do now. For my family, Deepavali (like many other festivals) was celebrated in a low-key way. We did an oil massage and took bath early in the morning, my father would get us a box of assorted sweets and that was about it. My husband's family also did not celebrate Deepavali elaborately, but since they were all big foodies, they had some traditions with the dishes that they made for Deepavali. They make a special breakfast with vadas (deep fried lentil doughnuts) and boli (sweet stuffed flat bread). After we moved to the US, we have kind of made a mix of these along with a few others into our family's Deepavali traditions. Traditions like wearing an Indian attire to work, sharing Diwali goodies and going out for lunch to an Indian restaurant with co-workers.

For today's recipe, I am making the boli with a seasonal touch. Traditionally boli is made with a dough and all purpose flour (maida), and a sweetened lentil filling. I am just giving a seasonal and quick'n'healthy touch to it by making it with whole wheat pastry flour and using sweet pumpkin as the sweet filling. Our farm lady has been asking me to try her newer variety of pink pumpkin. That is what I have used for this recipe. The pumpkin is already sweet to a good extend and hence I did not sweeten it with any added sugar.

For filling:
  • Sweet pumpkin - 1 cup (cubed, roasted and mashed)
  • Cardamom - 3-4 (skin removed and powdered)
  • Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp (freshly grated)
  • Himalayan salt - a pinch
  • Finely shredded dried coconut - 2 Tbs (optional)

For boli dough:
  • Whole wheat pastry flour - 1 1/2 cups
  • Sea salt - a pinch
  • Pure organic ghee - 1 Tbs + little extra for spreading on the boli
  • Filtered water - 1/2 cup

For Filling:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  • Peel and cube the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes.
  • Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.  Let them cool down.
  • Once they have cooled down, mash them with a fork.
  • Add freshly grated nutmeg, ground cardamom and keep aside.
  • This can be made ahead and kept refrigerated till you are ready to make the boli.
  • When ready to make, add himalayan salt and optionally add finely shredded coconut (if the filling has extra moisture)

For Boli:
  • Mix all ingredients for dough and make a stiff dough and knead well and keep aside for about 30 minutes. 
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls. Divide the filling also into 8 balls. 
  • Take one ball from dough, press it with your palms. Keep a filling ball in the middle and cover it with the dough. 
  • Roll it out into 4-5' diameter boli. Repeat for remaining dough and sweet potato stuffing.  
  • Heat a griddle on medium-high heat and the rolled out boli. Once you start seeing small bubbles, flip and cook on the other side. 
  • Repeat this for a couple of times more till bolis are cooked evenly on both sides, it would take about 3-4 minutes in total. 
  • While bolis are still warm, spread a pat of ghee on each side. 
  • Enjoy, Happy Deepavali!! 


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