Bakshalu – Green Gram Stuffed Sweet Flatbread
Bakshalu are cooked lentils stuffed, sweet Indian flatbread. It makes a delicious dessert and a snack!
Theme of the Week
My theme for this week’s blogging marathon is stuffed flatbreads from around the world. The first in the series is Bakshalu from Telangana, India. Bakshalu are prepared on special occasions and on Ugadi.
Festival of Ugadi
According to Hindu calendar and for those who follow lunar cycle, Ugadi marks the beginning of a New Year. Every year the date changes according to the calendar but always falls in March or early April. This year it is March 18th. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the festival is Ugadi, in Karnataka it is Yugadi and in Maharashtra it is Gudi Padwa.
Regardless of the region, it is the beginning of a New Year and that means celebration! Whenever there is a celebration, food is always at the center stage. One of the customs in many households is preparation of poornam. Poornam in Telugu or puran in Hindi is the filling for bakshalu (flatbread) and is prepared with lentils and, sugar or jaggery.
Puran poli is the popular stuffed sweet flatbread from Maharashtra and it’s cousin is bakshalu. Similar flatbreads are prepared in different regions of India; bakshalu in Telangana, bobbatlu in Andhra, and holige or obbattu in Karnataka, to name a few. The main ingredients for poornam or puran are chana dal (Bengal gram) and sugar or jaggery. However, at my parents & in-laws place, and in our family circles, it is moong dal and sugar.
Besides bakshalu and Ugadi pachadi, the other staple at home is mamidikaya (mango) pulihora. This time of the year, the first crop of raw green mangoes just begin to flood the markets. So, mango pulihora rules over other varieties of pulihora, making it a staple for Ugadi.
Why Bakshalu for the this theme?
I usually do not plan and post recipes according to the season & events of the month. When I picked stuffed flatbreads theme, the plan was to post stuffed flatbreads from various countries and none from India. Since Ugadi is this month, I figured I rather post a recipe appropriate for this month than a random recipe. Also, all the puran poli, bobbatlu and bakshalu recipes I came across online are with chana dal. I found none with moong dal/green gram and hence, this is one more incentive to post this recipe this week, rather than later.
How to make Bakshalu ~ Stuffed Sweet Indian Flatbread
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ - ⅔ cups Water
- ⅓ Oil, to shape and cook bakshalu
- 1 cup Moong Dal ~ Green Gram
- 2 cup Water
- 1 ¼ cup Granulated Sugar (add more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp Cardamom Seeds, powdered
Mix flour and salt in a wide bowl.
- Pour ½ cup of water and make the dough. Add more water if required.
When the flour comes together, knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until soft.
- Cover and keep aside for 1 - 2 hours.
Wash dal, and cook with 2 cups of water.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the flame to medium - medium low and cook until dal is soft.
Continue cooking dal until water evaporates.
Add sugar, cook until sugar melts and the puran/poornam comes together leaving the sides of the pan. Keep stirring intermittently all through this step.
Reduce the flame the continue cooking until melted sugar and cooked dal solidifies.
To a test if poornam is done, take a teaspoon of poornam and let it cool. Then shape it into a ball using fingers and if poornam is very sticky, and unable to shape it into a ball, that means it needs to cook a little longer.
Turn off the heat when poornam is done, let it cool.
Divide poornam into 10-12 parts and shape into a small lemon sized balls.
Similarly, divide the dough into 10 - 12 parts. Size of each part of the dough should be smaller than the size of poornam balls.
- Take a ziploc bag or a plastic sheet, apply some oil using fingers.
Press a dough ball with fingers to make a small disc. One can do this step even by pressing the dough on the hand.
Place one poornam ball on the dough disc and seal it to make a round ball. Similarly, stuff rest of the poornam balls.
Apply some oil on a ziploc or plastic bag. Press each poornam stuffed dough into a thin flatbread using fingers. Keep turning the plastic sheet around to get an even and thin flatbread.
Heat a pan/griddle/tava. When the griddle is hot, place the flatbread/baksham on one palm, peel of the plastic bag with other hand and gently place the baksham on the hot griddle.
- Drop about ¾ - 1 tsp of oil around the baksham, cook on medium flame until it is cooked, about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Flip baksham and drop more oil around the baksham and cook for another minute or 2.
- Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Repeat the same with rest of the bakshalu.
Once the bakshalu are cool, store in an airtight container for at least 2-3 days at room temperature and up to 15 - 30 days or even longer in the refrigerator.
- Before serving, warm baksham in the microwave for 10 - 15 seconds and serve with some ghee.