Bakshalu are sweet Indian flatbread stuffed with sweetened cooked lentils. It makes a delicious dessert and a snack. It is one of the must preparations for Ugadi in some Telangana households and also customary preparation on special occasions!
Festival of Ugadi & Puran Poli
According to Hindu calendar, 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.
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.
Though it is a tradition to prepare poornam on Ugadi, due to time constraints and often laziness, I make Instant Pot moong dal paysam. This preparation also requires sweetening cooked moong dal.
Besides bakshalu and Ugadi pachadi, the other staple at home is mamidikaya (mango) pulihora. The first crop of raw green mangoes just begin to flood the markets around this time of the year. So, mango pulihora rules over other varieties of pulihora, making it a staple for Ugadi.
However, if you are not a fan or mango pulihora or cannot source raw green mango, you can always fall back on the classic chintapandu pulihora (tamarind rice) or nimmakaya pulihora (lime rice) or try a fusion version, carrot lime pulihora.
Puran poli is the popular stuffed sweet flatbread from Maharashtra and it's cousin are 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.
Cooked moong dal is sweetened with sugar, cooked until the mixture solidifies, cooled and shaped into small balls. These sweetened balls are covered with a dough and shaped into a flatbread and cooked on a hot griddle.
Why this recipe?
Puran poli, bobbatlu and bakshalu recipes I came across online are with chana dal. I found none with moong dal/green gram and this is the only way I grew up eating these flatbread. Hence, this is one more incentive to post this recipe.
- All purpose Flour - is usually used for for the flatbread but one can use a combination of wheat flour and all purpose flour or only wheat flour. However, I prefer and use only all. purpose flour.
- Moong dal - This particular bakshalu are usually prepared with moong dal, however one can substitute it with chana dal. I never prepared it with chana dal.
- Sugar - is the common sweetener for moong dal stuffing and I prefer it over jaggery.
- Dough - Prepare a soft pliable dough kneading it for at least 3-5 minutes and rest it for at least one hour.
- Stuffing (Puran) - Cook moong dal until soft, add sugar and continue to cook until sugar melts and solidifies. This is the tricky part of the preparation and the texture of the poli (flatbread) depends the consistency of the stuffing.
- Flatbread - One the puran cools, divide into balls. Divide the dough into small balls and make a disc. Place puran ball in a dough disc, cover it with the dough and shape into a flatbread pressing it on a ziploc bag with fingers.
- Cook on a hot griddle using oil flipping it in between.
Serve bakshalu with some ghee. You can serve it as a dessert or even as a sweet snack any time of the day.
Cool poli completely and store in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days and 15-30 days or even longer in the refrigerator. Microwave for 10-15 seconds before serving. These also freeze well and stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer. Freeze in a ziploc bag.
More Stuffed Flatbread Recipes
Bakshalu - Moong dal stuffed sweet flatbread
Cover ~ Poli ~ Bread
- 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 teaspoon 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.
To make Bakshalu
- 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 teaspoon 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.
- Nutrition - information is approximate values.
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