Puranache Dind ( Steamed Stuffed Pancake)

Puranache Dind is an authentic Maharashtrian sweet delicacy specially made for festivals like Nag Panchami and Diwali . It is a steamed dish made from whole wheat flour with sweet Bengal gram stuffing called puran , hence the name. These aromatic and flavorful melt in mouth treats are very healthy and taste best when served piping hot topped with generous amount of home made ghee ...ahhh ! the thought itself makes me salivate :) This is also a great way to use the left over puran after making Puran Poli .
To make Puranache dind , first a sweet lentil stuffing called puran is made. Boiled Bengal gram is strained and cooked with jaggery to make Puran. Puran is flavored with fennel seeds, cardamom , nutmeg and dry ginger powder. For the outer covering a dough is made using whole wheat flour. Small discs are rolled out from the dough, puran is stuffed in it and a parcel shape is given while sealing the dind. The parcels are then steamed on banana leaves using a steamer for 15 minutes.

photo of puranache dind
3/4 cup Bengal Gram / Chana Dal
1/2 cup grated or powdered jaggery / Gur
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder / Haldi
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder / Elaichi
1/4 teaspoon crushed Fennel Seeds / Saunf
1/4 teaspoon Ginger powder / Saunth
Pinch of Nutmeg powder / Jaifal
2 teaspoon oil
For Outer covering / wrap 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon hot ghee/ clarified butter
Salt to taste
Other Ingredients : 1-2 tablespoon ghee
Banana leaf (optional)
Wash the Bengal gram /chana dal and soak for 30 minutes. Soaking step is optional but it certainly reduces the cooking time.
In a pressure cooker add the soaked dal and 3 cup of water. Add pinch of turmeric and 2 tsp of oil to it. Put on the flame. Once the water start boiling on a medium flame, lower the flame and put the lid of the pressure cooker.( this step ensures the dal water will not come out through the whistle while cooking and thus reduces the mess created while cooking the dal) Now increase the flame to medium and allow the dal to cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked very well. ( if you are not soaking the dal then the dal may take 6-7 whistles for cooking )
While the dal is getting cooked , we can prepare the dough. In a mixing bowl take whole wheat flour. Add salt to it and mix . Add 2 tablespoon hot ghee to the flour . Rub the floor when it is cool enough to handle to get a bread crumb like texture.
Add water little by little and knead the flour to a semi soft dough. Keep covered until our stuffing is ready.
After cooking the dal for 3-4 whistles, allow the cooker to cool down. Open the lid once all the pressure has been released. Now strain the dal . Reserve the water(stock) , as it will be used to make another Maharashtrian delicacy (Katachi Amti- a thin tempered dal). Even if you do not want to make katachi amti , you can use the water in soups or gravies. The dal has to be strained very well.
In a nonstick pan or a heavy bottom pan take the cooked strained dal and the crushed jaggery. Heat the pan , and keep cooking the mixture on low to medium flame. Keep stirring continuously to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom and sides of the pan.
The jaggery melts completely and the mixture cooks further to become thick. To check for the perfection of puran , there is a tip , I learnt from my mother. The Puran is said to be done when a ladle stands straight into it without falling. Put off the flame , once this stage is achieved.
Pass this puran through a soup strainer while it is still hot. (Ideally it is passed through a special strainer meant for it, called Puran Yantra , I use this soup strainer, as I did not have Puran Yantra.) Keep pressing the puran with a ladle against the strainer. The fine puran collected below is what we will be using to stuff the parcels.
Add Cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, crushed fennel seeds and dry ginger powder to the puran and mix well. Make gooseberry size ball of the dough and roll it into a poori size disc using rolling pin. Apply little oil if you need while doing so. Pinch out large gooseberry size puran and give it oblong shape. Place it at the center of the disc.
Make a small hole inside the puran with the help of thumb and add 1 teaspoon of ghee to it. Close the hole. Take one side of the disc and fold it over the puran stuffing vertically. Now take the other side and flip it over the first side like shown in the picture. Now close the upper and lower sides similarly, giving it a parcel shape while sealing all the sides.
Make all the parcels similarly.Arrange a clean banana leaf over the steamer. if you do not have a steamer, arrange it over a steel colander as shown in the picture. Grease it with little ghee. Keep a big vessel filled with 3-4 cups of water below the colander. Put on the flame.
Arrange the dind ( parcels) over the banana leaf in the colander. Cover it with a lid. Allow the puranache dind to cook on steam for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully lift the dind and plate them , preferably on a fresh banana leaf. Serve it piping hot with ghee and enjoy this melt in mouth delicacy with your loved ones !
This is the best way to use left over puran after making Puran Poli. The dish tastes best when served piping hot with a topping of desi ghee (Pure melted butter)