Purnam Boorelu are traditional Andhra/ South Indian deep fried dessert – they are crispy on the outside and have a sweet lentil stuffing on the inside.
I kept away from making traditional Indian dishes for a long time. But recently I’ve realized that it is important to learn our traditional dishes, not just for me, but more for the kids. I want them to know more about our traditions and our dishes too. So I’ve started bugging my mom to help me out with the recipes. I made these purnam boorelu for Ugadi last week. Purnam boorelu are very common during festivals, and weddings.I have always shied away from making these because making the purnam is a little tricky. I made a few years ago and they were a colossal failure. The poornam completely disintegrated when I dipped them into the outer cover batter.
My mom makes Poli boorelu that are made in a slightly different way and are more fool-proof. After all these years, I kept my fingers crossed and tried them again. Thankfully the boorelu turned out great, no disintegration and they fried up golden and beautiful. I am sure this will not be the last time I will be making these, now that my confidence is up.
Combine urad flour, rice flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add enough water to make a thick batter, whisk well to make a smooth, lump-free batter. Set aside for at least 3~4 hours.*
To make the Stuffing or Purnam:
Cook Chana dal until tender but not completely mushy. Drain all the water and cool for a little bit. Then grind to a paste, it does not have to be very smooth.
Put the ground chana dal in a nonstick pan along with the jaggery and cook on medium flame, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and slides off the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and cool enough to handle. Divide the mixture into 12 medium size balls (divide the mixture into 16~18 balls if you want smaller boorelu).
Heat oil for deep frying in a pan, when the oil is hot enough to fry; dip the poornam ball in the urad dal & rice batter, moving it around the batter to evenly coat the poornam. Gently drop into the hot oil and fry on medium flame until golden brown on all sides.
Remove onto a paper towel lined plate and serve hot or at room temperature. Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 2~3 days.
I left it out overnight and in my chilly kitchen it didn’t ferment at all. But in summer or in warmer weather, don’t let the batter rest for too long. We don’t want sour batter to coat the purnam, we just want the batter to get a little flavor.
Alternate Dosa Batter Cover for the Purnam: I’m lazy and find using urad and rice flours much easier than soaking & grinding rice and urad dal. If you want to go the traditional way, then here’s the recipe:
Soak ¼cup of urad dal and 1 cup of rice (I use sona masoori rice) for 3~4 hours, then grind into a smooth paste. Set aside for at least 2 hours (or longer in chilly kitchens like mine) and then use accordingly.