Sankranti/Pongal, is the second day of the festival day when Surya, the Sun God is worshipped and on this day the newly harvested rice is cooked in new earthen pots until the cooked rice overflows from the pot.The overflowing symbolizes fertility and prosperity.A special sweet rice dish is prepared with dal, sugar or jaggery and rice called chakrapongali (rice pudding)…chakra meaning sweet and is cooked to honour and give thanks to God.I had posted this recipe earlier and you can find the recipe to Chakrapongali (also known as Sakkarai Pongal) here.
On this day the newly married daughters and sons-in-law are focus of attention and are gifted new clothes and jewellry by the elders of the family and all the family members are treated to an elaborate Sankranthi Vindu Bhojanam (festive meal)spread out on plantain leaves where all the members of the home sit down on the ground and enjoy the festive lunch spread. This is my all time favorite meals.
Besides the preparation of Chakrapongali ,some of the mouth-watering authentic flavours of Andhra cuisine like Semai Payasam(sweet prepared with vermicilli and milk), Bobattu(stuffed Indian sweet bread), Masala Vada (deep fried doughnut shaped lentil dumplings), Pulagamu prepared with fresh rice from the harvest and pesara pappu (split yellow moong dal) ,Kalagalupu Kura (mixed vegetable curry) with chikkudu kaaya(lima beans), vankaaya (egg-plant or brinjal),mulaga kaadulu (drumsticks), kanda (yam),plaintain(raw banana),teepi dumpallu (sweet potatoes),mixed vegetable stew,kobari perugu pachadi (coconut-yogurt chutney) and daddojanam (curd rice) are prepared in almost every Telugu home.
One of my favourite sweets we prepared this Sankranti is Bobattu which is also known by the name of Puran Poli or Bhakshalu.Its basically a bread with sweet-lentil stuffing prepared with refined flour,sugar or jaggery and split bengal gram lentil.Amma makes excellent bobattulu and am posting amma's recipe on how to prepare them...(step by step process).In coastal Andhra its known by the name 'bobattu' and in the Telengana and Rayalseema region of Andhra its called as 'bhakshalu',though the basic recipe is the same..only the name differs.
1 cup chana dal(split bengal gram lentil) soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
1 cup jaggery or sugar(you can adjust the sugar or jaggery according to your choice)
1 1/4 cups maida (refined flour)
enough water to prepare dough
3-4 tbsps oil
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
pinch of salt
Cook channa dal in a cup of water in a pressure cooker till it becomes soft and mushy.Cool.Grind to a fine paste.
Heat a pan and add the dal paste and sugar or jaggery and cook further till they blend and form a lump such that you can prepare small balls for stuffing.Keep stirring on low fire so that it doesnt burn.
Add cardamom powder and pinch of salt and mix well.Turn off heat and cool.Prepare small lemon sized balls with this lentil mixture and keep aside.
Mix refined flour,pinch of salt,2 tbsps oil and enough water to make a very soft and sticky dough.Knead well.
Grease your hands with oil to knead the dough and take a small portion of dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of your palm. Place a ball of "sweet lentil ball" in the centre and draw the edges of the dough from all sides to cover the 'sweet lentil ball' completely.
Take a sheet of transparent plastic wrap or a plaintain leaf and gently flatten each ball carefully with your fingers to form a 6" to 8" diamater flat circular bobattu/poli (grease your hands while flattening).
Fry it on low flame on a hot griddle or tawa.Roast both sides till brown spots appear.
Smear with ghee on both sides when done.Serve warm with clarified butter/ghee.
Note:You can store the 'bobattulu' for a few days in an air tight container or in the refrigerator.
Indian Food,South Indian Cooking,Andhra Recipes,Recipes,Authentic Andhra,Amma