"Moog puli" is a mung lentil based pastry stuffed with a sweet filling—we are using coconut and winter date-palm jaggery–then deep-fried and coated in a syrup. It is light, crisp, and salty-sweet. While we are using a grainy sugar coating, a jaggery based syrup is another option.
"Moog puli", often known as "bhaja puli" (fried puli) or "moog shamli" is a type of "pithe" (pronounced "pee-thay") which is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of items prepared using rice, date-palm jaggery (only available in winter), coconut, milk, and flour. Pithe is no single dish, but a category of sweets that are part of the cooking tradition dedicated exclusively to turning the season’s harvest into delectable foods.
- 100 g moog dal
- 2 g salt
- 400 ml water (to boil the dal)
- 50 g rice flour
- 5 g ghee
- 100 g khejur'er patali gur (winter date-palm jaggery in solid form)
- 100 g freshly grated coconut
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 100 g sugar
- 20 ml water (for the syrup)
- vegetable oil for frying
- Dry-roast moog dal until light-brown. Wash well and set it to boil with 2 g salt and 400 ml water. The dal will boil until it is soft and mushy, and the water has dried up fully.
- While the dal is boiling, take grated coconut and patali gur in a kadai and mix it well by hand.
- Turn on the heat and allow it to roast on medium flame for about 10 minutes until nutty. Remove from the heat immediately.
- Toast sesame seeds separately and add them to the coconut-jaggery filling. Mix well. Set the filling aside while we prepare the coating.
- The dal will have boiled by now. In case the water has not yet been fully absorbed, increase the heat to dry it up.
- Whisk the dal well to break down the grains completely. Grains of dal will puncture the coating, so ensure they are fully mashed (you can blitz them in a mixer-grinder if you prefer).
- With the pan at low heat, add rice flour and mix roughly. Cover and allow it to cook for 5 minutes, undisturbed.
- After 5 minutes, mix the dough well.
- Transfer to a work bench, drizzle some ghee and knead until the dough is even.
- Divide into 18g portions. Keep covered to prevent them from drying out.
- Flatten each portion by hand. Place the filling in the centre, close the ends, and shape into spindle-shaped puli. Ensure there are no cracks in the coating.
- Fry on medium heat until brown. Be alert while doing so, as dal tends to burn very quickly.
- Once all the puli have been fried, prepare a thick sugar syrup with 100 g sugar and 2 tbsp water. When it comes to a boil, add the puli and continue cooking until the sugar crystallises.
- Remove from the pan and allow it to cool before eating.