Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Boli / Obattu / Bobbatlu

OMG!!! after a long research in internet I am still not sure how to call this dish . But one thing is for sure, this dish tasted and tastes really awesome . We tamilians mostly call it as boli. If poli is the right word for it I could understand why we do not want to call this dish with that name. In tamizh poli means imitation and why to call such a nice dish with such a defamatory word . Whatever it is I will address the dish as boli as of now. If somebody could give me the correct name I will definitely correct myself. But afterall whats in a name?, when it comes to dishes only taste matters . Yesterday was Ugadi and when I went home at six in the evening I am almost tired. But I really wanted to make and eat something sweet. Few days back my friend blogged a boli recipe made of sweet potato. I started to drool on seeing boli after a long time. So I decided to make it. I had maida, palm sugar (jaggery) and moong dhal. I started the boli making process. I should tell you that the sweet turned out to be very, very soft and very tasty. Rajender simply loved it and I am satisfied .


Maida- 2 cups
A pinch of salt and few pinches of turmeric
Boiling water for making dough out of maida
Moong dhal / channa dhal- 1 cup
Palm sugar (jaggery)- 1/2 cup to 1 cup (if you need it sweeter use more jaggery)
Rice flour- 2 handfulls
Cardamom- 5 nos (crushed)


First add a pinch of salt and few pinches of turmeric to the maida and mix well. Now boil water. Add the piping hot water slowly to the maida and mix it using a spatula. Be very careful. Do not use your hand for mixing the flour. When the flour starts to glue together,  make dough out of the flour by using your hand. Make sure you can tolerate the heat before doing so. If you need more water you can use room temperature water now. The dough should have a consistency of paratha dough. Knead the dough well with your hands and keep it aside. Now for the filling boil the dhal. When the dhal is soft enough strain the dhal to remove excess water ( I used this water for making dough). Then cool down the dhal and grind it to a smooth paste. In a heavy bottomed vessel add 1/2 a cup of water and then add the jaggery. When the jaggery melts (if you think there are impurities like small sand particles in the jaggery then filter it and proceed) add the ground dhal paste and crushed cardamoms. Stir it continuosly so that it forms a thick paste. Take it out when the dhal has absorbed all the water and mixed well with jaggery syrup. The consistency of the dhal mixture is very important. When the dhal, jaggery mixture cools down you should be able to form a well-formed ball out of it. Now everything is ready to make boli. Take maida dough and spread it using a roller pin . Then take a lime sized ball of dhal filling and keep it on the spread dough and close the dough from all sides. Now flatten a little with your hand. Apply rice flour on both sides and spread it well using the roller pin. Try to spread as thin as you can. If you are good in paratha making (stuffed parathas) then it will not be a problem in making good bolis. When this process is finished fry them in a non-stick pan by applying ghee on both sides. Awesome boli will be ready to eat .

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe: First important thing is, if you need soft bolis, use boiling water to mix the flour. Adding boiling water makes the dough a bit pre-cooked and soft. Atleast for me it worked very well. Read carefully, I just said a few pinches of turmeric. Never add more than that ( a tspn or so). You will end-up with bolis smelling strongly of turmeric. The next point is the dhal-jaggery mixture. Do not panic if it has become watery. Add rice flour little by little to the dhal-jaggery mixture until you get the desired consistency. This also will enhance the taste. Apply rice flour on both sides when spreading the dhal filled dough ball. Somehow this made the spreading process really easy. Use ghee for frying. Do try it and Happy cooking!!!


  1. good one Manju, the point i missed was i didnt use the rice flour while the boli came out little thick...

    will try this method next time :)

  2. Hi Manju,
    Read your blog just now.. Really good and I am wondering how are you getting time to update your blog. I know you are passionate towards cooking also.

    Anyway I have become the fan of your blog and keep blogging.
    Bye, Manimala

  3. Thank you mam :) I spend an hour everyday on it and also the interest counts :)

  4. Hi Manju, This is the second time I am making this boli. The first time I made it when I was newly married. It was like a fried chappati and not at all nice. Almost I gave up doing that. But this time it really turned very well, soft n tasty.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Also give me a hint how to make very nice, soft chappatis as the north indians do..

  5. Mam, thanks :) Thats very encouraging. For very soft chapathis, try the following mam :

    1) Heat 3 tbspns of oil (It should be really hot) then slowly add to the chappathi flour and mix it with a spatula. plz be very careful mam. Then add boiling water for mixing the remaining flour.
    2) The cahppathi dough should not be too dry, It should be very soft but not sticky or watery. The above point will take care of this but make sure you mix the dough with enough water.
    3)Also the chappathi flour you are using counts too. If there is more fibre content the chappathi becomes dry soon. But more the fibre content, healthier the chappathi is :)

    Hope this helps mam. Please do provide feed back.