With the arrival of Sravana masam, the most auspicious
month per hindu calendar (that usually falls in the months of july and august), women prepare for “vrathas”- holy rituals especially on the Tuesdays and Fridays. On the Friday that comes before the full Moon day (“Sravana Pournima” or “Rakhi Pournima”) in this month is the celebration of “Varalakshmi vratham”, which is performed for the prosperity of the family. Godess Varalakshmi the eternal mother is the Godess of health, wealth and well being. Among the customary dishes prepared on this occasion as “nivedyam” - offerings are the “poornam-boorelu” and “Pulihora”. Poornam-boorelu is a classic sweet dish which is made with sweetened chana daal or moong daal coated with urad flour batter and fried. As you can see from the ingredients it is highly proteinaceous. The two versions of this dish are made either with sugar or jaggery. The jaggery version is very earthy and is my family's favorite. To prepare this elaborate dish with less effort look at the recipe and tips below. Try for yourself and enjoy!
1 cup urad flour
2 cups rice flour
3 cups water
2 cups chana daal
2 cups jaggery
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cardamom seeds- ground
Batter preparation: Mix the flours and water into smooth batter. Let it soak 8hr. to over night in a warm place for fermentation.
Poornam (Stuffng): Cook chana daal in a pressure cooker. Add jaggery, coconut, cardamom and mash well or blend in a food processor.
Make small balls with the chana daal-mix. Preheat oil in a frying pan while making the balls. Dip the balls in the urad-rice batter to coat fully. Drop them in oil and deep fry till they turn red. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Serve hot or cooled with ghee added in the poornam.
Variations: This is a modified quick version. The batter can also be made according the original procedure by soaking 1:2 urad daal:Rice in water –grinding to smooth batter like dosa consistency and allowing to ferment. You can achieve the same taste with this shortcut procedure with less effort. However make sure the batter ferments well by keeping in a warm place before making poornam-boorelu.