It is the time of the year when I dig up family recipes in my diary. Yes, it is the festive season in India. And nothing can add to the joy of the festival than some traditional dishes on the table. One such sweet dish is Pua or Gulgule. No auspicious occasion in my family or I should say in Kumaon are celebrated without these crisp, mouth melting, sweet and simple – Pua. This pua recipe comes straight from the kitchen of my mother and to her, it was passed on by my grandmother. And till date, this pua recipe never fails to yield gratifying results.
We Kumaoni, like to celebrate our festivals and auspicious occasions with certain dishes. There are few dishes without them there is no celebration in a Kumaoni household. Whether it is birthday, marriage, festivals, fast or feast, we always cook – Kumaoni Bada, Meetha Pua (Gulgule), Aloo Ke Gutke, Kheere Ka Raita and tons of poori. Pua is one such simplistic sweet dish which always sweetens our joyous moments.
There are few tricks that my mom has taught me to make perfect pua. So I am going to share those tricks with you. These tricks run in the family and yet everybody is so secretive about them.
We add an over-ripe mashed banana in the batter. Why? It gives the softness, great taste, and aroma to the pua. But make sure banana is nicely mashed so that no lumps remain.
We soak semolina in yogurt overnight. But if you are in a hurry than 2 – 3 hours is a good enough time. Why? The semolina turns soft and absorbs the moisture of yogurt. It has no grainy texture.
We whisk the batter till it doubles in volume and turns light and airy. I use a hand blender for the purpose but my mom does it manually. So depending upon the process you choose, the process takes from 5 – 15 minutes.
Last but not the least, always fry pua over the low or medium heat. Why? On high heat, it might turn crisp from the outside but remain uncooked from the inside. So slow frying cooks it perfectly from the inside too.
With these pro-tips of mom under my sleeves, I have now mastered the pua recipe. Hope these tips will help you too to make absolutely delicious pua in no time.
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- 1 Cup semolina sooji/rava
- 1 Cup yogurt curd
- 2 tablespoon ghee clarified butter
- 1/4 Cup granulated white sugar
- 1 small-size overripe banana optional
- 4 tablespoon milk at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- Ghee to deep-fry
- Combine sooji, yogurt, sugar and ghee in a bowl. Whisk nicely. Keep this mixture aside for 2 - 3 hours.
- Next add the mashed banana (if using) or milk and cardamom powder in the mixture.The batter should not be too thin so do not add too much of milk. Start with one tablespoon and add more if required.
- Whisk the batter manually or using a hand blender until it is light and airy.
- The batter doubles in volume and becomes fluffy if whisked nicely.
- Heat ghee in a frying pan to deep-fry the pua.
- Pinch a small lemon size portion from the batter using your fingers and drop it in hot ghee.
- Similarly, add few more pua in the ghee. Do not over-crowd the pan.
- Fry the pua over medium heat till turns crisp and brown from the outside.
- Do not fry the pua over high heat as it might remain uncooked from the inside.
- Pua is best enjoyed when it is warm.