Pua is a crispy, mouth-melting traditional North Indian sweet dish. It is also known as Gulgula. This is a tried and tested Pahadi style pua recipe from my mom’s kitchen. And till date, it never fails to yield perfectly crispy from outside and soft from inside pua.
Pua can also be defined as an eggless Indian doughnut. It is made with semolina (suji), banana, ghee, and sugar.
In North India, mainly Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, pua is a widely popular sweet dish.
It is considered an auspicious sweet to prepare for festivals such as – Karwa Chauth, Chath Pooja, or Sankranti. Pua is offered as a sacred prasad to God.
In Kumaoni Culture (Uttarakhand) no festive feast is complete without crisp, mouth melting, sweet and simple – Pua.
You need a few basic ingredients to make this pua recipe from scratch at home. It is one of the easiest Indian sweet dishes.
Semolina: In Kumaoni style Pua, semolina (suji) is the key ingredient. Use fine rava (suji) rather than a coarse one. In many pua recipes, whole wheat flour is used.
Curd: It softens the semolina (suji). If the curd is not available use thick, flavorless yogurt.
Ghee: It gives a rich and intense taste to the gulgula. For deep frying the pua also ghee is used.
Sugar: This pua recipe requires granulated white sugar. You can use jaggery powder or light brown sugar.
Banana: I add an over-ripe mashed banana in the batter. Why? It gives softness, great taste, and aroma to the pua. It is an optional ingredient. Otherwise, you can add 4 tablespoon milk to soften the batter.
Cardamom Powder: It is added for the sweet taste and aroma.
My Tried & True Tips
There are a few tricks that my mom has taught me to make a perfectly crispy and moist pua.
Soak semolina (suji) in curd overnight. But if you are in a hurry then 2 – 3 hours is a good enough time. Why? The semolina turns soft and absorbs the moisture of curd. It has no grainy texture.
If you are adding banana, make sure it is over-ripe, mushy, and is nicely mashed so that no lumps remain in the pua batter.
Whisk the batter till it doubles in volume, turns light and airy. I use a hand mixer for the purpose but my mom does it manually. So depending upon the process you choose, the whisking time may vary between 5 – 15 minutes.
Last but not the least, always fry pua over low or medium heat. On high heat, it might turn crisp from the outside but remain uncooked from the inside.
Slow frying gives it a beautiful golden color, crisp exterior, and fluffy interior.
How To Store & Reheat Pua
Transfer the leftover pua in an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. Or at room temperature for a day. After 2 days they start tasting sour.
The best way to reheat pua is in a microwave or air-fryer.
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Pua (Gulgule) Recipe
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 1 Cup semolina (suji/rava)
- 1 Cup curd
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- ¼ Cup granulated white sugar or to taste
- ¼ Cup ripe banana, mashed
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Ghee to deep-fry
- Combine rava, curd, sugar and ghee in a bowl. Whisk nicely. Soak overnight or for 2 – 3 hours.
- Next, add the mashed banana (if using) and cardamom powder to the soaked semolina. 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.
- If you are using milk instead of banana, start with one tablespoon and add more if required. The batter should not be too thin otherwise you will not be able to get a round shape pua.
- Do not add an unripe banana.
- The consistency of the batter is like a vada batter, thick, light, and airy.
- Use a wide, and heavy bottom pan for frying the pua.