Holige / Obbattu (Stuffed Sweet Flatbread)

Being a Mangalorean who has was born and brought up in Mangalore I have had the pleasure of enjoying a variety of snacks that belong to every community in Mangalore. I have loved them then and I love them even more today, when I no longer have easy access to that bakery around the corner where I can go & pick up eatables on a whim. 

Today, if I want to eat some lovely snacks/sweets such as the boondi laddoo (chickpea flour laddoos), mysore pak (roasted chickpea flour sweet cakes), chakklis (savoury rice flour spirals) or malpuri (deep fried mini pancakes soaked in sugar syrup) I need to plan a trip to the nearest Mangalore Stores, wade through the heavy traffic and buy not-exactly fresh goodies. But well, beggars can't be choosers right? The next option is to wait for someone to lug the goodies from Mangalore or eat them on my next visit to Mangalore. 

My recent craving for holige resulted in an attempt to make them at home which was surprisingly good - just as soft and thin, with the right texture and flavour and I thank Mrs. Vidya Nayak Shenoy for this perfect recipe. Holige is also called as Ubbati / Obbattu / Bobattu / Puran Poli in different parts of India. In Mangalore it is traditionally prepared by the Brahmin community on weddings & special occasions. For more on Holige, Mangalore's most popular and much loved snacks & munchies, read my entire article on Sailu's Kitchen here

Holige / Obbattu
Prep time: 20-25 mins | Cooking time: 10-15mins | Resting time for the dough: at least 1 hour | Yield 8 holige


For the dough

 For the filling

Prepare the dough
In a large bowl (the one used to knead dough) add the flour, turmeric powder, salt, coconut oil and milk and mix well. Add water little by little to form a smooth soft dough. Kneading may take 7-8 minutes. Cover with a cloth and keep aside for 3-4 hours.

Prepare the filling
Cook the dal in sufficient water till it is perfectly cooked (it should retain its shape and not turn into a paste). If there is excess water - drain it off and retain the dal. Add the jaggery to it and simmer until the jaggery is melted. Toss in the powdered cardamoms. The mixture needs to be dryish, so continue to stir until it comes together like a ball (doesn't stick to the base of the cooker/pan). If the dal is correctly cooked you should be able to mash it with the ladle. Turn off the flame & transfer the contents onto a plate and roughly divide into 8 portions. Cover the pan so that the mixture does not dry up (else it will be hard to roll the holige)

Prepare the holige
Before you begin, knead the dough once and then pinch out 8 lime sized portions of the dough. Grease your palm well with coconut oil and taking one lime sized ball flatten it with your fingers and place the filling in the center. Pinch all the edges towards the center to seal it and carefully flatten it. Dust a working surface with flour and using a rolling pin gently roll the dough ball into a thin chapathi - do not to apply too much pressure or else the filling will spill out and stick to the surface. Ensure that the rolling is done evenly and the edges are smooth too. Fry it on a heated griddle/tawa on a medium high flame till golden brown spots appear on either side - don't fry for too long as they will turn hard. Remove and place the holige in a hot box (casserole) lined with a soft cloth - this will keep them warm and soft.

Serve warm with a dollop of ghee or butter. Holige keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

You can pressure cook the dal if you wish. Wash and transfer it into a pressure cooker. Add approx 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Pressure cook on a full flame till the first whistle goes off, simmer and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the flame and let the whistle/weight loosen on its own. Open and stir.

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