Dal ni Pori (Sweet Pastry)
Original recipe from my Mother Parin Homi Munshi and dedicated to her.
Also known as Dar ni Pori, Daar ni Poli in gujarati.
Dal ni Pori is a pastry to be served at tea-time.
A Zoroastrian custom at weddings: 5-7 Dal ni Poris are sent by the Bride’s family to the Bridegroom’s family.
On Ava roj(day) and Ava mahinoh(month) Poris are sent and eaten. The devout parsis go to the sea or any form of water to pray and pay respect to the water that nourishes the body, while enjoying the Dal ni Pori.
Ingredients for dal: 2 cups Toor dal (oily or plain) 2 cups sugar
3 tbsp or more shortening (Crisco is good) 2 tbsp sliced or chopped Almonds 1/2 cup mixed fruit (candied fruit peel) 1 tsp rose essence (or 1 tsp vanilla essence) – your choice 1 tsp powdered Nutmeg, cardamom and mace 1 tsp Charoli (optional only if you have it, Charoli can be found in Indian grocery)
Ingredients for pastry: 1 cup cream of wheat (ravo) 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (maido) 1 tbsp shortening
Ingredients for Maan: 4 tbsp shortening 2 tbsp all purpose flour or rice flour
Dal: Soak dal overnight. Next day put in pressure cooker with very little water, just enough to cover the dal completely. Keep cooker on lowest heat for 20 minutes. Take off heat and add sugar and 2 tbsp shortening. Cook on low heat stirring all the time, till thick. Now add Mava, Almonds, Charoli, mixed fruit, essence, Nutmeg, Cardamom, taste while adding. This dal can be cooked and kept one day ahead. Make 3 inch round balls.
Pastry: Mix together all the ingredients and knead with enough water to make a soft dough. Cover with wet cloth and let stand for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better. Roll out in 3 big balls.
Maan: Mix flour and shortening with hands, until very smooth and light to touch. I mix it in a wide thali (wide round dish). Keep immersed in cold water.
Assemble the Pori: Take one ball of pastry and roll it out flat. Sprinkle few drops of cold water and then spread some of the maan onto the flat pastry. Sprinkle flour. Roll out another ball of pastry same size and layer it on top of the maan, again go thru the steps of sprinkling water, adding another layer of pastry and sprinkling flour at the end. Roll out last ball of pastry and put it on top. Turn edges inward and roll up like a strudel roll. Keep covered with damp cloth. Cut out one 3 inch piece from above roll, put flour on hands and twist the roll, press down the twists and shape into a round ball. Flatten this ball out and lift it and form a cup shape in your hands, put in this cup the dal ball. Seal edges together with a little water. Now is the hardest part – flatten this out till it is 1 inch thick circle, 5 to 6 inches round. (See photo above) Bake on a hot tava (griddle) on medium heat, keep it white as possible. Add a little ghee to help. I find it useful to wear oven mitts while pressing down the pori on the griddle and keeping it moving around. Do both sides. (See photo above)
The pastry layers will show cooked (when you cut it apart to test) if it is done.
Practice makes this “Pori” perfect.(Pun is intended, for those of you who know that the
meaning of “Pori” in Gujarati is also “Girl”!!!
Recipe is included in the cookbook “Treasured Grandmother’s Recipes”.