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The Parsi Community Bonds by Revisiting Ancient Traditions

In the pandemic there is comfort in recipes of the past

Photo credit: Diana Vesuna
Photo credit: Cash Irani
Photo credit: Diana Vesuna
Niloufer Mavalvala

Niloufer Mavalvala

Niloufer is a cookbook author and cooking instructor with a great passion for food and a love of world travel.

In the pandemic there is comfort in recipes of the past

Daar ni Pori – My Daar ni Potli (Sweetened Lentils in Pastry)

Daar ni Pori is prepared in two parts: the filling(daar) and the outside pastry called the pur (consisting of the dough and the maan).

This wonderful pastry is served on happy occasions, gifted to bridal parties at weddings and is very special.

While the Daar ni Pori looks like a thick stuffed rotli, I have shared my way of making this delicacy look pretty with all the authentic flavors intact. It is my sweet lentil crostata.

NOTE: You will need to begin this recipe TWO days ahead of cooking, to soak the lentils, cook them, and chill overnight.

Preparation

For the Daar: 

Wash and soak the lentils overnight.Rinse lentils again.  In a deep pot, boil the lentils in 473 ml (2 cups) water with the salt for an hour.  Remove any foam that forms while they cook.  Remove from the heat and add the sugar and the ghee.  Stir until you can feel the sugar melt.  With an immersion blender, pulverize the cooked lentils until smooth.

Return the pan to the stove and cook until all the water has evaporated. Add the remaining filling ingredients, mixing well. Adjust salt and sugar as needed. Chill overnight, and divide equally in two before filling the pastry.

For the Dough (Pur):

Toss the flour, semolina, and salt together.  Add the ghee by, using your fingertips or two knives, cutting it into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Add the rosewater and bring it all together until well combined to resemble a soft, smooth dough.

Cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

For the Maan:

In a pan, heat and melt the ghee, then add the flour. Cook this over medium heat, constantly stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until it resembles a soft, thin paste; about 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool and thicken just enough to easily apply over the rolled out dough. Divide equally.

For Assembly:

Grease two 18 cm (7 inch) round foil trays. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

On a parchment paper, roll out two parts of the dough to 15 cm (6 inch) rounds. Take half of the maan paste and spread most of it (saving 5 ml/1 teaspoon to finish it off) on one of the rolled pastry discs. Cover with the second rolled  pastry disc and further roll them out to a 23 cm (9 inch) circle.  Apply the remaining maan paste to the top of this larger disc.

Place the pastry on your greased baking foil tray, covering it completely with an even overhang. Do not press down hard on it.  Spoon half the cooled lentil mixture on top of the pastry. Gently pull the overhang over the mound of lentils, overlapping and pinching the pastry to resemble a crostata. Sprinkle it with the slivered almonds.

Repeat for the remaining half of the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Bake the potlis for 35 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Garnish with pistachios and rose petals. They are best served warm.

Tips

Butter or browned butter (that has been cooled and refrigerated) can be used instead of ghee. Lightly dust the rolling pin with flour to make rolling easier.

The daar can be made up to 3 days ahead. It also freezes well.

Do not allow the daar to dry out completely. Once cooled, it will thicken up. The perfect consistency is to be able to soft scoop.

To make traditional daar ni poris, lift the overhang and pull it over to the center, ensuring that it is sealed together. Press gently with the palm of your hand to form an even disc.

Do not overbake the potlis or the poris. They should have a soft pink hue on them once cooked.  To reheat, it is best to use the oven or a hot skillet. Do not use a microwave.