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PALA MUNJALU RECIPE - SEMOLINA DUMPLING WITH SWEET LENTIL FILLING

Pala Munjalu Recipe - Paala Munjalu is a classic Andhra festive sweet dish. It’s a deep fried semolina dumpling stuffed with a sweet lentil filling.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert/Snack, Festival Recipe, Prasadam / Festive offering
Cuisine: Indian (Andhra)
Keyword: Pala Munjalu, Semolina Dumplings, Paala Munjalu Sweet
Servings: 6
Author: Padma Veeranki

Ingredients

For Stuffing:

  • 1 Cup Channa dal Split Bengal Gram or Chanaga Pappu
  • Cups Water to Pressure cook lentils
  • ½ Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • Cups Powdered Jaggery
  • ½ Cup Water for Jaggery Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder

For Outer Layer:

  • 2 Cups Milk
  • ½ Cup Water
  • Cups Semolina
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar

Other Ingredients:

  • Required Oil for Deep Frying.
  • Some Oil/Ghee to grease your hands.

Instructions

Prepare Filling:

  • Wash and soak Bengal gram dal (minimum ½ an hour).
  • Discard soaked water, add 1½ cups of fresh water to the drained dal. Add just enough water to cover the dal. Pressure cook over high heat for 3 whistles. Then simmer to low heat for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Open the pressure cooker once the pressure subsides. Drain any excess water in the dal and mash it.
  • Take jaggery powder in a saucepan and add ½ cup of water to it.
  • Heat over medium heat till the jaggery melts. Turn off the heat. (This is mainly done to remove any impurities in the jaggery)
  • Transfer cooked lentils to a wide pan,
  • To this add ½ cup of desiccated coconut.
  • Now strain jaggery syrup into the mixture in the pan.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat till all the moisture evaporates.
  • You get a thick consistency as shown in the pic below. Now turn off the heat.
  • Add cardamom powder and mix well. Let the mixture cool completely.
  • Let it cool and divide into small round shape balls. Keep them aside.

Prepare Outer Covering:

  • Heat milk over medium heat. To this add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp ghee & 2 tsp Sugar. Mix well. Bring milk to rolling boil.
  • Slowly add the semolina to it and stir continuously without any lumps.
  • Reduce the heat and let it cook for a couple of minutes or until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat, cover with a liid & set aside.
  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes and knead it well in batches so that it doesn’t dry out. The semolina dough should be very soft.

Shaping & Deep Frying:

  • Grease your hands with little ghee/oil and divide the dough into round shape balls. The dough ball size should be double the size of the filling ball.
  • Flatten the dough ball and keep pressing with your finger to form a flat disc.
  • Place chana dal stuffing (Poornam) in the middle. Bring the edges together, cover and seal it. Now, shape it into a smooth ball.
  • Prepare all the balls & let them dry for 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, heat oil in a pan over medium heat for deep frying.
  • Slide few stuffed balls into hot oil. Reduce the heat once the colour slightly change & stir them gently. Do not stir until a light crust its formed.
  • Deep fry the stuffed balls in hot oil over medium low heat until golden brown color. Remove from oil & place on kitchen tissue paper to remove any excess oil.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Cook chana dal just enough to hold shape. Do not overcook with lots of water. It shouldn't become mushy.
  • You can use a mix of milk & water to prepare outer covering or just milk.
  • Semolina dough should be smooth, soft and lump-free.
  • Cover the semolina dough to prevent from drying. You may get cracks while shaping.
  • While shaping, remember the outer layer dough ball size should be double the size of the filling ball.
  • Dry the prepared balls for about 10 minutes before frying & not too long.
  • If the oil is not hot enough, the balls will stick to the bottom of the pan as soon as you add to hot oil.
  • They taste best when served hot...but, you can store in an air tight container once they cool down. They last for two to three days.