Saturday, June 20, 2009
Poli is a sweet Indian flat bread. In spite of the fact that I've lived in India for a decade now, I had my first taste of poli only recently, sometime early this year. Well, its not my fault. When you go to an Indian sweet shop, you'll find your head hopelessly spinning from luscious sweets floating in syrup to little bites oozing ghee- all of them just sitting there looking extremely delectable. A spotty looking tortilla like thingy isn't going to really grab my attention. It didn't, till recently.
One of mom's religious thingies required a shopping trip that kept us out in the markets for a whole day. By late afternoon, I was ready to eat her. She, in mortal fear for her life, wisely pointed me in the direction of a little sweet shop and pushed me off. As I stood there looking for something substantial and filling, the poli caught my eye. I polished off two in a heartbeat and I was quite surprised. Very mildly sweet, full of cooked lentils, it was barely a dessert- especially for me as I have a really strong sweet tooth.
I've been looking forward to making it myself and this is it. There are hundreds of poli recipes online that are virtually identical and this one is no exception. But it holds promise. Easy to tweak and come up with something else. Later :)
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 tsp ghee/butter
1 tsp oil
Combine the flour, salt and ghee. Add water to make a smooth pliable dough and then add the oil as you knead it to make it very soft and almost slippery. Roll into lemon sized balls and keep aside.
1/2 cup yellow gram lentil
1/2 cup jaggery
1 cardamom pod or 1 pinch cardamom powder
Cook the lentils in water until they are just cooked- do not overcook. Add the jaggery and cardamom and cook till all the water is gone. Allow it to cool and then pulse it in a blender a couple of times till it resembles coarse meal. Gather into lemon sized balls and place aside.
Flatten a dough ball in your hands into a disc. Place the filling in it and bring up the sides of the dough to cover it. Very gently, roll out the dough so that the filling doesn't fall out. It should be fairly thick. Cook each poli in a pan just like a tortilla with a drizzle of ghee or oil until both sides are done.