Coconut And Jaggery Poli

Poli is a traditional Indian dessert served during auspicious days or festivals. It resembles a roti or paratha, but with a sweet filling, called pooranam. Different versions of poli can be seen prepared across various different cuisines in India. The various fillings are coconut + sugar, cooked chana dal + jaggery, semolina + jaggery and even squash + jaggery. Of all these variations, coconut and jaggery is our favourite.

Typically poli, in Tamil Nadu, is prepared on Bhogi (day before Pongal) and Avani Avittam (Changing of the Sacred Thread/Poonal). This is one of the first recipes that I learnt watching my mother do. It was very convenient for her, I should say. Because, preparing poli single-handedly, for the whole family, is an enormous task, among other things.

The best thing about poli is, it stays good for 2 days without refrigeration. During festival days, amidst the chaos, I don’t get to appreciate all the delicacies prepared. So, when the festivities are over, I like to have my poli, slightly warmed, drizzled with a drop of ghee, over a nice hot cup of coffee :).

Ingredients

Dough

Maida or All purpose flour – 3 cups
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Oil (preferably sesame oil) – ½ cup

Filling or Pooranam

Coconut – 1½ cups, finely grated
Grated jaggery – 2 cups
Elaichi or cardamom, powdered – 2 tsp

Aluminum foil or banana leaf or butter paper – 2 squares

Method

Prepare dough by mixing maida, turmeric powder and salt to a chapati dough consistency. Cover the surface of the dough with a thin film of oil and allow the dough to rest for at least 2 hours. After resting, the dough will be elastic. Don’t be alarmed with ¼ cup of oil. The dough needs fat to remain moist and elastic. Also, you will use the same oil on the dough, to spread the poli.

Dissolve jaggery in ¼ cup of water and boil until it is syrupy. Add coconut and cook until everything comes together. Switch off the flame and mix in the elaichi powder. Allow this filling to cool and roll into balls of 1½ inch in diameter.

Coconut Poli

Heat a flat pan(tawa) over medium heat. Apply oil over the foil or banana leaf, and take a small ball of dough. Apply oil from the dough on your fingers and flatten the dough to a small circle. Place one ball of the filling or pooranam. Close the pooranam by pulling the dough on all sides. Cover well, and place the seam side down. Slowly, with your fingers, flatten the poli as thin as you can. The dough, now being elastic, should cover the whole poli, without tearing. This is attained through practice.

Now invert the foil or banana leaf with the poli over the hot tawa, poli side down. After 30-45 seconds, slowly peel the foil leaving the poli on the pan. Meanwhile use the other foil to prepare the next poli. The fat in the dough is enough to cook the poli. Cook until brown spots appear on both the sides. Serve warm with ghee or a pat of butter, if desired. Yields 15 medium sized polis.

Coconut Poli

Viji, this is my contribution for RCI–Tamil Festivals. RCI is Lakshmi’s conception.

48 comments:

Apple said...

Poli looks delicious..yummm...Nice entry Suganya....

Vcuisine said...

Thank you for the entry Suganya. It looks perfect. Viji

Srivalli said...

Suganya that looks real yummy

lakshmi said...

You call yourself a "lazy blogger"????!!! Perhaps you need to rethink the definition of "lazy". You put in so much of effort to post almost religiously for almost every event - amma in fact uses your blog to keep track of what's coming up next - :D. Frankly I dont see the connection between the way you lovingly capture each dish and the word "lazy" either. :D

Beautiful Polis :)

sra said...

Love the pan-and-poli picture

Nabeela said...

I had poli at one of my friends place in India...I can attest to its deliciousness :)

Padmaja said...

Sug!!
they look absolutely delicious!!!

Cinnamon said...

The Poli looks so delicious!!!

Nags said...

yummy!! that bit of butter (ghee?) on the poli is just so well captured.. amazing!

Asha said...

OMG!! Just like my ajji's Obbattu.I have not made these for so long. got to make them, may be for Deepavali!:))
Looks scrumptious!

Laavanya said...

Lovely looking Polis Suganya. my mom makes them every year on Bhogi too.

Padma said...

Your jaggery stuffing looks so dark and colorful, did u use older one for more flavor?

I can munch on them anytime!

Kribha said...

wow...that color of pooranam is so good. Mine had never been this way. Perfect looking polis.

Susan said...

Fascinating...and fattening. : )
Good pix, Suganya. I wouldn't have been able to envision the method through text alone.

Sandeepa said...

Have had this several times, so Poli is essentially Tamizh ?

Pooja V said...

Great recipe !! i am trying this during navratra v soon !

Tee said...

Poli looks fabulous! Feel like picking one up...:)

Richa said...

hey, ur poli's look delicious :)
now, what do they say @ great minds.......;)

Rajitha said...

yum..looks great suganya..i love poli too..u are right about not getting to appreciate food on the day of the festival..my mom would eat left-overs the next day with more gusto than the day she prepared it..as she would be so tired

bee said...

i thought the tamil poli was identical to maharashtrian one (which my mom used to make), but they are not. the tamil oen ahs a coconut filling and the maharashtrian one ahs lentils. your look yumy. i prefer the flavour of whole wheat flour better. have you tried it with that?

TheCooker said...

Gorgeous!
The filling looks delicious.

KayKat said...

Wow! I was never a big poli person, but you've left me craving for poli now.

Those are great pictures.

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

absolutely incredible!

Grihini said...

These looks great! We make them with sugar instead of jaggery.

Hima said...

More than the sweet I am attacted to the lovely pictures. Great entry suganya.

Suganya said...

Thank you Apple and Srivalli.

My pleasure, Viji.

Lakshmi, I am lazy. You know when I made this poli? For Avani Avittam. almost a month back. The very thought of explaining the process was enough to procrastinate. But this post took a good 4 hrs - for editing and writing :).

Thanks Sra.

Oh yeah, Nabeela. It is so darn good.

Thanks Padmaja, Cinnamon.

It is a pat of butter melting on the warm poli, Nags.

Show us yr version, Asha. Do make 'em.

I've made this only once so far :D.

Padma, Recently I noticed a new type of jaagery labeled 'South Indin Jaggery', in Indian stores. They are syrupy and dark. Just like the ones we get in India. That is the one I am using now-a-days.

The colour is due to the jaggery Kribha.

Actually it is not that fattening Susan. 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) of oil for 15 polis is not so much. You cannot eat more than two a day :).

Yes and No, Sandeepa. I have seen so many types os poli served during weddings. But every cuisine has a variety of poli.

Do try Pooja.

You can have as many you want, Tee :).

Richa, Love yr pista poli. You are creative!

Same here, Rajitha. They are tasty the next day :).

Bee, Lentil poli is also tamilian poli. In fact, it is what we prepare during festivals. They are less expensive (compared to all coconut) too. I and G prefer coconut to lentil, because, unlike lentils, coconut does not mask the jaggery. My mom uses atta instead of maida. I don't know whether its the flour, last time I tried, I ended up vada sized polis :D. So I stuck with maida to be on the safer side!

Thanks TC, Kaykat, Roopa.

My MIL makes 'em with sugar, Grihini. I prefer jaggery to sugar any day :).

The sweet is more enjoyable than the picture, Hima. Trust me:)

priar's, said...

Hi suganya,
hmmmm.....poli looks yum....
Good entry.

Priya said...

Yummmmm...i love poli..can i have some now??

Shella said...

The poli looks so rich & tempting. I better not be tempted though!! Cant afford it - you see

lakshmi said...

I guessed as much :D, you had left a comment saying you were really tired with rolling out all the Polis :D

4 hours!!! :O

If you need to see what a dormant blog actually looks like head here.

Sia said...

drool-worthy!!!

Bharathy said...

Yummy looking polis!!Esp with that dab of half melting butter on top!!:)

Sharmi said...

now I understand why polis looks yellow! it the turmeric:)) very tempting and delicious pics as usual Suganya!

Archana, mama of twins said...

I love coconut polis too! We call them holige in our family. Its one of my favorite sweets.. I can't believe you made them from scratch!

Kalva said...

Wow.. awesome pics.. I made with chandal and jaggery never made with coconut.. Looks very appetizing. And your pics awesome!!!

Sirisha Kilambi said...

I love polis.....Nice -looking,mouth-watering polis Suganya :-)

Latha Narasimhan said...

Suganya, Bolis are looking yummy!:)) I wound suggest you follow the method of filling as we do for parathas(As done in my recipe) This reduces oil. Your hands are free to attend to other cooking also! This is my secret of cooking many items in one go!:)) I cook a whole lot of dishes single handed even for ceremonies, by 11 am. I used to do this from the age of 25. Sometime I will post a write up on time management in the kitchen!:)) This I learnt from my mom and patty!

Latha Narasimhan said...

And Yes! no labling please, even if you you are doing for yourself!:)) I do understand that you want to better yourself! but lazy is not the word for you dear!:))

Raaga said...

I don't usually like the coconut one... but you are making me drool!

RAKS KITCHEN said...

looks yummy...!!!And your pictures are too good...:))

Prajusha said...

suganya,
this looks yummy yummy.beautiful pics.

USHA said...

Hi Suganya,

Presentation is very amzing....recipe tempts alot...Thanks for sharing.

Daily Meals said...

I have tasted polis with chana dal and jaggery filling, never with coconut and jaggery...these are soooo tempting...Great entry...

Pravs said...

gosh ! poli is so tempting...loooks so very delicious.

Puspha said...

SLURP!!!! Drooling here. Wish I culd reach them.

Rachna said...

ufff.... this looks amazing... i also prefer coconut jaggery filling in polis....

meeso said...

Looks good, the pictures are great :)

Bri said...

Ooooo, I love Indian food, but have never encountered a dish like this. I can't quite imagine what it tastes like, but I can tell I'd love it. I've never heard of jaggery, so now I must Google it. Thanks for introducing me to something delicious looking and new.

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