February 16, 2007

VCC 288 - Gul Poli

This traditional festival food recipe is a kind contribution by Aarti Mahajan-Ekatpure to the group cookbook project 'You Can Cook' for 'Feed a Hungry Child' campaign.

Endorsement statement: "My Dhaba's group book project 'You Can Cook for FAHC Campaign' is a wonderful step towards one of the major hindrance to developement of the nation - Poverty. Its my pleasure to be a very small part of this initiative and am glad that I am contributing to it."

In Aarti's own words, "I would like to share the recipe of Gulpoli, a sweet prepared on occasion of Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra, India.

One of my favorite festive food is Gulpoli.Once ready, I control my temptation for few hours since Gulpoli tastes best when eaten 4-5 hours after preparation as it becomes hard and crispy then. Since the Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated in the mid winter in India, the food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high energy. Hence til(sesame seeds) and gul(jaggery, brown sugar) are basically used in the preparation of sweets for this festival.

This is my mom's recipe which she has learnt from my paternal grandmother. This Sankranti was my first one after marriage, away from home, and hence my first try at Gulpoli. But it turned out so well that I happen to try it 2-3 times a month. The cold weather in Belgium too supports my decision of preparing Gulpoli quite often."

The recipe details of gul poli are as below.

Gul Poli Recipe

For dough:
Plain flour(Maida) : 1/2 cup
Wheat flour (Atta) : 1/2 cup
2 tbsp cooking oil
Luke warm water
A pinch of salt

For filling:
Jaggery : 1 and 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds: 4 tspn
Poppy seeds: 2 tspn
Gram flour: 3 tbspn
Cardamom powder: 1 tspn
Nutmeg powder: 1 tspn
Cashewnuts : 4-5
Almonds: 1-2

Ghee for roasting

Dough preparation:
1) Sieve the flours so as to avoid lumps .
2) Mix the flours. Prepare a hollow space in the center to put oil.
3) Heat oil and add it to the flour.
4) Mix hot oil with flour using a spoon.
5) Add a pinch of salt.
6) Add luke warm water and make a soft dough.
7) Leave aside covered by wet cloth for 2 hrs.

Filling preparation:
1) If the jaggery is soft, break it in small lumps by hand. If hard, just grate it.
2) Roast poppy seeds, sesame seeds and gram flour separately.
3) Grind poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cashews and almonds together to a smooth paste.
4) Mix Jaggery, gram flour, ground paste, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
5) Make 4-5 small balls about one inch diameter for filling.

Steps for Gulpoli:
1) Knead the dough well. Make 4-5 equal parts of dough, nearly same size as dough for chapati.
2) Roll th dough on rolling board till it becomes 3-4 inch in diamater.
3) Place a ball of filling in the center and close it by getting the edges together at top. Take care not to let the filling come out.
4) With the use of flour, just press the dough by both palms so as to equally spread the filling inside towards the edges as well.
5) Using flour, roll it to nearly 7-8 inches in diameter.
6) Heat the frying pan and put some ghee.
7) Roast the gulpoli on the frying pan on both sides using ghee till it turns brownish.
8) Serve hot with ghee or eat crispy gulpoli after 4-5 hours.

VCC: VCC Q4-2006: FAHC: FAHC-campaign