"Pazhayana Kazhidalum, Pudiyana Pugudalum
Pongal, is the most important festival of Southern India. For that matter, it is the most important festivals of Tamil Nadu. It is a three day affair of celebrations, great food and joy!!! The first day of Pongal marks the end of winter (dakshinayana) and the tamil month called Margazhi. It also marks the beginning of the most auspicious month called Thai or the Uttarayana.
Bhogi is the festival of Lord Indra, who lived life more than king size!! It was also celebrated as the Indra Vizha during the Chola period. On the day of Bhogi, we all decorate our homes and do a big rangoli with lots of colours. We clean the house and also burn all the old things to mark the new beginning. It also shows that man must burn all his pent up ill feelings and blossom as new as a flower.
Bhogi, reminded me always of my paati (grand mother), a wonderful lady and the best cook in this whole wide world!! She makes these amazing polis laden with oodles and oodles of ghee. If I wanted more ghee, my thatha (grand father) would come rushing to hide the ghee bottle :) :) My entire family is a great fan of the poli or for that matter any dish that she would make.
Being married and coming to Pune, I miss all the festivities and the wonderful time that I miss spending with my family. So today being Bhogi Pandigai, my mother - in - law said we will make poli and I was thrilled!! Because it is my most favourite too!!
The sweet channa dal & coconut stuffing with ghee is to die for combination and when you eat it hot, the taste is something else!! Out of this world.
Makes: 15 Polis
Prep. Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
What do you need:
- Maida - 1 1/2 cups
- Channa Dal - 1 1/2 cups
- Jaggery (grated) - 1 1/2 cups
- Elaichi - 4 pods (powdered)
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Water - as required
How to go about it:
- Add maida to a bowl. Add enough water and oil to make it into an elastic dough. Cover it and keep it aside for about 30 minutes.
- In a pan, dry roast the channa dal until aromatic and soak in water for about an hour. Once soaked, pressure cook the dal until just cooked and not mushy. Mash it and keep aside.
- Now add the grated jaggery and channa dal in a pan (preferably non - stick). Keep stirring. You will observe that the mixture turns watery in the beginning. Do not worry. The jaggery melts and as you keep stirring it turns like halwa. Add the cardamom and let it cool.
- Once cooled, make into lemon sized balls. This is called as the pooranam (filling)
- Take a little of the kneaded maida dough. Place the pooranam and cover it with the dough. I used a well oiled parchment paper. You could also use a banana leaf.
- Start pressing it from the centre and proceed towards the edges to make a thin roti.
- Heat a skillet and place the poli and cook on both sides with ghee.
Serve hot with ghee!!!
Njoy with your loved ones....