I make poli once a year and it only happens around the time of Diwali.
The first time I made this, I was trying to make it without my mother’s knowledge as it was supposed to be a surprise.
I translated an Indian ingredient incorrectly and I ended up using mustard seeds. When my mother finally came to see what I was up to, she told me: Till is sesame seeds and not mustard seeds. I then tried to painstakingly remove ¼ cups worth of mustard seeds. After about an hour of trying to get all of it, I discarded the entire batch and started again.
This time around when I made it, I made sure I used sesame seeds and not mustard seeds.
The only tiring thing here was the rolling of the circular discs and you have to roll it very thin, otherwise, it becomes doughy when you fry it.
I invested in a cheap pie cutter. I once went around to visit our late Priest’s wife and I saw her using one. When I came across it at a store, I knew I just had to buy one so that I could also make poli the way she does.
Ingredients for the filling:
200g desiccated coconut.
1½ cup normal white sugar.
¼ cup brown sesame seeds.
1 tsp elatchi powder.
A little nutmeg grated.
¼ cup milk.
Method for the filling:
In a pot, mix the coconut, white sugar, sesame seeds, elatchi powder and nutmeg.
Mix so that everything is well combined.
Place the pot on a stove and allow the coconut mixture to become light brown, over low heat.
Add the milk and mix so that all the milk is absorbed.
Immediately remove the mixture from the stove and set aside to cool.
The mixture must be very very cold before you fill the pastry.
Ingredients for the dough:
3 cups cake flour
½ tsp salt.
1 tbsp. ghee.
1 cup + 2 tsp milk.
Method for the dough.
In a bowl, mix the flour and salt.
Rub in the ghee.
Add the milk and knead till the mixture comes together.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
Roll out to a thin layer, cut out circle rounds.
Place on your pastry cutter.
Fill one side of the pastry.
Rub water around the edges and gently fold the mould.
Carefully cut the excess dough off.
Fry in oil till lightly brown or pop into the freezer till ready for use.
Prepared, tried and tested by Bobby Swanson
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