Friday, January 14, 2011


I always associate Polis with Bhogi pandigai which is first day of the Thai Pongal festivities. Ever since I can remember, my mother has always made polis on that day and what's not to love about them - a soft, slightly elastic maida (all purpose flour) dough encases a sweet filling of channa dhal, jaggery and coconut that is fragrant with cardamom and ghee. I've always enjoyed the moist filling in the bolis that my mom makes as opposed to the dry filling that store bought ones have and eating them fresh and warm as soon as they are made (under the pretext of tasting) just makes them that much yummier.

Although this is a favorite sweet of my husband's (anything made with jaggery falls in that category actually), I've probably made it just twice in these 9 years because it involves a fair bit of work. Since I'm lucky to have amma here now and we are celebrating Bhogi today, she made it while I carefully wrote down the proportions and observed how she made it.



For the outer cover -
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Oil - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - to cook the polis

For the filling/pooranam:
Channa dhal - 1 cup, dry (pressure cooked till soft, abt 10 minutes) - drain all the water.
Coconut - 1 to 1.25 cups, dry roasted lightly
Jaggery - 1.5 to 1.75 cups, depending on how sweet you want it, crushed

Cardamom - 5 pods, powdered
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tsp

For the outer cover:
1) Knead the all purpose flour, salt and oil adding lukewarm water as needed to make a soft dough. Allow to rest for atleast 5 to 6 hours.

For the filling:
2) Grind the pressure cooked channa & lightly toasted coconut to a paste (without adding any water).

3) Heat a pan, add a tbsp of water to the crushed jaggery and allow to melt. Add the ground paste and stir continuously until there are no lumps on a medium flame. The mixture may boil so be careful. Keep stirring & cooking for about 4-5 mins and then add 1tsp ghee and allow to cook until it thickens a bit. Switch off the stove and allow to cool, the mixture will thicken a bit more. It should still be a like a soft dough and not crumbly.
Assembling the Polis
3) Take a small portion of the dough on a piece of cling wrap (or any plastic sheet) and flatten (with oiled hands) to a small circle. Place a ball of the filling (about an inch diameter) in the center and fold over with the dough to form a covered ball (similar to what is done for Aloo Paratha - click here to see pictures)

4) Flatten this again and cook on a tawa with some ghee until light brown on both sides. Serve warm.

Happy Pongal everyone!


  1. Poli looks yummy! One of my favorite sweets.. Happy pongal to you and your family, Laavanya!

  2. Poli looks delicious!! Happy Pongal to u too!

  3. Yum. Looking good. I would love to wake up to the smell of these. Thanks.

  4. Some how I thought poli and bhogi is same:) probably of rhyming word!
    Happy Pongal and delicious sweet of course!

  5. Let me "taste" it and give you my "verdict". Please send me 2-3 pieces :-)

    Happy Pongal!

  6. I never say no to this delicious polis, sooo tempting..

  7. Have never tried this but it looks very delicious like flatbread with filling.

  8. Poli looks great laavanya! Its been a whiel since I made this,we dont have the tradition of making poli on bohi,your pics and poli push me to make it soon :)

  9. Nice way to celebrate the festival. Looks delicious.

  10. When I went home this Sankranti, my aunt had made ash pumpkin and carrot polis - really exotic, I thought. These days, often I notice a little hardness around the circumference of the poli - makes it difficult to bite through, I wonder why that happens.

  11. Wowie!! Typical southindian dish..


  12. A perfect way to celebrate the festival :-) Delicious poli.

  13. This looks delicious n very well made, it gets better & better with each bite I bet :)


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