Nothing compares with the Pathare Prabhu community’s obsession with पोळ्या… These are no ordinary rotis… While the rest of the Marathi world is content with Puran Polis and some may make the occasional sanjori, parbhus take this humble Maharashtrian dal stuffing and replace it with assorted goodies – ranging from grated dates, banana halwa (kel poli) to this decadent sinful stuffing of assorted nuts.
These exquisite crisp rotis with a sweet stuffing are a time consuming, labour intensive affair.
The recipe is long and complicated… Bear with me 🙂 this yields 20 polis.
For the filling
Almonds – 1/2 cup (while I chose to mix all 3 nuts, you may choose to use the entire 1 and 1/4 cups of a single variety)
Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup
Pistachios – 1/4 cup
Castor Sugar – 1 and 1/4 cups
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Saffron – 1 generous pinch
Milk – 2 tbsp for the halwa and 1 tbsp to soak the saffron
Condensed Milk – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tsp for the halwa and as required for frying the rotis
For the dough
Maida (refined flour) – 1 cup
Salt – 1 pinch
Oil – 2 tbsp
Rice flour – for dusting
Soak the almonds, cashews and pistachios in a cup each of warm water for 20-30 minutes.
Peel the almonds and any traces of peel on the pistachios. Drain off all the water.
Grind these soaked nuts to a smooth paste. You may use small amounts of milk to make the paste if required while grinding.
Make sure you have a smooth paste. Any residual nut bits will make your polis crack open later.
In a non stick pan, heat the castor sugar with a tbsp or 2 of milk and add the nut paste.
Add the saffron (heated and soaked in some milk for an hour or two)
Stir this continuously over a low to medium gas flame for around 20-25 minutes.
Towards the end of these 20 minutes, the mixture will start leaving the sides of your pan and the consistency will be nice and sticky.
At this point, you know it’s ready… Add the ghee and mix in. Remove your pan off the flame and cool the mixture. Your halwa is now ready.
Once it’s cooled, divide the halwa into 20 equal portions and knead well.
Sieve the maida, add a pinch of salt and knead to a stiff dough (like you would for puris). Knead this well till smooth, add the oil and knead further. You want a smooth pliable elastic dough. Cover this with a damp cloth and set aside for at least one hour.
Make 20 even portions of this dough and stuff each of them with the badaam halwa. If the halwa is too sticky, dust in a little rice flour before stuffing into your dough. If it’s too dry and stiff dip in a little milk and knead a lil before stuffing.
Roll these out like you would a puranpoli or a stuffed paratha, using some rice flour/ maida for dusting.
Roast over a slow flame and drizzle with a little ghee. This needs to turn out nicely crisp and golden brown.
This is a very delicate affair and as you can see in the pictures, not only are they tough to roll out, as you’re roasting them, they have a delicate brittle texture and may break if handled carelessly.
If you’re willing to make the effort, I assure you this is by far one of the tastiest sweets you can imagine!