Come January it is time for "Sankranti" or "Pongal" the northward journey of the sun, basically the harvest season.
Different regions of our country celebrate it differently. Here in Goa now that the days are longer women go around celebrating "Haldi Kum Kum" bedecked in beautiful saris, jewellery visiting each others homes.
This also the only time traditionally you can wear black, in Maharshtra, the newly wed bride is presented with black sari and is decked with jewellery made from tiny til balls called til gul. You go round saying,"Til Gul Ghaya , Good good bola" i.e. eat til and jaggery, speak sweetly reminding us on the basic necessity of society.
You make Til/ Sesame seed Chiki, Ladoos, basically I feel that this being the cold season your body needs high fat and oil seeds so what best way to eat high calorie foods.
This is also the season for Gul Poli or Belad Holgi, again my favourite sweet ( I generally eat any kind of sweet);) and thankfully one that at least that one of my daughters eats.
Now a days I get my Bela or Gul or jaggery ready made from Pune so things are a lot simpler for my Poli ki Bai (one of the things that absolutely defeats me is making chapatti or poli of any form so I necessarily depend on my Bai).
I have given the recipe for making the Gul which was dictated by my husband's Maushi, Kusum Maushi an excellent cook !
All the cup measures here are of a wati/ katori/ batla what we traditionally use for serving daal.
For the Gul:
1 kg jaggery (cut in to small pieces)
1 cup about (150) ml + some more say a tblspn + ¼ cup oil
1 cup roasted and ground Til/sesame seeds
½ cup dry coconut roasted and ground
1 cup besan /kadli hit/Chana daal atta
Gul for Gul Poli or the Bela
1. Roast besan with a little oil on low flame. The besan has to be roasted till it changes colour and is reddish and it gives a nice aroma. Keep aside.
2. Take one ladle oil and add all the jaggery. Melt all the jaggery on low flame. Moment the jaggery melts remove the pan from the flame .Please take care that the jaggery does not boil.
3. Add 1 cup oil, besan/kadli hit/chana daal atta, til powder and stir well till well mixed.
4. This is your Gul for Gul poli. When done correctly you jaggery will be soft and malleable, if not please bring out the good old pestle and pound it till it becomes soft.
For the Poli or Holgi:
Traditionally the mix is
3 cups Maida
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup hot oil (Mohan)
Mix all the ingredients to soft dough between poori and chapatti atta.
But this time my SIL told me to mix
1 cup wheat flour
1 tblspn of rava/sooji
To a soft parthas dough and work in about 3 tblspn of oil as we do for chapatti dough. Let the dough rest for about ½ an hour.
1. To make the Holgi take 2 small balls of dough and 1 ball of the gul.
2. Make small round chapattis about the size of a pani puri. Put one ball of the gul flattened on one of the chapatti cover with the other. Seal the edges.
3. Roll out to a small chapatti.
4. Roast on the tava both sides.
5. Please be careful as hot jaggery burns very badly. Cool them spread out.
6. These are not soft but like roasted papad.
7. These keep for a 2-3 days .