It’s a tradition in Tamil Brahmin families to make Poli on Bhogi.
Bhogi falls on the first day of the Pongal celebration. It is celebrated on the last day of the Tamil month of Margazhi. This is celebrated during Makar Sankranti during which the sun changes its position from the south to the North hemisphere. According to the English calendar, it falls between January 13-16.
On this day, people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid-fuels and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful.The disposal of derelict things is where all old habits, vices, attachment to relations and material things are sacrificed in the sacrificial fire of the knowledge of Rudra, known as the “Rudra Gita Gyana Yagya”. It represents realization, transformation and purification of the soul by imbibing and inculcating various divine virtues.
For the outer dough
Maida- 2 cups
Salt- a pinch
Turmeric powder- 3/4th tsp
Water- almost 3/4th cup
Sesame oil- 1/4th cup + 1 tsp
Ghee- 1/4 th cup
For the puranam( stuffing)
Grated coconut- 2 cups( tightly packed)
Grated jaggery- 1 and 1/2 cups
Water- 1/4th cup
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Ghee- 1 tsp( optional )
In a large bowl, add maida, a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and a tsp of oil. Mix well with your fingers.
Add water gradually and knead to a smooth dough. Cover the pan with wet kitchen towel and let it rest for half an hour.
After half an hour, to the dough add 1/4 th cup of sesame oil and knead into the dough until all the oil absorbed well. Cover again with a wet kitchen towel and rest it for 2 hours.
To make the puranam( stuffing)
Heat a heavy bottom pan. Add grated jaggery and 1/4th cup of water.
Dissolve the jaggery well and let it boil for five mins till it becomes little thick.
Now add the grated coconut and mix well. Reduce the flame and cook for few mins till the mixture becomes thick.
Take a small amount and try rolling into a ball( soft ball) If it can be done, then it’s ready.
Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder and ghee( optional) and mix well. Let it cool before using.
To make the Poli
After 2 hours of resting, the dough will raise and become very soft and on pressing it lightly it will spring up.
Divide and dough and the stuffing into 12 portions.
Heat a tawa. Grease a banana leaf( can use butter paper or plastic sheet).
Place one portion of the dough on the leaf. Grease your fingers. Flatten the dough into a small circle.
Place the filling in the center.
Gather the dough all over, bring it to the Center and cover the filling.
Again flatten the dough with your fingers to a medium, slightly thick circle.
Place it on the hot tawa and cook on both sides till light brown spots appear.
Apply ghee and cook on both sides till it become golden. Keep pressing while cooking.
Serve it hot with little melted ghee drizzled on top 🙂