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Monday, January 28, 2013

Makar Sankrant Feast 2: Gul Poli

(Link to Marathi Recipe)

Gul/Gool(गूळ) - Jaggery
Poli - Chapati/Roti/Bread

My mom always made Gul Poli for the Ratha Saptami. She would boil over milk before cooking anything that day. It is believed that Sun starts its transition to northern hemisphere on this day. After coming to US, I started missing these little rituals. And with coil top range in the apartment complex I could not follow this particular one. But I always remembered TiLachi vaDi (Sesame brittle) and Gul Poli around Sankranti. I always made TiLachi vaDi but never managed to make Gul Poli. It was always on my 'to make' list but something else took the precedence. This year, I decided to give it a try and made the filling earlier so that I will not have any excuse not to do it. It is one of the relatively simple to make and traditionally a vegan treat. The filling can be made month(s) ahead and stores well without refrigerator.

Gul Poli

Filling -
1 cup Jaggery (preferably soft)
1/4 cup Besan
3-4 tbsp Oil
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
1/2 tsp Cardamom-Nutmeg Powder

Cover -
1 1/4 cup Wheat flour
1/4 cup Fine Rava (Semolina)
2-3 tbsp Oil
1 tsp salt
Water as needed

Preparation - 
Filling - 
Dry roast sesame seeds and poppy seeds until golden brown. Set them aside separately.
Roast besan in 2-3 tbsp oil until golden brown. Set aside and let it cool.
Grate jaggery, make sure there are no big chunks. I sliced the jaggery and put everything in food processor with 'S' blade. Pulse until there are no big chunks. If jaggery is hard, add 1 tsp oil in the food processor while pulsing.
Grind roasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds into coarse powder. Mix these powders in the jaggery.
Also mix in roasted besan and cardamom-nutmeg powder. Pulse for couple of minutes, ensuring the mixture is well combined.
At this point you can store everything in airtight container until you are ready to make polis. You can store it up to couple of months.

Cover -
Heat oil in a small kadhai for mohan. Mix semolina, wheat flour and salt in a big bowl. Make a well in the flour, pour mohan in the well. Mix with spoon and knead it with water. The dough should be little stiffer than chapati/roti dough. Do not add lots of water at a time. Let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes.

Making Polis -
Divide the dough in 12 equal parts. Similarly divide the filling in 12 equal parts. If the filling does not come together in a ball, just sprinkle few drops of water and make a ball. The balls should be very crumbly.
Heat griddle on medium heat.
Make a 2-3" chapati out of dough and spread it on your left palm. Place the filling ball in the middle of palm and cover with the remaining chapati. but carefully crumble the filling while covering it. Close the ball neatly. Roll this ball slowly and carefully. Make the chapati as thin as possible, but the filling should not come out of the dough.
Roast both the side until golden brown. Make remaining polis.
Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Tips - 
  1. You can make smaller polis, so make 15-16 balls of the dough and filling. 
  2. Do not stack polis while they are hot/warm. 
  3. Polis can be stored at room temperature for 10-15 days. 





गूळ पोळी

(Link to English Recipe)

गूळ पोळी म्हणजे रथसप्तमी असे आमच्या घरी समीकरण होते. कारण संक्रांतीच्या दिवशी तिळाची वाडी केलेली असे. सकाळी उठुन दुध उतू घालवणे, सूर्याची पूजा करणे वगैरे झाले की मम्मीची स्वयंपाकघरातील गडबड सुरु व्हायची. रथसप्तमीला सुट्टी नसायची त्यामुळे शाळेत-कॉलेजमध्ये जाण्यापूर्वी पूर्ण स्वयंपाक तयार व्हायचा. तसेच त्यादिवशी संक्रांतीच्या हळद-कुंकवाचा शेवटचा दिवस त्यामुळे तिला बरेचदा कुठेतरी लांब जायचे असे. त्यापूर्वी शिकवण्या, शिवण क्लासेस आणि शिवायला आलेले कपडे पूर्ण करणे असा भरगच्च दिवस तिच्यासमोर असे. पण तरी गुळपोळी ती आवर्जून करायची, अजूनही करते. यावर्षी मी ठरवून गुळपोळ्या केल्या पण संक्रांतीला केल्या कारण मला आदल्यादिवशी तयारीला थोडा वेळ मिळाला. ही पोळी करायला पुरणपोळीपेक्षा सोपी आहे. तयारी पण आधी करता येते.

Gul Poli

सारण -
१ कप मऊ गूळ
१/४ कप बेसन
१/४ कप तीळ
२ टेस्पून खसखस
३-४ टेस्पून तेल
४-५ वेलच्यांची पूड
चिमुटभर जायफळ पूड

वरील पारीसाठी -
१ १/४ कप गव्हाचे पीठ
१/४ कप रवा
१/२ टीस्पून मीठ
२ टेस्पून तेल

पाणी लागेल तसे.

कृती -
सारण -
गूळ खिसुन घ्यावा म्हणजे त्यात खडे रहाणार नाहीत. किंवा फूड प्रोसेसरला 'S' आकाराचे ब्लेड लावून बारीक करून घ्यावा. गूळ कोरडा/कठीण असेल तर एखादा चमचा तेल घालावे. असे केल्याने गूळ मऊ होतो.
बेसन २ टेबल्स्पून तेलात खरपूस भाजून बाजूला ठेवावे.
तीळ आणि खसखस वेगवेगळे कोरडेच गुलबट रंगावर भाजून ठेवावे. एकत्र करून ठेवून नये.
खसखस आणि तिळाची वेगवेगळी पूड करून घ्यावी.
आता गार झालेले बेसन, तिळकूट, खसखशीचे कूट, वेलची-जायफळ पूड असे सगळे एकत्र गुळात मिसळावे. फूड प्रोसेसरमध्ये असेल तर काम पटकन होते. नसेल तर हाताने सगळे एकजीव करावे.
गूळ कोरडा असेल तर सारण भुरभुरीत होते. मऊ असेल तर मात्र नीट गोळा होतो. सारण भुरभुरीत झाले तर अगदी एखादा थेंब पाणी घेऊन गोळा करावा. अशाप्रकारे सगळ्या सारणाचे एकसारखे १२ गोळे करावे.
हे सारण महिनो-महिने फ्रीजशिवाय टिकते.

पारी - 
पीठ, रवा आणि मीठ एकत्र करून मिसळावे.
तेलाचे कढत मोहन करून घ्यावे. ते पिठात मिसळावे.
पाण्याने कणिक मळून घ्यावी. कणिक चपातीच्या कणकेहुन थोडी घट्ट पण पुरीच्या पिठापेक्षा थोडी मऊ असते.
तयार पीठ झाकून अर्धा तास बाजूला ठेवावे.
अर्ध्या तासाने पिठाचे १२ समान गोळे करून घ्यावेत.
तवा मध्यम आचेवर तापायला ठेवावा.
कोरडे पीठ लावून एका गोळ्याची वाटी करून घ्यावी. त्यात सारणाचा एका गोळा ठेवावा. सारणाचा गोळा हलक्या हाताने तिथल्या तिथे राहेल असा मोकळा करावा. पारीची कणिक व्यवस्थितपणे वर घेऊन गोळा बंद करावा.
कोरड्या पिठावर पोळी लाटावी. लाटताना पोळी उलटू नये, सावकाशीने लाटली तर कडेपर्यंत सारण व्यवस्थित पसरते.
गरम तव्यावर दोन्हीकडून भाजून घ्यावी.
अशा सगळ्या पोळ्या करून घ्याव्यात. गरम पोळ्या एकावर एक ठेवू नयेत, सुट्ट्या ठेवाव्यात.
गरम किंवा गार कशाही छानच लागतात.

टीपा - 
  1. पोळ्या लहान हव्या असतील तर १६-१७ होतील. 
  2. कडेपर्यंत  नीट सरण जात नाही/गेले नाही असे झाले तर, करंजीच्या कातनीने कड कापून घ्यावी. 
  3. पोळी खूप जाड ठेवू नये. पण अगदी पारदर्शक पातळ पण नसावी. पोळी पातळ झाली तर तव्याला सारण चिटकण्याची शक्यता असते. 




Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vegan Minced Fruit Tartlets

We celebrated very quiet new year with few of very close friends. We missed one friend and her family this year as they were visiting India. As always, it was a potluck. This year I decided to take dessert with me!
Winter break between Christmas and new year is my time to try one at least one new recipe that takes time and more skillful than anything I have ever done so far. This year I decided to tackle of making tart (or tartlets)! I have been thinking of baking tart from scratch for a very long time. I have made pie crust few times and it has come out well. But I always used butter/ghee to make the pie crust so this time I decided to make it completely vegan!!
Minced pie is a British Christmas special dessert that is definitely not vegan. And I have been thinking of making vegan version of it for years but just did not have time to do my research properly. And to kill two birds with one stone, I decided to make vegan minced fruit pie!!! There are various recipes on the web but the ones I referred the most were by David Lebovitz and Alton Brown. I followed Lebovitz's suggestion to cook the filling. He also suggests to use coconut butter/oil but I decided to skip it. As I couldn't follow their recipes, I decided to go in my own way with filling. Even when everything was ready, it took me complete 2 hours to assemble and bake these beauties, but it was all worth it! Everyone enjoyed it. I am planning to make it again soon and I do not think I will tweak the recipe!

Minced Fruit Pie


Here is how I made them -
Minced fruit Filling -
2 Ripe Pears (I used red D'Anjou variety but any juicy kind should be okay )
1/4 cup Dried Blueberries
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
2-3 tbsp Turbinado Sugar (or more per taste)
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Candied Ginger
1/4 cup Dried Figs
Zest from 1 Orange
3 tbsp Brandy
1/4 cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
Pinch Cinnamon Powder
Pinch All Spice Powder

Crust (Adapted from Joy Of Vegan Baking) -

2.5 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
12 tbsp Earth Balance (Cold)
4 tbsp Vegetable Shortening (Refrigerate for 10-15 min)
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
Ice water as needed


Close up: Crust


Preparation - 
Filling -
Core and dice pears.
Chop figs and candied ginger in small pieces, about same size as other dried fruits. 
Mix all dried fruits, sugar, orange zest and orange juice with diced pears in a heavy bottom non-reactive skillet.
Start cooking on low to medium heat. Orange juice will start evaporating and the mixture will become sticky in few minutes. Make sure it is not runny.
Mix spice powders, and toasted almonds.
Mix thoroughly, let it cool completely
Mix brandy and refrigerate for at least 3 days in an air tight container. 

Crust -
Measure out all the ingredients and refrigerate for few minutes. Make sure everything is cold.
Mix earth balance,  shortening, salt and sugar with flour in food processor. Slowly work the mixture until it looks crumbly. Do not over mix.
Start adding cold water tbsp at a time. the dough should just come all together. Do not over work. It should not be soft dough. You should not need more than 6-7 tbsp water.
Divide into two equal balls, cover with plastic wrap. Put the balls in a airtight container and refrigerate at least for 1 hour.

Dusted!
(Photo courtesy - Evolving Tastes)
Assembly -
You will need tartlet molds
Divide filling in 12 equal parts
Divide the dough in 12 equal parts.
Roll each dough ball just 1/2" wider than the tartlet molds. Do not over work the dough making it warm.
Carefully press rolled pastry in the nooks of the tartlet molds. Prick with fork couple of times in the center.
Repeat with remaining dough balls
Bake the tartlet shells at 425F for 10-12 minutes, or until the rims look golden brown.
Remove shells from the oven but do not remove from the tartlet molds. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
Once cooled, add one part of filling in one shell, press gently. Repeat with remaining shells.
Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them cool a little. Now carefully remove the tarlets from the molds. They should come off easily. Sprinkle powdered sugar over and serve warm.

Tips -
  1. The filling can be made ahead of time. Traditionally it is made almost 5-6 months ahead and canned for further use.
  2. Making pastry is is skilful but keep your hands cold, do not over work the dough too much and you have a winner! 
  3. Dried fruits combination is just what I had in my pantry, you can change these per your taste. 


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