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. 


  1. Yummy! Good you did make them to revive a tradition. Aga Mints, try microwaving jaggery for a brief 30 sec or more, use a glass bowl, according to the size of the chunk and then simply press it down with a spoon. It crumbles very easily with no sweat at all.

    1. Thank you Anjali for the tip. I will try it soon and let you know.

  2. Yumm.. now on my 'to make' list as well!

  3. Not sure if this is an active blog, but I just wanted to let you know that I tried them today, for the very first time in my life, and they turned out exceptionally well. Thanks for the recipe!


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