Sweet and Spicy Maharashtrian Tilgul Poli is a popular traditional dish of Maharashtrian cuisine that is prepared on Makar Sankranti, a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India. This festival falls on the same date in local calendars every year, 14 January, with some exceptions, it is celebrated even on 15th January. In Maharashtra, it is celebrated as the harvest festival.
Maharashtra cuisine covers a range from mild to very spicy dishes. Tilgul Poli is a sweet flatbread from Maharashtra that is made from refined flour, white sesame seeds ,jaggery, cardamom, nutmeg, ghee and water. I have tried to further spice up this traditional tilgul poli by adding ground cinnamon. In tilgul poli, the proportion of sesame seed is more compared to jaggery. Another variation is gul poli, in which the amount of jaggery is more than the sesame seeds. The combination of sesame seeds and jaggery, keeps the body warm and provide adequate nutrition required during harsh winters.
I prepare Tilgul Poli to celebrate this festival. Here is my recipe and wishing all my friends & family “tilgul ghya goad goad bola” meaning ‘Take this Tilgul and say sweet things‘.
- 1 cup til(white sesame seeds)
- ½ cup grated jaggery
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup refined and bleached white wheat flour(also known as maida in India or bleached all purpose flour)
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil to knead the flour
- oil or ghee for shallow fry
- Heat a pan and dry roast white sesame seeds so that they turns to golden brown. Sesame seeds heat up quickly, so take care not to burn them.
- Turn off the gas and allow the roasted sesame seeds to cool.
- In the meantime, sieve the flour in a medium size mixing bowl. Add salt, oil, mix well and knead into a semi-soft dough using sufficient water.
- So while the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Add grated jaggery, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder into the roasted sesame seeds. Mix them properly. You may coarsely grind this mixture or use as it is.
- Divide dough into equal portions shaped into balls. Spread each ball into a katori, put a large portion of the sesame filling in it, take the sides up and seal the ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, press and roll out a ball int o a large roti, dusting with flour. Similarly make other til polis.
- Shallow fry til polis on hot griddle till they become crispy and golden brown. Serve hot.