The core idea of the Indian Cooking Challenge is to find traditional recipes from all over India and try them. Thus this challenge has seen sweets, savoury dishes curries and more. This month Suruttai poli/suruttu poli was the sweet attempted. Srivalli had sought Nithya's mother's recipe and shared it with members. A blogger friend Pavithra has made these earlier and has a post too. Do look up her lovely space for these and many more.
The recipe looked simple and ingredients easily available. The challenge lay in perfecting the rolls.
However, it is a task that can be handled with some deft. You have to roll the prepared dough into thin discs, deep fry them until just about done, remove, place the filling in and roll in cylindrical shapes while the fried dough is still warm. Give it an extra minute and your deep fried puri turns crisp, thus becoming brittle.
Given below are measures given in the recipe. Taking into account that I am trying this for the first time and the fact that we are just two people who might consume the same, I reduced the quantities. I am happy that I did so, as it would have been a long drawn process doing it singularly. These are the kind of recipes you might be glad to have someone to share the job. In such a case, one of the two can fry while the other can roll the polis.
The ingredients are for the outer dough and the filling. Similarly the process has been dealt in two parts.
Roasted gram (பொட்டுக்கடலை ) 1 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Ghee 1 teaspoon
Cashew nuts 20 numbers
Cardamom powder 1 teaspoon
Fresh grated coconut 1 tablespoon
Method to proceed:
Roast the cashew nuts in the ghee and break them in fine pieces.
Powder the roasted gram and sugar together.
Toss the coconut in the pan that you roasted the cashews for a while so the moisture is lost a bit.
Mix all of these and the cardamom powder.
The filling is ready. Keep aside.
For the outer dough:
All purpose flour/ maida 1 cup
A pinch of salt
Water to mix the above in a stiff dough
Method to make the outer dough:
Seive the flour and salt together. Add water gradually and knead to a stiff dough.
Keep covered for about half an hour.
Knead further until the dough is pliable and elastic.
Pinch out small portions.
Roll out each portion in circular discs stretching as much as possible. It is important to make very thin discs.The recipe says to roll out 10cm diameter discs, which I think are too big to be deep fried. About 6 centimetres in diameter will be ideal. Also you may find that my fingers are seen through the disc while held against light. This is how thin I could stretch the dough.
If not rolled thin they may puff up while deep frying. It is fine if there are spotted bubbles here and there once fried, but not a puffed pillow shape.
Leave the rolled out discs on a paper or cloth to air a bit.
How to proceed:
Oil/ ghee for deep frying
Heat oil/ghee in a pan (I prefer ghee while deep frying for sweet dishes, it is optional though).
Once hot and near smoking, reduce the heat to moderate and fry one disc at a time. Fry just about until done on both sides. The colour will remain almost white as the rolled disc.
Remove quickly from the oil, draining with a slotted ladle.
Place this on a surface flat. Place three spoonsful of the filling at one end of the puri and roll into cigar shapes.
Leave them on a flat plate to cool. Place the rolled face down.
Proceed with all the discs the same way.
A very delectable suruttal poli is ready to be served.
I have some notes to make , viz. if you are doing it all by yourself and are planning to make a whole lot of them, prepare the filling and the dough.
Do the other steps in small batches. Pinch out balls just for about 8 - 10 polis and roll them out, fry, fill, fold and take upon the next batch.
You may use fine grain rawa in the place of the all purpose flour.
Keep the coconut separately without mixing with the rest of the powdered ingredients and mix them as and when required.
These are only suggestions and I hope not to be a deterrent.