Thursday, April 18, 2013

Left over magic: Jazzing up the humble Policha Ladoo

I woke up in the morning with a dreadful pounding in my head. Red hot hammers were working over time. 
Letting out a miserable groan, I dragged my feet to the bathroom to brush and swallowed a migraine tablet and stumbled back in bed.What a terrible way to start the day! How I wished someone would soothe my forehead or make me a cup of tea....

Through the haze in my mind, I remembered a figure, long forgotten........ Sonu Bai. 
Sonu Bai was our maid, when I was a school going girl. She was a tall and had square shoulders and very strong, a booming voice and  I swear, at times, she breathed fire.. but above all, she adored me.
Every morning, she would come to work but first, she would come to the bedroom, wake me, brushing the hair out of my eyes she would  run her rough hands from my temples to my chin and then crack her fingers against her temples, it was to ward off any 'evil eye'. She would run the bath water for me, pick up and wash my tea cup and also make my bed. I was her 'RaNi MaNi'. 

Sonu Bai also used to get some medicated leaves that would ease the severe pain in my father's joints, because of arthritis. 
She would take the whole wheat (grain) to be milled and bring it back, it helped my Mother. Simple things that made life one tiny bit easy for us and beyond her 'job description'. Simple things, that we relied on her for... She was dedicated to our family. 

If she  were here today, she would have told me, "Rani, dokyat ghalte vati bhar tel, thambul dukaycha." ("Let me pour a cup of oil on your head, it will stop the pain"), she would have done it too, making sure my Father was nowhere in the vicinity (she knew how he hates hair oil).

I smiled at the memory and the fact that the pain was down a notch.
I longed to eat something comforting and sweet but nothing that  involved a lot of time and effort.
All I had was bread and 3 left over rotis from last night.

I settled on the roti / chapati /Poli and decided to make Policha ladoo.
For those who do not know, this is one simple ( and tasty) way to finish left over rotis. Children like it as do adults. I used to like taking these in my lunch box! 

The simplest version has just 3 ingredients, leftover roti, jaggery and some ghee. 
My version today is  slightly jazzed up.

You need:
(I used) 3 Left over rotis
A lemon sized ball of soft Jaggery
3/4 tsp khus-khus ( poppy seeds)
1-2 tsp Shredded, un-sweetened coconut
1 Cardamom, powdered
1 tsp Ghee

Tear the roti into small pieces, I run them thru the food processor.
Heat the ghee in a wok. You do not want it to smoke.
Add the poppy seeds and stir  until the poppy seeds are slightly brown, add the coconut and  coat it well in the ghee and poppy seeds mixture.
Once the coconut is slightly brown, add the jaggery ( I crumble it and add it in the ghee).
After the ghee melts, add the shredded roti and mix well to make a slightly sticky mass.
Switch off the heat and add the powdered cardamom.
Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, roll into balls.


- There are no set measurements, the size of a roti is a personal choice, a fulka is small and thin, whereas a poli / chapati is slightly bigger and not as thin as a fulka. In this case, use jaggery as required.

- I used fresh ( frozen) coconut instead of shredded, Substitute one for the other or omit if you do not like it or do not have either on hand.

I also wanted to share with you the picture of a cake I made for a dear friend, as a surprise for her Birthday.
Clearly, my frosting skills can use a lot of practice, but everyone liked the cake!
Flavor: Orange Creamsicle ( box mix)
Frosting: Whipped cream ( 1 cup heavy whipping cream : 1/2 cup Confectioners sugar and a dash of Vanilla extract)

I like whipped cream frosting, it is not so easy to work with ( butter cream frosting has that advantage, controlling the consistency, you can make a variety of decorations, where as whipped cream does not stand up to that test, it makes up in taste, that it does!)

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  1. love the sinfully adorable laddoo.Quite a decoration on the cake,looks fab.

  2. wow ! nice use of leftover phulkas..
    loved the cake too..

  3. Hey Manasi will show you my agadbamba ladoo. I never ate it as a child but I did make it now. Khus Khus would lend a nice taste am sure. Will post soon.

    1. Anjali, I love the name 'agadbamba ladoo'. I hope you post it soon :)

  4. Such a droolworthy balls, wat a wonderful leftover magic,drooling over that laddoos.

    1. Thanks, Priya, they are simple but I love the taste.

  5. Loved your story :)
    And loved the laddoos :) We call it Bhakhri na Ladva and it was our favorite tiffin item too!!! you made me all nostalgic with this post...

    1. Thank you, Techie2mom! I would like to see your version of bhakri na ladva.

  6. Absolutely love your stories :).. I have been reading your blog forever and love it. The cake looks awesome, please tell me if you use any stabilizers with whipped cream frosting, looks liek the flowers help up the shape very well. Thanks.


    1. Archana, thank you so much for your kind words.
      For the whipped cream frosting, I do not use any stabilizers, mainly as it involves using gelatin. Some people use Jello pudding powder, you can try that, but need to adjust sugar in that case.
      For my part, I just place the bowl, that I plan on using and the beaters in the freezer for 10-15 mins. before I make the frosting.
      Alternately, if u have ice cubes at home, fill a big bowl, half way (or less) with ice cubes and place a smaller bowl on the ice cubes and whip the cream.

      In the cake (above) I just made rosettes, these are very easy to make and hold shape, but if you want to make flowers, imho, buttercream is a better option.

  7. Love your Ladoo recipe. Going to try very soon.

  8. This post made me all nostalgic. I recently ate toop-sakhar-poli after a long long time and rediscovered my love for those childhood treats. I'll be making policha ladoo soon!

    Btw - the cake looks fabulous.

    1. Thank you, Snehal! I love tup-sakhar-poli and gul-tup - poli! those are childhood favorites! Aww, I want to eat one now:)
      There is one more way I like my poli, 'hot' off the tawa, smear it with a bit of ghee and sprinkle a tiny amount of alt, roll and eat!

  9. Looks amazing ! Healthy one too...

  10. HI Manasi,
    As a Kid I never liekd the poli cha ladu, I prefer the phodnichi poli, dunno why given the fact that I had upma also with sugar sprinkled. But now I am craving for some thing as simple and easy as this. My mom adds danyache kut to these ladoos, maybe as an attempt that I eat without any fuss. I love love dane and gul, staple food in the ghar ghar play.. Too many things on my India list now. Play Kitchen for munchkin with dane and gul, next winter sees me playing house house with my son, is it too weird???
    Also loved the cake, Just one suggestion( PLZZ Don't mind), next time you want to make rosettes as a border start with 12 o'clock position then do in 3,6, 9, helps in spacing them better.
    Love Ash.

    1. Oh yes, I love phodnich poli too! I make that when I have left overs but do not want to make a bhaji ;)
      I love daney kut, my only problem is , it always results in migraines, this one is on it's third day of terror :(
      And thanks for the suggestions for the cake decoration, I always appreciate tips!

  11. I follow your blog quite regularly & have tried out many recipes about Spices in India are rally so good.

  12. RaNi MaNi I feel like going to the kitchen making a few chapatis and converting them to policha ladoo. My mom made them jumbo in size and I still dont get tired of eating it :)
    Such a lovey write .. loved reading and the cake looks beautiful. I do not like butter cream and no matter how difficult whipped cream is.. I prefer it anyday :)

  13. Nice ides of using the leftover , first time on your space and happy to follow , visit my space in your free time...........


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