Thursday, February 02, 2017

Gulpolicha Ladoo (simplified and modified version of Gulpoli)

I love 'gulpoli'.To those who don't know about this, gulpoli is a thin, sweet stuffed flat bread. This is made in most Maharastrian homes during Sankranta. A Gulpoli has the goodness of whole wheat flour, the stuffing is made of roasted gram flour (besan), jaggery, sesame powder and scented with nutmeg powder and cardamom powder.
The making is tricky and it needs practice and patience. 
This flatbread, unlike a roti or even a puranpoli, isn't soft and pliable. It is a bit hard and is best enjoyed cold, with the customary smear of home made ghee. 

Around January, stores ( some typical stores that I remember are Vijay stores, Bedekar, Panshikar) would start stocking Tilgul ladoo, Til Wadi and Gulpoli. I would beg my mom to make or buy these. 
When time and schedule permitted ( as she was a working woman) she would make or buy. 

It's been years since I ate a gulpoli. I wasn't too confident about making them and not sure they would be a hit with M or li'll S, as much as they were with me. 
Many a times, I am the only one who ends up finishing things, and let me tell you, these sweet treats are not kind on the waist.
But this year, I could not get gulpoli off my mind. 
That combined with the fact that I could see them scattered across many pictures on a facebook group I am a part of, just was like adding fuel to fire! 
But making just 3-4 pieces of anything is, somehow, unsatisfying. But finishing up, just because no one else will, and with the  I-don't-like-to-trash-food mindset is even worse. 
So when I brooded over my dilemma a bit, the solution just popped up in my mind, something that would check off the boxes
  • limited in quantity
  • satisfy the craving
  • easy to make
So the evening before, I made 4 extra fulkas.
That's how it starts. 

I made a modified version of Gulpoli, using the same ingredients as required to make the stuffed version.
Only, my version uses premade rotis/ fulkas. I, made small ladoos ! 

These are every bite as good as the flatbread and can be made quickly and taste good and in this case, husband approved! They are not as labor intensive and do not fail (Those gulpolis have a habit of leaking hot molten stuffing onto the tava and burning and smelling bad and generally making one shed a tear and being disappointed, if you are not an expert).
Here is my simplified and modified version of the classic.

You need: 

4 Fulkas ( preferably extras from last night)
2 heaped Tbsp. Besan / gram flour
2 Tbsp. Oil
2-3 Tbsp Jaggery, crumbled
2 Tbsp. Sesame seeds, roasted to a golden brown and powdered (cool and powder)
Pinch Nutmeg powder
1 Cardamom, powdered
1 tsp Ghee ( or a bit more as needed)

To begin, crumble the roti /fulkas. You can do it by hand, but I prefer to run the quartered pieces of roti thru the chopper. It makes my work easy and super quick. Plus, the fulka/roti gets shredded really fine, just how I like it.

Sankranti special, Gulpoli, ladoo, poli ladoo
 In a non-stick pan, heat oil and add the besan to it. On a low flame, roast the besan to an aromatic, nutty golden brown, like you would for besan ladoo. Do not skimp on the oil, use the 2 tbsp. 

Leave the roasted besan aside, to cool.

While the besan cools, measure out the jaggery. I have used powdered jaggery. If you have the block, grate and use the required amount of jaggery. I have used 2 heaped Tbsp ( and I mean heaped! there was a small mound on top of the tbsp measure). Adjust the amount of sweetness. I don't like 'too sweet' but too little in this case will not taste good, remember, there is the besan as well as the sesame seed powder that will cut the sweetness as will the fulka/ roti. You don't want the ladoo to taste bland and pasty.

Roast, cool and powder the sesame seeds.
I added the cardamom seeds and the bit of nutmeg to the sesame seeds and powdered them together.

Gulpoli, Goolpoli, poli ladoo, chapati lodoo
Add the jaggery and the sesame seed powder to the roasted besan and mix. The oil in the besan should be enough to make a soft ball out of the mixture.

Now add the crumbled fulka /roti and ghee to the mixture and combine and mix very well.
If the mixture feels dry, add some more ghee. Make small balls of the mixture.

gulpoli, ladoo, tilgul poli ladoo

Gulpoli, Goolpoli, poli ladoo, chapati lodoo

You should be able to get about 6-8 ping pong ball sized ladoos.

This post was languishing in my drafts for some time. Finally, I sat down and typed it out, reminding myself that I should at least get this post done before 'rathasaptami' and also before I made a big change to my eating habits. Read on to know the change I am making.....

February is a milestone month. This year, I decided to change my habits a little. Over the past few years, I have neglected my health. I do not pay attention to my food habits. I usually make do with whatever-is-there for lunch and concentrate only on dinner, when the whole family sits together.
What happened was, I ended up eating junk or carbs on most days, cleaning up the fridge of leftovers, not realizing that my stomach was becoming the recycle bin , just because I could not bear to trash good food. 
A few changes I made by mid- January were, I cut down my sugar intake. This meant curbing my sweet tooth, but that was the small part.
The real battle was giving up sugar in my cup of tea. Now, I also love dunking biscuits in my chai, or munching on a piece of hot,lightly buttered toast. My mornings were made up of this happy routine. 
But this habit is very unhealthy and if I were to maintain a chart with calorie intake, this shows a good amount of calories exhausted at the very start of the day! 
So I tried my chai without sugar, it was VERY difficult. 
I admit it, I loathed it. I needed tea and drinking the 'sugar less' cup of tea was making me miserable. I know how childish it sounds, I mean, tons of people enjoy tea or coffee without sugar, but I could not do it. I longed for a cup of mildly sweet tea, regular tea. 
But I did not want sugar. See how my mind works? Finally, I decided upon a small compromise. I would add 1/2 tsp jaggery to my tea, it made me happy. That one small change helped me. 
Over the last couple of weeks since I have stopped consuming sugar (with the exception of that 1/2 tsp), I have lost the craving  of popping something in my mouth, for example, I would think nothing of smearing a slice of bread with some jam and eating it or scarfing down a fresh baked muffin. But now, I do not feel the urge to! Those who now me and my love for sweets, understand what a dramatic change this is for me. But sugar lurks in many corners of the pantry and so, I am going sugar fee, all February, high time I did it. When I saw Nupur (OHS) taking a step towards it, I was very eager to join in. Join me ( and many others) for this challenge ( it's never too late to make the change).
Putting it here, out in the open also adds accountability. 

This does not mean I will stop making anything sweet in my kitchen. I still have sugar stocked, I will use it to make some treat for my son, but the frequency will go down and my consumption will stop. My family will also get healthy habits with the occasional indulgence ( well deserved, in this case for a small boy).
If you'd like to join this challenge, leave a comment here or on the AC@H FaceBook page and start a healthy tomorrow! 
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