The very first Hindu festival in January is Sankranti - also called Pongal, Lohri, Bihu and many other names in various regions around India and also in South East Asia.
For me Sankranti is always associated with sesame seeds and jaggery - called til & gul respectively in Marathi. The aroma of toasted sesame seeds and then those yummy laddoos.My Mom always made this gul poli on that day - ofcosre along with various other goodies.
I had to make these gul polis this year. I could not call mom to ask for the recipe as it was pretty late in the night for them and I knew they would be asleep. So, I used my sense of smell and taste and tried to use the proportions just like you would for puran poli and made these polis. They did not turn out like the ones made by mom - but, they were still good.
For the filling
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (khuskhus)
2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
2 cups jaggery
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
water to knead
Toast the sesame seeds on medium flame untill you get a nice roasted aroma. Remove on a plate and let it cool. Now toast the peanuts untill you get a nice toasted aroma. Remove any skin on them and let them cool on a plate. Dry roast the gram flour and the poppy seeds for a couple of minutes - be careful not to burn the gram flour. Grind the peanuts, sesame seeds, gram flour and poppy seeds to a fine powder/paste - no need to add water, the oil from the peanuts and the sesame will give it a pasty texture. Remove it into a mixing bowl and add the jaggery and the cardamom powder and nut met powder and mix well. Make about 10 equal sized balls from this mixture.
Mix wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt to taste. Heat the oil in a pan and add it to the flour mixture and carefully mix the oil with the flour - this can be done with a spoon - be careful as the oil i shot. Now add water - start with half a cup of water and knead the flour into a dough. Add more water if required. Consistency of dough should be soft like a regular chapati dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth/kitchen tissue and let it sit for 30 minutes. After it has rested, make 10 equal sized balls of the dough and keep aside.
Take one of flour dough rolls and apply dry wheat flour (so that it does not stick to the rolling pin) and roll out into a round about 2 inches in diameter. Add a part of the stuffing to this rolled dough and bring together all the edges so as to cover the filling. press this lightly so that the stuffing goes to all the ends. Now dip it in the dry wheat flour and roll lightly just like a stuffed paratha/chappati - about 6 inches in diameter. Roast on a skillet on medium heat by adding a bit of ghee - turning it a couple of times. The poli is ready when it had nice golden spots on both sides.
Serve this gul poli warm or cold with or without ghee.