Poli with fresh coconut

Poli with fresh coconut

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  • Makes approx. 10
  • Easy
  • 30 minutes
  • 15 minutes

“Poli are deep-fried crescents filled with a sweet, nutty filling, fragrant with cardamom. Fresh coconut makes all the difference.” – Ishay Govender


  • For the filling:
  • 160 g fresh coconut
  • 2 T ghee or butter
  • 2 T sesame seeds, toasted
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the dough:
  • 500 g flour
  • 150 g cold butter, cubed
  • cold water

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the filling, remove the brown skin from the coconut and grate finely.

2. Heat the ghee or butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, including the coconut, and stir using a wooden spoon.

3. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until sticky and combined, taking care not to burn. Set aside.

4. To make the dough, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub until evenly distributed and fine crumbs form. Gradually add the water to make a firm dough. Cover with clingwrap and set aside until ready to use.

5. Flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough into a sausage shape and cut into quarters. Roll out each piece to a thickness of 5 mm, covering the remaining dough well. Use a large round cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

6. Spoon some filling into the centre of each round. Dip your finger into a little water and run around the edge of each circle. Fold over one side and press down with a fork to seal well.

7. Fry in small batches until light golden brown, taking care not to not burn them. Drain on kitchen paper and serve warm or cold.

Find more Diwali recipes here.

Photograph: Myburgh Du Plessis
Production: Khanya Mzongwana

Ishay Govender Recipe by: Ishay Govender
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Ishay Govender is award-winning freelance food and travel journalist and author. She has written two cookbooks titled Curry: Stories & Recipes Across South Africa and Bright Rock Love Change Cookbook.

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