Cooking Spain Region By Region: Andalusia: Polea or Gachas Dulces (Andalusian Sweet Porridge?)

When doing a little bit of research into typical dishes of Andalusia in order to choose which ones to try and cook, I came across this dessert, Polea,which I´d never heard of before. I decided to have a bash at making this dessert as it seemed unusual,what with having croutons in it etc plus it piqued my curiosity. I was a little bit apprehensive at the same time too as I wasn´t sure whether I´d like it because I´m not too keen on  savoury gachas. However, I´m soooooooo glad I decided to make it as it is absolutely delicious, even if I do say so myself! ; )

It has a lovely lemony, milky,cinnamon flavour with a hint of aniseed and is surprisingly light. I served it warm but I think it´d be nice both hot and cold. I´m so pleased I found this dessert as it has quickly become one of my favourite Spanish desserts and I prefer it to flan,natillas or crema catalana. I really don´t know why this isn´t on more restaurant menus for dessert!!I will definitely be making this on a regular basis...in fact I am thinking of making it for a Father´s Day meal for my hubby as he really enjoyed it too but unfortunately my daughter didn´t get round to trying it...maybe next time!!It is really quick and easy to make too, despite being  a fairly easy dish to prepare for some reason,it didn´t thicken up and was still quite thin and liquidy...probably because I didn´t mix the flour in the milk.I ´ve adapted the recipe from the original recipe from Gallina Blanca.

Ingredients (for 2)
 1/2 litre of milk
1 tbsp mild (suave) olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp of dried aniseed or fennel seeds (I didn´t have aniseed so used fennel seeds as they still have that aniseed flavour)
ground cinnamon
ready made or home made croutons (I used ready made croutons,just to save time)

1. Heat the olive oil and add the aniseed or fennel seeds and cook for a couple of seconds over a low heat, making sure they don´t burn.
2. Dissolve half of the flour in the milk and then add to the pan.
3.Add the sugar,the rest of the flour,the grated lemon rind,the cinnamon stick and a pinch of cinnamon and cook over a low heat till it starts to thicken, stirring the whole time.
4. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into serving dish and add the croutons and sprinkle with ground cinnamon according to your taste.
5.Serve and enjoy!


  1. Wow Tracey, you are showing me dishes I never tasted before :D. This goes to my waiting list ;D

  2. Thanks,Nuría!! Let me know how it goes when you make it!I´ve made this twice now but it hasn´t thickened so much....I´m not sure if it should be a thicker consistency than what I have but anyway it tastes delicious all the same!! I made rabo de toro last weekend but wasn´t completely successful so it´ll be awhile before I publish that recipe as I´llhave to try it out again!!


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