Moong Dal Bhaja / Fried And Baked Pithe

Bhaja or fried pithe
Baked pithe

Moong dal bhaja/fried and baked pithe.
A deep fried delicacy from Bengal. Mildly sweet and spicy outer layer made of moong dal or yellow lentil and coconut and date palm jaggery or khajur gur stuffing. Interesting isn’t it 😊
Usually it should be deep fried but I have also baked it to make it guilt free. Sharing both methods. I have baked these in halogen oven but you can use your microwave convection mode or OTG to bake.

I remember my mother used to make different types of pithe puli on sankranti. Like bhapa or steamed pithe, ranga aloor/sweet potato pithe, gokul pithe, nolen gur paesh or kheer, green peas stuffed potato or aloor nonta/salty pithe, patishapta, dudh puli, narkol nadu or coconut laddu, malpua and this moong dal bhaja pithe. On sankranti day these was our dinner. I have made all the pithe except this bhaja pithe. It was my most favourite but I can’t remember the exact recipe. Only remember the mildly spicy and lip-smacking taste and some ingredients. My mother is no more so now whom to ask.
In a facebook group Swati Chatterjee Mookherjee posted this. So I have asked her about the recipe. And she gave me her mom’s recipe. Tried it and got the same taste of mom made pithe. Thanks Swati and a big thank to your mother.

Only difference is in her recipe she used green chilli but I remember my mother used red chilli powder. So I have used red chilli powder instead of green chilli paste. If you want you can use paste of 1 – 2 green chilli or black pepper powder instead. As I mentioned above this pithe taste better next day.

You can get some more sankranti delicacies on this blog.

Gokul pithe

Malpua

Coconut laddu or larkol nadu

Baked dudh puli

Sending this post to 182 #Foodiemonday bloghop Down memory lane theme. This beautiful theme suggested by our bloghop member Swaty Malik who blog at Food Trails.
Do visit her space for some delicious recipes.

Down the memory lane yes this pithe is perfect for the theme. It was my childhood favourite. After a long time got the same taste. I have used 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder to make it mildly spicy but if you want to make it more spicy, then you can add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder.
I have fried half of the pithe and baked remaining half. Baked version is also too good. Loved both the version fried and baked.

Bhaja or fried pithe

Recipe

For stuffing

Coconut – 1 cup, grated

Mawa/khoya or dried milk – 3/4 cup

Date palm jaggery or khajur gur – 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

For outer layer

Moong dal or split yellow lentil – 1 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tablespoon

Ginger paste – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Water – 2 & 1/2 cup or as require

Date palm jaggery or khajur gur – 1/2 cup, grated

Rice flour – 3 tablespoon

Oil for frying

Method

1. Heat a nonstick or heavy bottom pan. Add coconut, mawa/khoya or dried milk and date palm jaggery or khajur gur. Mix well.

2. Cook on low heat, stir continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom.

3. When the mixture dried up and becomes like a dough remove from heat. Add cardamom powder and mix. Stuffing is ready. Let it cool down.

 

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4. Rinse the lentil well. Spread on a plate or paper towel for 30 minutes.

5. Heat ghee or clarified butter in a pan. Add the lentils.

6. Fry the lentils till fragrant and change it’s colour to light golden brown.

7. Add salt ginger paste and red chilli powder. If you want more spicy add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder.

8. Mix well and add water. Let it cook on low flame till the lentils becomes soft. You can add more water if require.

9. Add jaggery and mix. Cook until jaggery melted and the mixture dried up. Remove from heat.

10. Let the mixture cool down. Add rice flour gradually and mix.

11. Mix well and knead into a smooth dough. You can add 1 tablespoon more rice flour if require for binding but don’t add more than it.

12. Make small balls. Flatten the ball with your palm and place one teaspoon full stuffing in the middle.

13. Bring the edges together and make a ball again. Give the balls cylindrical shape.

14. Heat sufficient oil for deep frying. Oil should be enough hot.

15. Slid the cylindrical pithe in the oil reduce the flame and fry on low medium heat till golden brown from all the sides.

16. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. These taste best next day.

Baked method

For halogen oven

1. Brush all the pithe with oil. Place on the nonstick baking tray or plate which you got with oven.

2. Press speed up mode and set the temperature 200°. Set the timing 10 minutes. Press start to bake.

3. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or till pithe becomes golden brown. Keep an eye after 8 minutes. Mine takes 10 minutes to bake one side and 8 minutes after turning.

4. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or till pithe becomes golden brown. Turn over and bake other side too in this method.

For microwave convection mode or OTG

1. Preheat the at 200° for 10 minutes.

2. Bake at 200° for 8 – 10. Or until pithe becomes golden brown. Keep an eye after 6 minutes. Every oven takes different time.

Serve warm or cold. It will taste better next day. Enjoy…….

Notes

1. Instead of red chilli powder you can use green chilli paste or black pepper powder.

2. You can drizzle date palm jaggery syrup over the pithe just before serving.

If you tried my recipe, you can share your food pictures with me in the social network sites by using hash tag, #batterupwithsujata
I would love to see your creations.

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Baked Rasgulla

Baked rasgulla.
Rabdi soaked rasgulla covered with makha sandesh or date palm jaggery or khajur gur sandesh, condensed milk and malai or milk topping. These ingredients made this dessert heavenly.

Tasted this delicious baked rasgulla in kolkata. Attended a wedding reception event in my family. Lovely memorable days with family members. Missing those moments.
This baked rasgulla was one of the party dessert. Everyone loved it. Something different from regular baked rasgulla. Makha sandesh or gur sandesh was the key ingredient.
My brother in law Taposh Roy requested the caterer of that event for the recipe. And he happily share his recipe with us. Thanks to him and Taposh.

Earlier I made baked rasgulla with an easy method. Just layered a mixture of condensed milk, khoya or dried milk and little milk over the squeezed rasgulla and baked.

But this recipe is little different.
Tried the recipe after returning home. And enjoyed the heavenly taste again. Sharing is caring so sharing this awesome recipe with you all. Make it and enjoy the heavenly taste 😊

Recipe

Rasgulla – 8

Full cream milk – 4 cup

Sugar – 3 tablespoon

Homemade paneer or cottage cheese – 1/2 heaped cup

Khajur gur or date palm jaggery – 2 tablespoon or to taste, grated

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Condensed milk – 1/4 cup

Chopped pistachio to garnish

Method

Boil 4 cup full cream milk in a heavy bottom pan. Let the milk thickened on low flame. Add 3 tablespoon sugar and mix.

Don’t stir the milk frequently. We want the milk topping so just bring the milk topping or malai towards the sides with a spoon gently.

Don’t make the rabdi or thickened milk grainy or dry.
When the milk change it’s colour and thickened remove from heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder.
Keep this thickened milk in refrigerator or under fan for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the milk topping or malai from it and keep aside.
My thickened milk or rabdi remains 1&1/4 cup after removing the milk topping. If your milk is too thick you can add little milk in it.

Squeeze rasgulla with your palm to remove the sugar syrup. Don’t worry it will swell again.

Heat the thickened milk or Rabdi.

Dip all the squeezed rasgulla in thickened milk or Rabdi. When it starts to boil switch off the flame. Soak them in thickened milk for 30 minutes. It will helps the rasgulla to soak thickened milk properly.

Now take the paneer or cottage cheese on a plate. Mash well with your palm.
I have made the paneer or cottage cheese out of 1/2 litter milk.
When the paneer becomes smooth add grated khajur gur or date palm jaggery. Mash again to make it smooth and little greasy.

Heat a nonstick or heavy bottom pan. Cook the paneer on low flame for 5 – 6 minutes. Stir continuously. Switch off the heat.
Let the mixture cool down.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder and mash it again until it becomes smooth. Mix condensed milk with it and keep aside.

In a baking tray arrange all the thickened milk soaked rasgulla. Layer the paneer or cottage cheese mixture over it evenly.
Now layer the milk topping or malai we have collected from thickened milk.

Garnish with chopped pistachio.

Place on the higher rack of your oven.
Grill for 6 – 8 minutes or until the top becomes brown.
Enjoy the delicious baked rasgulla warm or chilled.

Notes

1. You add use few drops of rose water with cardamom powder in thickened milk.

2. You can decrease the amount of jaggery and sugar if you like less sweetness.

3. You can use shredded almond for garnishing.

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Baked Dudh Puli (Guest Post For Pushpita Aheibam)

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Baked dudh puli.

Puli is another name of pithe and dudh means milk in Bengali. Its very famous in Bengal. Different types of pithe are used to make in every Bengali homes on Makar Sankranti.

Its my first guest post and I am very happy because I am sharing this post with my loving sister, friend and very talented blogger Pushpita. Visit her blog Ei Gi Chakhum for different types of recipes, specially Manipuri cuisine along with fusion and regional culinary delights.

Pushpita is an Economist, a freelance writer, a doting mother, a homemaker, a very helpful person and a food enthusiast. Thanks a lot Pushpita for inviting me to write a guest post for Makar Sankranti. Wishing you a blessed year ahead.

In west Bengal its known as Poush Sankranti/Poush Parbon or Makar Sankranti. We celebrate it in the last day of Bengali month Poush.

Making of pithe or puli is must in every Bengali home to celebrate this harvest festival. Rice flour, coconut or date palm jaggery or khajur gur are mainly used in these special kind of sweets.

Dudh puli is basically rice flour dumplings stuffed with coconut, date palm jaggery or khajur/nolen gur, khoya/mawa or dried milk and dry fruits and cooked in date palm jaggery or khajur/nolen gur and cardamom infused milk.

The stuffing is same as Gokul Pithe.

Puli or pithe in cardamom and Jaggery infused thick milk taste heavenly.

Now coming to the recipe.

We make this puli or pithe every year but never baked it. But Pushpita want the puli baked. So Pushpita here is a baked version of dudh puli for you 🙂

Recipe 



For rice dumplings 

Rice flour – 1 cup

Hot water – 1/2 cup

Salt – a small pinch

For stuffing 
Khoya or dried milk  – 2 cup grated or mashed

Coconut  – 1 cup grated

Date palm jaggery/khajur gur  – 1 cup grated

Dry fruits of your choice

For thick milk 


Milk – 6 cup

Date palm jaggery – 1/3 cup grated or broken into small pieces

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Shredded almonds and dry fruits to sprinkle

Method 

Heat a pan and add khoya or dried milk. Saute for some time. Stir continuously. Add the grated coconut and date palm jaggery.

If you don’t have this jaggery use sugar. Add 3/4 cup and mix well. Keep stirring. When the jaggery or sugar melted taste it then add more if require.
Add dry fruits. I usually use cashew nuts and raisins. You can use any dry fruits of your choice.
Saute till the mixture dried up completely.

Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool.

In a bowl mix rice flour and hot water. Mix with a spoon. Then knead well with hand quickly. Make a smooth dough.

Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan. When it starts to boil reduce the flame. Let it boil on simmer 30 minutes.

Take small balls out of the dough and make it flat with your palm. Stuff little khoya/mawa or dried milk, coconut and jaggery mixture in the middle. Seal the edges to make it semi circle or a cylindrical shape. My mom used to make it small cylindrical shape so I like to make it in that way.

Stuff all the dumplings.

Now add cardamom powder to the milk. Mix and add the dumplings one by one in the boiling milk. Stir gently to avoid breaking the dumplings. Let it cook for 30 minutes more  on simmer or until you get your desired consistency.

Add the jaggery and mix well. Its ready.

Place the dumplings on a ovenproof tray. Pour the thick reduced milk on it. Sprinkle shredded almonds on it. You can use any dry fruits of your choice.

Bake in preheated oven at 200° on upper rack for 15 – 20 minutes or until the colour becomes light brown.

Serve hot. It will be soft before baking but becomes little hard when cool after baking. Reheat it to make soft again whenever you want to serve.
You can store it in refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Just microwave for 30 – 40 second before serving.

You can skip the baking if you like. Serve stuffed rice dumplings in flavoured thick milk. It will be delicious without baking too.

Happy Makar Sankranti in advance to everyone 🙂