Semolina pithas immersed in coconuts.
Bengal and its unending infatuation with sweets is an open secret. It is home to some of the most uncommon and toothsome saccharines. When talking of Bengali sweets, Roshupuli Pitha is among the forerunners. It not only has an adorable name but the milk-immersed coconut-cum-semolina pithas or dumplings taste plump, creamy and uniquely sweet too. Made with very few ingredients and utter simplicity involving rolling the dough into dumplings, preparing the milk sauce, and cooking the pithas to be immersed and softened in the milk. Cook, savour and relish these to experience true happiness.
Pithas can be safely called an Indian version of dumplings and pancakes and can be sweet or savoury. Pithas are native to the Indian subcontinent These are prepared using batter or dough of rice flour and sometimes white flour with an umpteen number of fillings. These are steam-cooked, griddled, fried and these days even oven-baked. Some pithas also are accompanied by garnish and sauce and are enjoyed as a snack with tea, Pithas are also made on joyous occasions.
In India, Pithas are mainly popular in the eastern states of India including Bengal and Bihar and stretch to Kerala and Assam. In Bengal, the Coconut Semolina Dumpling In Milk is made during the rice-harvest festival, Sankranti, in January. Some popular kinds of Pitha include Jhal Papri Pitha, Spicy wheat flour pitha and Onthom Pitha.
Preparation: 45 minutes
1. 1-litre full-fat milk
2. 150 gm freshly grated coconut
3. 50 gm semolina
4. 75gm rock candy or mishri
5. 100 gm sugar
6. ¼ tsp salt
7. 4-5 cardamom pods or ½ tsp cardamom powder
1. Heat a pan, combine sooji and grated coconut in it and stir for a while.
2. Add sugar and cardamom powder and cook everything on low heat for 8 minutes. Keep stirring continuously.
3. As the sugar melts, the mixture will turn lumpy and a bit sticky. Scrape it from the bottom of the pan and take it out in a big bowl.
4. While the mixture is still hot, divide the whole mixture into about 38 portions of equal size.
5. Apply a little ghee to the palms and make small perfect balls of the portions. The puli or dumplings should be too big, as these will not cook completely when boiled in milk.
6. Heat milk in a pan. Once it boils, let it simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Then add ¼ of the total mishri and add salt, which balances the sweetness of mishri.
8. Add the dumplings and cook for 5 minutes on low heat, and keep scraping milk from the sides and bottom regularly.
9. When the milk reduces and puli comes floating on the milk surface, then break a puli and check if the centre is not hard and properly cooked.
10. Add the remaining mishri to the milk.
11. Keep on cooking on low heat until, until milk reduces to a sauce-like consistency.
With such an uncomplicated recipe, short preparation time and distinctively delicious taste, Roshupuli Pithas are surely worth including in the everyday known and traditional desserts. Give them a try replacing phirni or roshogulla on some day.