Bengali Chirer Dudh Puli Pithe For Poush Sankranti
Of all the Pithe Puli that I had prepared so far for Poush Parbon or Bengali Sankranti festival (Please check our comprehensive list of Bengali Pithe Puli Recipes), this chirer dudh puli is my most favourite one. The soft delicious beaten rice / flat rice dumplings are filled with coconut jaggery filling and then slowly simmered in reduced milk is a dessert that will impress you with the first bite itself.
Rice is sacred to the people of Indian sub-continent since ancient times. And off all the wild grasses that grew in profusion, this was perhaps the only one that was fit to eat. Slowly as the socio cultural dynamics changes through time, rice has acquired a special place in our life, which no other grain was able to. Life revolves round its cultivation cycle, society begins to flourish along the rice growing belts, festivals and celebrations revolves around its harvest timings, offerings being made to God in cooked or uncooked form of rice and thus the grain become a supreme one.
So as the other variants that we derive from parboiled rice- the flattened rice / beaten rice, the popped rice and the puffed rice. Sweets made from these becomes a part of traditional celebrations, festivals and as ritual offerings for deities.
Poush Parbon of Bengal that celebrates the harvest festival, centered around this sacred grain rice, pithe made with chire (flattened rice) and khoi (popped rice) are once very popular but now almost forgotten.
As a food blogger and Bengali Pop Up Chef, who takes pride in curating and reviving very old, almost forgotten recipe from Bengal, this chire dudh puli recipe I had come across in this book by none other than Pragnyasundari Devi – a treasure trove of 100 year old Bengali recipes.
Chirer Dudh Puli Pithe / flattened rice dumplings filled with coconut jaggery in reduced milk
- 200 gm Thick Poha / flattened rice
- 25 gm Khova
Coconut jaggery stuffing
- 1.5 l Milk
- 100 gm jaggery (or you can use 1/2 cup sugar too)
- Oil for deep frying
Wash the flattened rice or chire with few changes of water. Soak the flattened rice in water for 15-20 minute till it puffed up.
Prepare the coconut jaggery filling as given in the link above.
Drain all the water from the flatteend rice / chire, mash it lightly with hand. Add pinch of salt, mix it properly.
Break the khova (use the one in room temperature) in small pieces and add it to the flattened rice.
Now mash both of them very nicely till it becomes a uniform dough. Grains of flattened rice should not be visible.
You can use a mixer to do the job but be very careful, it should not turn into a batter. Use the pulse function of mixer for this. Traditionally it is grouded in a stone grinder or silbatta.
Once the flattened rice dough is prepared, cover it with a damp cloth for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile bring the milk to rapid boiling and reduce the milk till half its original quantity.
This you can do it a day before also. Reducing the milk alone takes 45 minutes.
Once the milk is reduced to 750ml, add the sugar and mix it. Adjust the sugar as per your sweetness preferences. Milk should taste like kheer or rabdi like.
Take a lemon size ball of flatteend rice dough, flatten it, give a oval cup like shape. Place a small ball of coconut jaggery in the center and close the dumpling from all sides. Use wet hands to seal the edges. Try to give a torpedo shape or the one I had done. Take care that the filling should not peek out of the flattened rice shell.
Add enough oil in a deep frying pan. Bring the oil to smoking hot, lower the heat to medium low. Carefully drop the flattened rice dumpling / chirer puli into the hot oil. Fry till deep brown.
Fry two puli or dumpling one at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Place carefully the fried dumplings in hot reduced milk, simmer it for 5-6 minutes per dumplings, then slot them out and place them in a wide bowl.
Once all the dumplings are simmered in milk, place them in a wide bowl. Pour the leftover reduced milk over the dumplings. Let them soak in milk for 5-6 hours.
How to make chirer rosh puli – following the same recipe, instead of simmering the chirer puli in milk, you can dunk them in thick sugar syrup too.
Please check our ranga aloor rosh puli too.