Patishapta pithe / Rice crepes with sweetened coconut filling : Sankranti Special
Updated the post with DESIGNER PATISHAPTA 13 Jan’21
The festival of Makar sankranti starts with house cleaning, dip in cold / chilled water of Holy Ganges that too before sunrise (the mere thought of it sends shivers down the spine), many devotees flocked to the Sagar island for Gangasagar mela or fair and for the spiritual !!! For people like us the three days of sankranti starts and ends with delicious foods, we call it Poush Parbon (please check our comprehensive list of Pithe Puli Recipes) that were being customarily prepared during this time. Yes, for us the food precedes every thing else, self-cleansing things can wait …may be forever…
For the western world , Sankranti can be coined as Indian Thanks giving day, the harvest festival specially for crops like rice, as we have more than one harvest season in our rich agriculturally varied country, so it is also the time to thank the Nature for a good harvest and bountiful of happiness that also ushers us in the new season – The Spring, also announces the official closure of Winter, henceforward the days will be longer and warmer as Sun transmigrates towards Tropic of cancer, leaving behind the Tropic of Capricorn.
For the agriculturally rich West Bengal, the winter is also the season when the market livens up with so many fresh greens and winter special small fishes that made their appearance during this time only, yes fishes are seasonal too !!! but the gastronomic Bengalees are on the lookout for something else – it is the gur / jaggery or molasses but not the ordinary one. Winter is the season when the long date palm tree’s oozes out sweet liquid or the sap that is being collected in small wooden country bowls, which is then cooked at a certain temperature to yield gur, also known as khejur gur or patali gur because of their shape or Nolen gur for which Bongs are simply mad after it.
So a freshly harvested dhan from which rice is husked out, and together with coconut the quintessential ingredient in making sweets laced with season’s fresh gur or jaggery brings forward an array of sweet dishes that Bongs loving called it as “Pithe -puli “, some are easier to master, and the more difficult ones simply lost in oblivion and some lost in translation too as it migrates from one region to another.
- 1/2 cup Rice flour
- 1/2 cup Milk + more if batter is too thick
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- Ghee as required
- 21/2 cup Coconut, freshly grated
- 50 gm Date palm jaggery / nolen gur, crumbled into pieces
- 2 cups Plain flour / maida
- 1 cup Rice flour
- 3 tbsp Sooji / semolina
- Milk as required to make a thick batter
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- Salt a pinch
- Ghee to grease the tawa
- 2 tbsp Cocoa powder for chocolate swirls or use any food colors
Make a smooth, easy flowing batter with rice flour, sugar and milk. Keep it aside for 15 -20 minutes
Heat a nonstick pan and add the coconut in it. On a low flame, keep on stirring the coconut for few minutes and add the jaggery.
Keep on stirring on low flame till the jaggery melts and incorporates well into the coconut.
This may take up to 20 minutes till you get a little lumpy mixture.
Leave the mixture to cool for few minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan, and grease it with ghee.
Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the pan. Swirl the pan slightly so that the batter thins out in a circular disc.
Cook on a low flame until the bottom of the crepe turns golden.
Using a spatula, flip it over and cook the other side for few seconds.
Flip it back and add a spoonful of coconut filling in the center, fold it over from each side towards middle, overlapping one side.
Set aside and make rest of the patishapta or crepes with remaining batter and filling.
Do not forget to grease the pan with ghee in between crepes.
Make a thick pouring consistency batter with plain flour, rice flour, sooji, sugar and add warm milk as required to make the batter. Keep it aside for 20 minutes
Take out around 1/2 cup batter in a separate bowl, add the food color or cocoa powder for chocolate swirls. Mix it properly.
Now grease a hot griddle or non stick pan with ghee. Pour chocolate batter first, make swirl design or any other design you prefer, but you have to do it super fast. So a squeezy bottle or piping bags will help you here.
Wait for 2 minutes, the chocolate batter will get set. Pour white / plain batter over the pattern and try to cover the swirl design / pattern completely from all sides. Spread it thinly. Again you have to be very fast.
Once it gets cooked evenly from all sides, place the filling in the center, fold it over and take it out of the pan.
Again grease the pan and complete rest of the designer patishaptas like that.
There are many variations to it both in the batter and filling. Some use all purpose flour and sooji too in the batter, but traditionally it is being made with rice flour only. Go and try with the flavours that suits you best. For filling you can use dry fruits too and in place of jaggery can replace it with sugar, but the jaggery gives such a nice aroma and taste that is hard to match !!!
Enjoy and stay tuned until next post