With the advent of Makar Sankranti comes the season of pitha-puli. The festival of harvest always calls for grand celebrations. From sweets to savory dishes, from veg to non-veg dishes – this time of the year is to eat. No calorie count, no guilt in mind – you eat to celebrate harvest, you eat to pay homage to the land that gives us grains to survive and most importantly, you eat to celebrate life. Makar Sankranti, Poush Sankranti, Magh Bihu, Lohri or Pongal whatever you call it, the significance is same – thanking Mother Earth for being eternal fertile and respecting her biggest blessing, Food.
I celebrate Sankranti earnestly. From decorating my house with flowers and colours to preparing as many traditional dishes as possible for family and friends. Like many other Bengali houses, my celebration starts at least one week prior to Samkranti. Unlike any other usual day, my kitchen is messy now and everywhere I look I see rice flour, maida, til, tel, ghee, coconut, jaggery and what not…I feel so blessed 🙂
Bengalis prepare many varieties of pitha (sweet dumplings or wraps) – deep fried, shallow fried, steamed, boiled and what not. Some are quick and easy while the other are tedious. No matter what the variety or form is, these are age old recipes of our tradition and need utmost care and often demand granny’s and mommy’s food wisdom to handle.
Today, what I have prepared is Bhapa Puli Pitha. There are different types of puli pitha that we Bengalis make. I already have the recipe of Dudh Puli and Chanar Daler Puli recipe on my blog. Keeping the basics same, Bhapa Puli Pitha is just another variation and is made by steaming coconut-jaggery stuffed rice flour dumpling. With the below mentioned ingredients you should get 8-9 dumplings. Here’s the recipe for you all.
For The Dough:
- 1.5 cup rice flour
- 1 tea-spoon ghee
- 1/2 tea-spoon salt
- hot water (as required to knead a soft and smooth dough)
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup date palm jaggery (nolun gur/patali gur)
- 1/2 tea-spoon cardamom powder
- Mix all the ingredients as mentioned in For The Dough section together and knead a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for sometime.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan and add all the ingredients mentioned in For Stuffing section. On a low flame, stir until the ingredients mix properly and the coconut is little fried. The stuffing should be sticky such that if you compress it should bind together. Once done, remove it from the flame and keep aside.
- Cut small balls from the dough. With the help of your fingers, press the balls to make bowl shapes.
- Now, stuff them with coconut stuffing and seal the edges to make half moon shaped dumplings.
- Boil water in the steamer.
- Grease the steamer pan, place the dumplings, and cover the lid. Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, check the dumplings and if they are sticky, it’s not done. In that case, steam for another 5-6 minutes.
- Check again by touching the dumplings. If your finger comes clean, the Bhapa Puli Pitha is done and ready to be served.
Always serve these dumplings hot and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.