12 January, 2018
Patishapta Pithey : Bengali crepe with coconut cream filling for Sankranti
There are some foods that transport me to another time instantly. Pithey is one such. I remember my mum sitting on a low stool in the kitchen and making these lovely crepes for hours together. The month of January would be middle of winter with a chill in the air. ‘Komor ta dhore geche’, she would complain her back being sore.
The “Patishapta” is said to taste even better the next day, so the batter would be mixed in the big pan. The smell of the Patali gur, ( date palm jaggery ), would fill the house. For us sisters, the excitement of devouring these Pitheys was far more important than worrying about my mum’s back ache.
Just like ginger bread house and other such cookies mean Christmas, Pithey ( a genre of dessert ), is associated with Sankranti. Food is such a big part of any festival, no matter what the culture.
Recipe: Made between 22-25
For the crepe
All purpose flour 1 cup
Semolina 1/2 cup
Rice flour 2 Tbsps
Sugar 2 Tbsps
Salt 1/4 tsps
Milk 2 cups
For the filling
Grated coconut . 1/2 cup and some.
Sugar 1/4 cup
Patali gur* 1/4 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Khoya* 1 cup
Ghee 2 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsps
Canola oil for frying
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the milk slowly in increments to form a lump free batter. Let it rest for 2 hours.
Mix the milk, ghee and Patali gur together in a bowl. In another bowl take the grated coconut and sugar. Take the sugar and coconut mixture in a nonstick pan on medium high heat. Saute for a few minutes till the sugar melts, add the milk mixture and grated Khoya. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens about 7-8 minutes. Throw in the cardamom powder.
Put the gas off, collect the filling in a bowl, wait for it to cool, and form about 25 balls. Mold each ball in to a cylindrical shape and keep aside.
Take a non stick crepe pan. Brush with canola oil. Take a ladl full of batter on the pan and tilt the pan sideways such that the batter flows. Wait for a minute for the top to be cooked, sprinkle some grated coconut, then seat the filling on one side, roll it slowly. Collect them on a plate.
Patali gur is Date palm jaggery available in Indian grocery stores during winter months. Brown or Palm sugar can be substituted, or double the amount of granulated white sugar and skip the brown sugars altogether.
If you have the solid gur, add a cup of water on a medium flame to melt it in a syrup form.
Khoya is milk solids also available in Indian grocery stores.