Bengali cuisine holds a special place in every food aficionado's heart. It is rich, versatile and never fails to surprise you with the flavours and aroma. Food in Bengal is unique to each season. While summers bring along soul soothing aam tok and aam dal, monsoon calls for khichudi (khichdi) and begun bhaja. Likewise, come winters and our palate craves for the super delicious pithe and payesh. What is pithe? It is basically a palm-sized winter-special sweet treat, made with fresh palm and date jaggery (nolen gur and khejur gur), scented rice flour, milk and coconut. Although it is available in different sweet shops today, pithe is generally whipped at home in a quintessential Bengali household. In fact, preparing pithe during winters is a tradition for every Bengali. Visit any house in Bengal (and Bangladesh) during this time of the year and you will be welcomes with hot and fresh pithe and gur-er payesh (gur ki kheer). Alongside Bengal, pithe is also enjoyed in different other states in Eastern India including Bihar, Assam and Odisha.
If you explore, you will find a wide range of pithe across West Bengal and Bangladesh. With some basic ingredients in common (like gur and rice flour), different types of pithe includes different recipes and cooking styles. While some are steamed (bhapa pithe), others are cooked in syrup (rosh bora) and kheer (kheer puli). You will also find pithe that are deep-fried (bhaja puli) and baked (chitoi pithe). Moreover, different variety of pithe has different names, shapes and sizes. The list of pithe goes really long. Sounds interesting, right?!
Here we bring you some popular pithe recipes that will make you fall in love with Bengali cuisine yet again. Let's take a look!
5 Delicious Pithe Recipes That You Must Give A Try:
One of the most popular pithe, patishapta is basically a thin rice flour and sooji crepe stuffed with a delicious caramelised mixture made with jaggery and grated coconut. If you do not get jaggery and coconut, you can also replace these ingredients with khoya and sugar. Click here for recipe.
Puliis basically a steamed sweet meat made with rice flour coating and a jaggery, coconut filling inside. You can either enjoy steamed puli as is or dunk it in thickened sweet milk and have it in form of dudh puli. Puli looks somewhat like modak/gujiya. While some people use sugar to sweeten the milk and the filling, a traditional dudh puli recipe includes fresh jaggery instead. Click here for recipe.
Unlike the steamed puli, this pithe is fried and soaked in sugar syrup. It also included jaggery and coconut filling and has a soft texture that melts in mouth with every bite. Click here for recipe.
Have you tried appam? Chakli pithe is just the Bengali version of it. Chakli pithe melts in your mouth in no time. It is a super thin crepe that is enjoyed piping hot with jaggery syrup. You also get a thin and tiny variety of this pithe, which is called soru chakli. Soru chakli is generally enjoyed in form of kheer. Click here for chakli pithe recipe.
One of the easiest pithe in the lot, rosh bora is basically vada soaked in sugar syrup. In fact, it is one such pithe that can be enjoyed year-round. Generally, the vada is made is urad dal, but some people use sweet potato instead. Click here for recipe.
Try these pithe this winter and enjoy the season to the core!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.