Coconut-Jaggery filled Rice flour-Sweet Potato Dumplings in Thickened milk sweetened with Date Palm Jaggery
Making Puli Pithey has been on my agenda since I began making Paatishapta. But recalling Ma's elaborate preparation of this particular Sankranti speciality, I've always developed cold feet.
However, this time, after making Patishapta I had a substantial quantity of excess Patishaapta's coconut filling and so decided to proceed towards the much loved yet much dreaded preparation of Puli Pithey.
This is the recipe of Puli Pithey I have grown up eating, savouring and later craving for. And so is precious to me....
Rice flour (of preferably Gobindobhog rice) : Sweet Potato = 1:1 (I used 1/2 kg of each)
Milk : Full cream 2 litres
Sugar : 1/2 of my Daal ladle
Gur : enough to sweeten the milk and mix with the coconut
Coconut : 1 medium sized
Hot / warm water
Salt : a pinch
In case of my Ma's authentic recipe of Puli Pithey the cocunut filling is to be mixed & cooked with sugar without any khowa (milk solids). But since I used leftover from my Paatishaapta filling, my filling had coconut (1/2 medium sized) + date palm jaggery (75 gm) + khowa (from approx 750ml milk).
I) Coconut filling : See recipe at 'B' of Procedure in this post.
If desired, the khowa may be eliminated from this recipe and the coconut proportionately increased to 1 medium sized coconut, grated
II) The Milk base
Bring 2 litres of milk to a boil and add 1/2 a (Daal) ladle of sugar. Keep aside
III) The Dough
a) Pressure cook 1/2 kg sweet potato and mash them into a pulp. Keep aside.
b) The Rice Dough :
1) Wash, Dry and grind the Gobindobhog Rice in fine flour. Keep aside a small bowl full of powdered rice aside for later use.
2) In a Kadai, take 2 teacups of water. Add a pinch of salt. And bring to a boil.
3) Pour the rice flour into the boiling water and stir to make the dough. Add more hot water if needed to moisten the whole flour and make into a smooth dough. Cover and keep aside for ten minutes.
c) Rice + Sweet Potato Dough :
Now knead the boiled and mashed sweet potato and the Rice Flour Dough together into a smooth dough. If too moist, sprinkle some rice flour or Atta to reduce the moisture.
After keeping aside a ball * (approx 2" in dia) of this dough, use the rest for making the Puli
III) The Puli or the Dumplings :
- Pinch off balls of the size you would while making luchi/puri.
- Make a depression at the centre and mould them as a bowl.
- Fill it in with adequate amount of coconut-jaggery filling...not too much
- Now fold into half moon shaped dumpling and seal the edges by pressing together.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough & coconut filling
IV) * The 'Chooshi' or dough filaments :
I dont know the English word for Chooshi. Will just explain the making of it.
Smear your palms with a little of the rice flour+sweet potato dough ball kept aside. And also pat the smeared palms with dry rice flour. Now slowly rub your palms together...the approx 1" length snake like filaments falling of your rubbing dough smeared palms is Chooshi.
Repeat with the rest of the 2" dough and rice flour.
IV) The final assembly
- While the dumplings were being made, bring the boiled milk to a boil again and after the dumplings are made, slowly slide them into the boiling milk one after another.
- Simultaneously, mash the jaggery into paste and add it slowly into the milk, and keep stirring gently to mix.
- Finally add the Chooshi and stir gently.
- If you have some coconut filling in excess after making the Pulis, add them to the boiling milk and give a gentle stir...
- Once the whole assembly of Puli - Chooshi - milk have come to a boil and has boiled vigorously for a few minutes, switch off the gas.
Serve hot or chilled. Both have their distinctly delicious flavours !
I found some of the other variations of Puli Pithey in Sharmila's & Indrani's kitchens.