Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bengal Special--Patishapta

Last weekend was celebrated in India as Bhai Phota (in Bengali) or Bhai Dooj. This comes right after Diwali and is quite similar to the festival of Rakhi or Rakshabandhan. However, with no brother in my family as well as no sister in my husband's family (apart from our cousins), I am not much aware of the festivities or rituals. All I know is that something sweet is prepared on this day and fed to the brother while praying for his well being. My Patishaptas were once relished very dearly by a friend and, as we were meeting him the next day, I thought of preparing these on this occasion. You can serve them with a drizzle of condensed milk to enhance the look and taste. I skipped it as I did not have it in my pantry. 


For the filling
1 ltr full cream milk plus 2-3 tbsp
1-2 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp jaggery grated
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp grated/desiccated coconut
1 tsp ghee

For the batter
1 cup maida/all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup semolina
1 1/2-2 cups milk
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)

Start with making the chenna first. Boil 1 ltr milk and add 1-2 tbsp vinegar and let it curdle. Cover and let it stand for a few minutes for the whey to separate. You can also add a few ice cubes to expedite the process. Strain the chenna in a muslin cloth or a paneer maker. Wash it with some drinking water to rinse away the vinegar. Be careful at this step as the chenna might get washed away too. Now tightly tie the muslin cloth and hang it in one corner for about 30 minutes till the water is completely drained out. 
Now, take the chenna in a plate and crumble it with your hands. Use your fingers and the heel of your palm to smoothen the chenna. It should no longer be  grainy at the end of around 10 minutes. Now add the sugar and knead for 5 more minutes till the mixture is mixed well. 
Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the grated/desiccated coconut till slightly golden. Now add the jaggery and keep stirring till melted. Next add the chenna mixture and continue stirring till everything is well combined. Keep stirring till the mixture no longer releases water. Now add 2 tbsp milk and mix everything well and remove from heat. If the mixture dries up further after cooling down, add 1-1/2 tbsp more of milk. The mixture should be of thick but smooth rabdi consistency. 

Time to prepare the batter now. Mix all ingredients listed under batter and make a smooth creamy paste. Do not make the batter too runny nor too thick. It should be same as dosa batter. Keep aside for 10 minutes. 

Now heat your dosa pan/flat non-stick frying pan and drizzle 1 tsp oil. Gently rub the pan with a paper napkin so that the entire pan is well greased. Take a spoonful of the batter and spread it out in one direction in a circular manner just like you prepare a dosa. The size of the circle should be slightly bigger than a pancake and thickness like that of dosa. Cook this on a medium low flame till the bottom is slightly golden and the top is cooked (you can see that no raw spots remain). When you see the top cooked through, add 1-2 tbsp of the filling and spread it out in a log/horizontal line. Close in the edges from both the sides and press gently to seal. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Serve hot/warm or cold. Tastes awesome anyway!! :)


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