Friday, January 9, 2015

Hridoy Horon Pithe.....A Heart Stealing Delicacy


The foodies just need a reason to celebrate and slurp some of the sumptuous delicacies. Whether it's Holi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas or a simple weekend, we don't miss any chance to cook and then wolf it down. But this time for sure we have a reason. Yes, it's "Makar Sankranti" or "Poush Sankranti" (in Bengali) which is a major harvest festival in many parts of India. In Eastern India this festival is also called as "Poush Parbon" or "Poush Sankranti" as this festival marks end of the month "Poush". 

During this auspicious time of the year several desserts are prepared using freshly harvested paddy, nolen gur (date palm jaggery) and coconuts which are called as "Pithe" or "Pitha". The sweet shops in Kolkata are bursting with the sweets made up of "Nolen Gur". Every household is filled with the aroma of Pithe at this time of the year.

I grew up seeing my Mom and Grandma making these pithe. They use to spend their whole day (of Sankranti) making several types of pithe and payesh (rice pudding); I'm just following their footsteps. Well, I have to also confess that I don't make so many varieties of pithe-payesh but I do make three to four varieties. 


Pithe or Pitha is a type of cake or dimsum common in the Eastern India and Bangladesh. They are made up of rice flour or wheat flour batter (or dough), stuffed with sweet or savory ingredients and then cooked. 

"Hridoy Horon Pithe" is a very palatable and easy on the eye delicacy. "Hridoy Horon" is a bengali term which means "Heart-robbing". This dessert literally steals your heart when you look at it. When I made it at the very first time, trust me I couldn't have it, not because it didn't turn out well but due to its exceptional and affectionate look. Anyway that's another story :)

So, let's start with this heart stealing recipe of the pithe:





Ingredients:


1. All purpose flour: 1 and 1/2 cup
2. Sugar: 2 and 1/2 cups
3. Milk: 2 cups
4. Egg: 1
5. Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
6. Green Cardamoms(crushed): 5-6
7. Salt: 1/2 tbsp
8. Oil: for frying pithe
9. Water: 3 cups
10. Almonds and Saffron strands: for garnishing

Method For Making Malai:


1. Take a pan and heat the milk on medium heat. Cook the milk till it is reduced to half.  At this stage add 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well.

2. Cook the milk-sugar mixture for another minute. Add crushed cardamoms and keep it aside.


Method For Making Pithe:



1. Take a heavy bottomed pan add sugar and two cups of water and let it boil on medium heat. Stir in between and remove the scums (if any). Once sugar is dissolved completely reduce the heat.

2. In a separate pan boil a cup of water with salt on medium heat. Once the water starts boiling add the flour and mix well with a wire whisk. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool down.

3. Break the egg in a bowl and beat it nicely with a fork. 

4. Add ghee, beaten egg (very little at a time) and remaining crushed cardamoms to the flour mixture. Knead well until the mixture comes together into a dough.

5. Make small balls (8-10) out of the dough. Take one ball at a time and roll it into a flat puri (bread) with your rolling pin. 



6. Now take the puri (bread) and shape it into a paper fan. Fold it into half and seal inside with a wet finger.

7. Fold the open edges opposite way to give it a heart shape. Use water to seal the edges together. 

8. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pithe. Fry them until they get a nice golden hue. Take them out on a plate lined with paper-towel. 

9. Put them in sugar syrup (the syrup should be warm enough) and let it rest for good 2-4 hours. You can have these pithe as it is with sugar syrup or put it into malai.  

10. I guess this pithe justifies its name when you dip them in malai. Garnish with chopped almonds and  few strands of saffron.

11. Serve your "Hridoyhoron Pithe" and steal the hearts of your friends and family.




Note:


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2 comments:

  1. looks so yum....thanks for sharing..

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    Replies
    1. It feels good when you get appreciated by your fellow bloggers. Thank You :)

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