Makar Sankranti, the folklore indicating harvesting of crops is celebrated all across India with much fanfare. In Bengal, it is called ‘Poush Parbon’, on the last day of month “Poush” when each Bengali household gets engaged in preparation of varities of ‘Puli’ & ‘Pithe’, a typical rice cake made with ‘Notun Gurh’ or the fresh date palm jaggery, a signature of winter.
The amazing aroma of date palm jaggery coming out of the kitchen, when boiled, to make syrup is nothing short of magical. Usually the pithas are filled with finely grated coconut.
This year I choose the recipe of ‘Gokul Pithe’ share with you. The ‘pithe’ is actually a flat round shaped coconut ball, made with either date palm jaggery or sugar. The coconut ball is then dipped into a flour batter, deep fried in oil and soaked into sugar syrup.
These days, unarguably we are drifting away from our age-old culture and traditional practices. As per the food and recipes are concerned, many of them got deep buried or even lost. On the holy occasion of Makar Sankranti, this is a small attempt to relive the moments through food, we left far behind.
Earlier posts on ‘Makar Sankranti’ recipes :
Ingredients for 16 – 20 pieces :
For the coconut filling :
- Coconut (grated) – 1 (medium size)
- Date palm jaggery (Khejurer Gur) – 200 gm.
- Mawa or Khoya – 100 gm.
For batter :
- Plain flour – 1 cup
- Rice flour – 2 tbspoon
- Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tbspoon
- Milk – 1¼ cup
- Refined oil for deep frying.
For sugar syrup :
- Sugar – 1¼ cup
- Water – 2 cups
Making of coconut filling :
Cut the jaggery into small pieces and mix with grated coconut.
Heat a kadai over low-medium flame. Add mawa into the kadai and stir until it becomes soft.
Then add coconut – jaggery mixture into the mawa.
Cook the whole mixture for few minutes until raw flavor of coconut goes away and it is well mingled with jaggery. Switch off the flame as you get a binding consistency of the coconut mixture.
Transfer the mixture into a large plate and let it cool a bit.
Then start making medium size flat round balls while the mixture is still warm. Keep them aside.
Making of batter :
Now take the plain flour and rice flour into a large bowl,. Add ghee into the flour mixture, mix them well. Now add milk to the flour, little at a time, to make a lump free batter.
Making of sugar syrup :
In a large sauce pan take the sugar & water for making a sweet syrup. Put the pant over medium flame and wait till all the sugar gets dissolved into the water. As the mixture starts boiling put the flame on low and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes. The syrup should be a thin one with single thread consistency. Now put the flame off and cover the pan with a lid so that the sugar syrup remains warm.
Making of ‘pithe’ :
Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a kadai over medium flame. Dip the coconut balls into the flour batter and deep fry them into the oil till golden brown in colour.
Immediately transfer the fried balls into the hot sugar syrup and let them soafor 30 -45 minutes.
Then transfer the ‘Gokul Pithe’ on a serving plate.
- Coconut filling can also be prepared with sugar. In that case add crushed cardamom into the filling.
- Adjust the amount of jaggery according to your taste and the size of the coconut.
- Using of ‘mawa’ is optional.