Steamed Patishapta

Wish you all a wonderful Poush Parbon, Bihu, Bhogi, Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan !…

As we all know, this is an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar and also an important harvest festival throughout the country which makes it a feasting extravaganza for our society, which was primarily of agrarian origin. My family being a Bengali family based in Assam, I grew up influenced by the Bengali and Assamese cultures, both of which celebrate the day with elaborate customs and feasting for days together starting on the previous day.

Pithe or Pitha are indispensable component in this celebration of food, and many cultures of east and northeast India have their own versions and variations of this foodstuff called pitha. I have posted few of the pitha(s) before like the til pitha, tekeli pitha and chholar daaler pitha which are of assamese and bengali origin. This time also, I have come up with one more popular pitha of Bengal which is none other than our adorable patishapta. However, this version of patishapta is little different from the usual one in terms of its way of preparation.

Patishapta, as many of you must be knowing are nothing but pancake rolls mostly made of rice flour stuffed with sweetened coconut or mawa/khoya or just any filling of choice. However, this time I haven’t played with the component of the wrap or pancake or the filling. Rather for a change, I changed the way the wrap is prepared by giving it a healthy twist where the rice flour is rolled into patishapta(s) with stuffing inside and then steamed instead of frying. The traditional version of patishapta is prepared from a batter of a mix of rice flour & semolina which is then used for preparing the pancake wrapping around the filling. It requires heavy use of oil as the pancakes are fried. But this version of the dish is healthier than the pancake version as it requires minimal use of oil and the pithas are steamed instead of fried. Not only healthy, I feel this version of the dish is far more easier and less time consuming as making perfect patishapta(s) at one go needs lots of practice & skill and surely counts on your patience. These steamed patishapta(s) can be easily made even by the beginners without any expertise. Also I found its taste quite similar to the usual version or may be even better as the rolled cake cooks uniformly with this method. Since this is not fried and has very less oil in it, it is also much lighter on your stomach. Although the traditional varieties are always unbeatable but the quest for something different and convenient will surely not going to disappoint you in the end. Now, without elaborating more on it, let us now move to the recipe straightaway & start making your perfect patishapta(s) with minimal effort :

RECIPE :

Ingredients :

A. For filling :

  1. Coconut (grated) – 1 cup.
  2. Thickened milk or khoya- 4 tbs.
  3. Date palm jaggery or sugar – 2 tbs.
  4. Cashews (cut into small pieces) – Few.

B. For coat :

  1. Rice flour – 2 cups.
  2. Whole wheat flour – 2 tbs.
  3. Powdered sugar or jaggery – 1 tbs.
  4. Oil ( Any neutral oil) – few drops.
  5. Rose water – 1/2 tsp.

Preparation :

A) For filling :

  1. Melt the jaggery with little water in a pan over low flame and bring it to boil by stirring for sometime.
  2. Add the coconut and stir & mix.
  3. Keep stirring the mixture over a low flame for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the thickened milk & cashews and mix them together nicely.
  5. Keep stirring over a low flame until the mixture starts leaving the sides of pan. ( Note : If you are using sugar instead of date palm jaggery, add some powdered cardamom & rose water to the mixture in the last for making it mildly aromatic ).
  6. Bring down from the flame & let it cool.

B) For coat :

  1. In a bowl take the rice flour, add whole wheat flour, sugar, oil and rose water to it. Mix them together using your hand.
  2. Add water to the mixture to make a smooth dough.
  3. Take small portions from the dough and roll them into small chapati(s).
  4. Now take little amount of the filling made previously and put it over one chapati at one side. Using your fingers, fold the chapati from that side to make a roll enclosing the filling inside.
  5. Press the roll gently to flatten it slightly and keep aside.
  6. Prepare the remaining patishapta(s) in the same way.
  7. Brush the patishapta(s) with little oil and keep ready for steaming.
  8. Steam them in a steamer or you may simply use a wok or kadhai, add water & put a steel colander over it. Cover & switch on the flame to boil the water.
  9. When the water starts boiling, uncover and keep the patishapta(s) over the colander in a row. Make sure while keeping that the patishapta(s) do not overlap one another, otherwise they may stick to one another & crack.
  10. Cover and steam for 10 to 15 minutes by turning them once in between over a low flame.
  11. Bring down from the flame and let them cool down a little.
  12. Have these warm patishapta(s) immediately or smear some nolen gur flavoured thickened milk over it and enjoy these healthy, delectable patishapta(s) till you satiate your heart and soul.

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