Here I am with a traditional Bengali delicacy called Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheera Puli Pithe to celebrate the festival of Poush Parban. Called is Makara Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, this festival is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, this festival marks the transition of Sun into Capricorn (Makara Rashi).
It also marks the start of 6-month auspicious period called Uttarayan, which will end with Karka Sankranti (also called Ashadi Ekadashi or Deva Shayani Ekadashi). It is said that Lord Vishnu will go to sleep for 6 months starting on Karka Sankranti and wake up only on Makara Sankranti.
In Bengal, Makara Sankranti is celebrated as the harvest festival Poush Parbon. Like in the South, freshly harvested rice plays a central part in all dishes that are made; typically as rice flour. Date palm syrup (Patali Gur) and date palm jaggery (Khejurer Gur) are used to add sweetness, while coconut and milk are the other important elements.
Today, I am sharing the recipe for the traditional Bengali sweet called Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheer Puli Pithe. These are essentially packets of rice flour dough that are stuffed with a sweet jaggery-coconut mix, and then cooked in milk.
The result is an utterly divine dessert to thrill any heart!
Do also try recipes from my Collection of Makara Sankranti Recipes!
I would recommend that you tackle this recipe in this sequence:
- Make the filling first.
- Then the kheer
- Finally, the rice flour dough for the filling.
I am recommending this sequence because you will get melt-in-your-mouth soft Pulis if your dough is still warm and pliable. Also, the rice flour dough has a tendency to dry out quickly, so if you make it first the Puli may split.
How to Make Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheera Puli Pithe
This is the recipe for Dudh Puli Pitha (also called Kheera Puli Pithe), a traditional dessert from Bengal made to celebrate Poush Parbon (Makara Sankranti). These are essentially packets made of rice flour dough that are stuffed with a coconut-jaggery mix, and cooked in sweetened milk.
- 1 Cup Rice Flour
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 Cup Grated Coconut
- 2/3 Cup Grated Date Palm Jaggery Alternate: Regular Jaggery
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 3/4 Litre Full Fat Milk
- 2 tsp Sugar Optional
- 1/4 Cup Grated Date Palm Jaggery
- 2 tbsp Water
In a heavy-bottomed pan, mix together the jaggery, coconut, and cardamom powder.
Using a medium flame, heat the pan.
Mix constantly till the jaggery melts and the jaggery-coconut mix comes together as a ball.
Turn off the heat and transfer the jaggery-coconut mix into a plate.
Boil the milk till it reduces to about 3/4 the original volume.
Add the sugar (if using) and the cardamom powder.
On low heat, let the kheer continue to simmer.
Add the oil and salt to the water.
Bring the water to a gentle simmer.
Add the rice flour and mix quickly till the mix starts to come together as a dough.
Immediately transfer the rice flour dough into a plate.
While the rice flour dough is hot, knead it into a smooth dough. Grease your palms a bit with ghee/oil, if required.
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside.
Divide the rice flour dough and the jaggery-coconut mix into 16 equal portions.
Grease your palms a bit.
Roll each rice flour dough portion into a ball.
Press the rice flour dough ball into a thin flat disc about 3" in diameter.
Place one portion of the coconut-jaggery mix on one half of the rice flour disc.
Fold the other half of rice flour disc over the filling.
Press the edges together and pinch to seal the puli.
Slide the puli into the simmering kheer. The Puli will first sink and then rise to the top when it is cooked.
As soon as the puli rises to the top, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the Kheer as set aside.
Repeat the process to make all the Pulis. Actually, you can multitask by making a new Puli while the previous one is cooking.
When all the Puli are cooked, turn off the heat and let the Kheer cool to room temperature.
While the Kheer is cooling, add the jaggery and water into pan and melt the jaggery to a syrup.
Let the jaggery syrup also cool to room temperature.
Add the jaggery syrup to the kheer.
Pour the kheer over the Puli to complete the Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheer Puli Pithe.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions and Photos to Make Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheera Puli Pithe
- Making the Filling for the Puli
- Use a heavy-bottomed or non-stick pan so that the mix does not burn while cooking.
- In this pan, combine grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamom powder.
- Heat the pan on a medium flame.
- Keep stirring the coconut-jaggery mix till the jaggery melts and the mix comes together as a ball.
- Take the pan off he heat and immediately transfer the cooked jaggery-coconut mix into a plate. If you leave it in the hot pan, it will continue to cook.
- Let the mix cool a bit.
- Divide into 16 equal portions.
- Set aside.
- Cooking the Kheer
- Using a heavy bottomed pan, on a medium flame, boil 1 litre milk till it reduces to about 3/4 litre.
- Turn the heat down to low.
- To the reduced milk, add the sugar (if you are using it using) and the cardamom powder.
- Keeping the heat low, let the kheer simmer.
- Making the Rice Flour Dough For the Covering
- Add the oil and salt to the water.
- Bring the water to a gentle boil.
- Take the water off the heat and immediately add rice flour.
- Quickly mix the rice flour dough till all the rice flour is well-incorporated.
- Immediately transfer the rice flour dough into a plate.
- Grease your hand a bit with oil/ghee, and knead the hot dough till it comes together as a smooth ball.
- Let it cool a bit and divide into 16 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a ball and set aside.
- Cover with a damp cloth and set aside.
- Cooking the Dudh Puli | Kheera Puli Pitha
- Use a little ghee or oil to grease your palms.
- Shape each rice flour ball into a flat disc about 3″ in diameter.
- Take one portion of the coconut-jaggery mix and place it on one half of the rice flour disc.
- Gently fold the other half of rice flour disc over the filling and bring the edges together.
- Using gentle pressure, press the edges together to seal the puli.
- Now gently the puli into the simmering kheer.
- The Puli will first sink and then rise to the top when it is cooked.
- When the puli rises to the top of the simmering kheer, gently remove it from the Kheer and set aside. You may find malai forming on the surface of the milk. Just gently skim it off and mix into the kheer.
- Make and cook all the pulis in the kheer as just described. I continued to shape Pulis while the previous one is cooking.
- After all the Puli are cooked, take the Kheer off the heat and let it cool till it is lukewarm or to room temperature.
- As the Kheer is cooling, make a jaggery syrup by melting the jaggery with 2 tbsp water.
- As soon as the jaggery melts, take the jaggery syrup off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- After both the Kheer and Jaggery Syrup have cooled, pour the syrup into the milk.
- Mix the syrup well into te milk to form the kheer.
- Pour the kheer over the Puli to complete the Dudh Puli Pitha | Kheer Puli Pithe.
- Let the Dudh Puli rest for about 30 minutes.
I am taking this wonderful dessert to the 126th Foodie Monday Blog Hop where the theme is Sankranti Recipes.