Dudh Puli or Dudh Pitha is nothing but rice dumplings stuffed with coconut & jaggery and dipped in reduced milk (kheer). It is a traditional Bengali recipe especially prepared during Sankranti which is known as Poush Parbon.
Poush Sankranti is denoted as the last day of the Bengali month Poush and it is like Makar Sankranti festival. Poush sankranti is also known as Poush parbon. It is celebrated as a harvest festival with sweet and savoury dishes made out of rice flour and date palm jaggery. We also call it as Pithe Parob. I have seen both my grandmothers (paternal and maternal) making Pithe Pulis on this auspicious occasion.
Childhood Memories of Poush Parbon
My paternal grandmother was culinary genius and she used prepare a wide varieties of pitha pulis. Though my memories are very fade (as she left us for peace heaven when I was in school) but I could remember I used sit with grandma and keep on chatting like a chatter box and used to eat stuffing of coconut jaggery little by little. She used to make Dal Pithe, Bhapa Pithe, Rangalur Pithe, Gokul Pithe, Patishapta and many more.
My maternal grandmother used to prepare dudh puli predominantly and bhaja pithe on the next day with the left over bhapa pithe. I also remember, on the night of Poush Sankranti Dida used to chant some songs in front of Goddess Lakshmi. It is called Poush daka.
What are the ingredients required to prepare Dudh Puli?
Three primary ingredients to prepare Dudh Puli are
▪ Rice Flour: Rice flour is used to make the outer shell of the Puli. In olden days, rice was pounded using a wooden beam (dhenki) to prepare rice flour which was used in the making of pithe puli. Nowadays rice flour is made in machine. Traditionally, parboiled rice (seddho chal) flour is used for making pithe and outer shell becomes softer. You can also use raw rice flour (atop chal) for this purpose. However, outer shell turns a bit harder in this case. You can also use mix of both rice flours to prepare pithe puli.
▪ Milk: In dudh puli, dumplings are prepared and dunked in reduced milk and boil them for few minutes to get delicious dudh puli.
▪ Date Palm Jaggery: Date Palm Jaggery which is also known as khejur gur or nolen gur. It is available only in Winter season. Date palm jaggery is made from the early morning sap of the Date Palm trees and rich source of beneficial nutrients. It has a rich aroma and lovely golden color.
Apart from these main ingredients, you need ingredients for stuffing pithe according to your choice.
What are the different stuffing variations of Dudh Pithe?
Traditionally, scrapped coconut is cooked in jaggery and used for stuffing. However, we prefer nolen gurer makha sondesh stuffing in our dudh puli. You can also stuff them with store bought sondesh or kalakand if you are running out of time.
Easy and Time Saving Dudh Puli Recipe
Making of dudh puli from scratch is a time consuming process. Hence, in today's busy time many avoid to prepare them.
You can prepare the stuffing ahead, may be couple of days before and store it in the refrigerator. Use this stuffing to make the whole process easy, less time consuming and hassle free. Earlier these occasions are celebrated in joint families and each member used to contribute so work was divided but today's nuclear family does not have any help so we have found our own way of doing to save our tradition and culture.
Also you can keep the milk on low flame for reducing before you start your preparation for dudh puli. This will also help you save a lot of your time.
Dudh Puli Recipe
- 300 gms Chena/Homemade Cottage Cheese
- ½ cup Date Palm Jaggery
For Outer Shell
- 400 gms Rice Flour
- Salt to taste
- Hot water (as required)
- 1½ liter Milk
- 2 cups Date Palm Jaggery (Approx)
Making of Stuffing
- Take chena (chena should not contain water) and jaggery together in a vessel and knead properly for 5 minutes.
- Now heat this on gas flame and stir continuously for 5 minutes. Mixture will leave water, when 90% of water dries up, switch off gas and allow it to cool.
Making of Outer Shell & Pithe
- Mix rice flour and salt together. Now add hot water as required to make a soft and smooth dough. Here cold water will not work.
- After kneading the dough cover it with a damp cloth. Now take marble size dough, press the middle of it and make a pocket using your fingers. Stuff it with makha sandesh or coconut filling Fold it like a half moon.
- Similarly,follow the procedure for the remaining dough. While making these dumpling you should cover the dough and the prepared dumplings with a damp cloth to avoid cracks on the outer shell.
Making of Kheer
- Now heat the milk and reduce it to almost half the quantity.
- Add the dumplings and boil it for 10 minutes or until the pithas are cooked.
- Next add date palm jaggery and a pinch of salt. Boil it for another 5 to 7 minutes. Serve it hot and next day you can serve cold too.
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