Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mug Dal'er Bhaja Pithe / Coconut stuffed lentil balls

Yellow Mung Dal - 1 cup
Water - 7 cups
Brown Rice Flour - 1 to 2 tbsp
Flour - 2 to 3 tbsp

Turbinado Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Green Cardamom Powder - 2 pinches

Grated / Shredded Coconut - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup (needed only if using dry shredded coconut)
Jaggery - 1 cup to 2 cups depending on the quality and the sweetness desired
Ghee / Clarified Butter - 1 tsp

Makes around 20 pithe.

To make the stuffing, place the shredded coconut in a wok / kadai. If using dry shredded coconut, add the milk and cook till the milk is almost absorbed. Then add the jaggery. If using fresh coconut, add the jaggery to the coconut and cook over medium heat. Initially the jaggery releases water and then slowly the liquid is absorbed by the coconut and in the process it gets cooked and becomes soft. Cook till the mixture gets dry, becomes dark brown and starts to caramelise at the bottom. Remove from heat and let it cook for a few minutes. Apply a little ghee to the palms and make small balls out of the mixture. Keep aside.

For the sugar syrup, add sugar and water together, bring it to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add cardamom powder and keep the syrup warm.

Dry roast the mung dal in a skillet over low heat for around 10 minutes. When the dal begins to change color and emits an aroma, remove from heat.

Wash in water, place in a pot and add 7 cups of water. Bring it to boil and simmer for about 45 minutes till the dal is soft and completely cooked and there is no excess water. Cool for an hour.

Add the rice flour and all purpose flour to the dal and knead together to make a soft dough. Make around 20 walnut sized balls of the mixture.

Flatten each ball, stuff with the coconut mixture and cover from all sides.

Heat oil over high heat. Drop a small piece of dough in the oil. If the dough sizzles, rises on top immediately and becomes brown then the oil is ready. Fry each pithe one or two at a time over high heat till they become brown on all sides. Remove on paper towel and soak in warm syrup for 5 minutes. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from

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