“Dudh Khejur” is the traditional pitha of greater Barisal region of Bangladesh. No special occassion is complete with this pitha . 😀 But for me , no special occassion is needed to devour this piece of heaven .:)
The pitha is deep fried and soaked in milk , it has softness as gulabjamun and tastewise so delightful . But some special tricks need to be followed to make it a perfect one . I used to see my Mom and Aunts used to knead the dough so well that their hands used to ache and the dough used to look so glossy and soft . Kneading is very important as well as frying them properly . They need to be fried in low flame for a longer period of time until reddish . Then they should be immediately thrown into warm thin sugar syrup or milk . Many directly put them in milk . Some prefer to soak them in sugar syrup first and when they absorb good amount of sugar syrup , thick , creamy milk is put onto them . I did the second method . I soaked them in hot sugar syrup and when they absorbed good amount of syrup I poured thick creamy milk over the pithas .
For the design , traditional way , people use the special handmade fan made of Palm tree leaves ( taaler pakha) . A small amount of dough is spreaded on it and then rolled out inward . I didn’t have the fan , so I used the strainer . You can use the comb or grater too . I’m giving you a link from youtube , that would help you to know how to make the design .
Now let’s proceed to the recipe;
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Milk
1 beaten egg
2 table spoon of breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoon Ghee/ oil
Oil for frying
For Sugar Syrup:
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
3 and 1/2 cup water
1 piece cinnamon, about 2”
3 green cardamoms
1 cup milk
1/4 th cup of powder milk
I didn’t use any sugar as the sugar syrup has much sugar , but if the pithas soaked almost all the syrup then cook the milk with a piece of cinnamon stick , 2 cardamoms and sugar to taste , then pour over .
1.Make thin sugar syrup with sugar, water, cinnamon and cardamom. Set aside.
2.Boil milk. Add a pinch of salt, and flour and mix. Form dough like dough for roti or chapatti.
Transfer the dough to a bowl. Knead well.
3.Add the ghee or oil.When the dough cools a bit add the beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Knead well. You may find it difficult to incorporate everything smoothly but keep kneading. You may need to add some extra breadcrumb to work comfortably with the dough.
The kneading part is very important. The smoother and glossy dough you can make by kneading, the softer pitha you will get after soaking in the syrup.
4.Now make round balls and shape them .
5.Heat enough oil in a pot so pithas can be deep-fried. Now, the frying part is very important. If not fried well, the pithas will remain hard, especially in the center, even in the sugar syrup. The oil must be heated on medium low flame and it must not be too hot. Too hot oil will make the pithas get the outer color fast but leaving the center raw. The oil must not be cold either. Carefully, heat oil on medium low heat and fry the pithas well until dark golden brown.
Transfer the pithas into lukewarm sugar syrup and soak them for at least 4/5 hours. If soaked well, the pithas will be soft like gulabjamun or laalmohon . If fried well the pithas will soak almost all the syrup in not more than half and hour and will be very soft . But it’s better to soak them for a longer time .
Now aftr the pithas soaked and absorbed good amount of sugar syrup add very thick milk over the pithas on to the sugar syrup . If you think there are a large quantity of sygar syrup remained , then take out some of the sugar syrup then add the slightly warm milk .
6. You can garnish with malai/ cream / dudher shor .
Kneading and frying is very important to soak perfectly in the sugar syrup. Knead very well until glossy.
While frying, the temperature of the oil must be perfect. It should neither be too hot or mild hot. If it is too hot the pithas will go dark brown without being cooked in the center. And if oil is little hot the pithas will absorb a lot of oil and will taste bad. Therefore, oil should be heated on the same temperature from beginning to end. It should be on low medium heat and bubble should occur when you add the pithas. Remember oil should not be so hot that smoke can be seen. Also, remember to fry them with patience, with more time, so that they are perfectly fried inside out.
Always put the pithas in luke warm syrup. If you put them on piping hot syrup, the texture of the pitha will be ruined.
Here is the picture of traditinal Dudh khejur pitha . it is prepared by my Aunt . They used “taal er Pakha” to get that design . 😀