Pitheyis a genre of traditional, home-made dessert that pre-dates the more famous of Bengal’s desserts—sandeshand rasgullas. Made during the month of poush (starting mid-December) on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, most pitheyscontain jaggery and coconut, a way to combat the cold weather. In recent times though, coconut is increasingly being replaced by khoya. The Gokul Pithey is a deep-fried roll, with a coconut and khoyafilling, dipped in sugar syrup.
MAKES 4 PIECES
150g maida (refined flour)
250g sunflower oil (100g to make the batter, the rest to fry)
1/2 coconut, grated
2-3 green cardamoms, powdered
250g sugar (100g for filling, 150g for sugar syrup)
Make a thick batter with the maida, semolina, 100g oil and a cup of water. Let it sit for 30-40 minutes.
Heat a kadhai (wok) over medium flame and put in the coconut, sugar and khoya. Mix and let it roast for a while. Keep stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. When the sugar caramelizes, add the powdered cardamom. Take off the flame and cool. Shape into small balls. Dip the khoya balls into the batter and deep-fry in oil.
To make the syrup, heat half a cup of water and 150g sugar. Cook till a thick consistency is reached. Dip the pitheysinto the syrup and let them cool. Serve.
Recipe courtesy consultant Gopa Chakladar, WelcomHotel Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi.