Monday, January 16, 2012

Kheer Poya

If you have referred to my earlier post about Pati Shapta, you might be well-versed about Poush Sankranti now. Lots of sweet goodies are prepared at home during this festival and we Bengalis indulge ourselves in myriad kinds of pithe preparation, one competing with the other in taste and delicacy.

Poush Sankranti is originally a hindu festival celebrated widely throughout India. Known by different names in different regions within India, the essence of the festival holds same for everyone - prosperity, peace, happiness and enlightenment. Though by religion I am Buddhist but being born and raised amid hindu culture has essentially instilled in me an admiration for the grandiose way every festival is celebrated in Bengal. While growing up in Calcutta, I never felt like belonging to another religion. The very ambiance there has that warmth to bring everyone, irrespective of religion and cultures, to a single unit.

My mother makes a variety of pithes or sweet dumplings during the season of Poush Sankranti and this kheer poya is one of her many creations. The good thing about this pithe is you can store it in a jar for a week or two and it will not spoil.

Ingredients:                                         Cooking time: 30 minutes
ü  2 cups all-purpose flour
ü  1 cup semolina
ü  1 cup condensed milk
ü  2 tsp fennel seeds
ü  White oil for frying
Note: Either you may use condensed milk readily available in the market or you may reduce 1 litre of milk at home to a quarter cup through heating.
1) Make a batter of thin consistency mixing together all-purpose flour, semolina and condensed milk. (For better result, keep this mixture aside for 3-4 hours.)
2) Add fennel seeds into the batter and mix in properly.
3)  Heat oil in a frying pan and pour a ladle full of batter into the smoking hot oil. (Make sure the oil is very hot before adding the batter.)
4) Fry the pithes till they are golden brown in color.
5) Drizzle a bit of condensed milk on pithes before serving and enjoy the feast.

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