Making Aske Pithe
Seetkal, Pithe aar Nolen Gur 🙂
Aske Pithe – this might be called with different names at different places. But, in Bengal, this is called Aske Pithe and are made specially for the event of Makar Sankranti. Makar sankranti is celebrated throughout the nation with different names at difference places including Lohri in North India, Pongal in South India, Magh Bihu in Assam, Pedda Pandaga in Andhra Pradesh and so on. No matter what might be the name, this day is celebrated for good crop harvest. This year, Makar Sankranti was on 14th January 2018, Sunday making the winter solstice and last day of Poush Mash (month of poush).
In my house, in this day, we have the tradition of making pithe puli with the freshly harvested patali and gur (syrup / jaggery extracted from sugarcane and date palm). We make aske pithe only on this day of the year because it takes a lot of time, both for preparation and making. I guess, aske pithe is what makes the day more special. The preparation starts from the day before, as the rice flour required for aske pithe needs to be fermented overnight.
One can relate aske pithe with a pan cake with the use of batter and presence of bubbles. But, unlike the pancakes or any other pithe, aske pithe needs to be prepared with special mud dishes specially make for aske pithe. Below is the picture of the mud utensils that comes in two parts known as khuli in bengali. The upper part is removable used for covering the batter.
|Prep Time: Over Night||Cook Time: 4 mins / piece||Total: 1 day|
|Difficulty Level: High||Serves: 6||Cuisine: Bengali|
- Rice Flour 4 cups
- Water as needed
- Salt to taste
- Date Jaggery as needed
- Take the rice flour in a large bowl, add 2 cups of water and mix into a thick paste;
- Add salt to the batter and mix it well. Cover the bowl and let it ferment for overnight or minimum of four hours;
- After the fermentation, use a spatula to gently whisk the batter;
- Put two cups of water for simmer;
- Add the water by liter amount and whisk the batter to get one-string consistency;
- Put the Khuli on stove for pre heating;
- Use a ladle for measuring the batter and putting in to the khuli;
- Measure 2 ladle of batter and put it on the khuli;
- Dip the cover of the khuli on water and put it over the batter on the khuli;
- Wait till the water from the outer side of the cover evaporates;
- Take the cover and dip it again on the water and cover the batter on khuli;
- Use a cast iron spatula to remove the Aske Pithe from the Khuli;
- Serve hot with jaggery;
See the slide show below for better understanding.
Tips and info: The formation of bubbles indicates that the rice flour has been well fermented. Put the gas on low flame while cooking. Aske pithe takes a lot of time, so be patient. Dipping the cover part of the khuli on water allows the formation of steam inside the cover that allows the pithe to cook evenly.
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