Patishapta Recipe

Few years ago I had got motivated to start a separate food blog along with my existing personal, travel and photography blogs. But I couldn’t come up with a spicy blog name and then the idea fizzed out. Thankfully it did. Another blog to maintain! No need.

So, in one of my earlier posts I was talking about how having kids make you social and interactive with people having kids. We were pleasantly surprised when last year both of our Tamil neighbors gave us different delicacies on the occasion of Pongal. Thankfully I too had prepared the Bengali specialty of Makar Sankranti – Patishapta and Gur er Kheer (condensed milk sweetened with date palm jaggery) which I could give to my neighbors.

Once again Makar or as we Bongs call it Poush Sankranti is upon us. It is the time to rejoice the new harvest, the end of cold dreary winter and the start of sunny longer days. It is one of the few Hindu festivals which is based on solar cycle and hence is usually on the 14th or 15th of January. Different regions call the day by different names such as Lohri, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan etc. and celebrate differently by flying kites, making delicacies using sesame and jaggery, taking holy dips in rivers etc.

In Bengal, this is the time for Patali Gur Or Khejur Gur Or jaggery made from the sap of Date palm trees. It infuses a very different, not too sweet and heavenly taste in sweets and other delicacies prepared using khejur gur instead of sugar. Nolen gur is the liquid version of the jaggery whereas patali gur is the solid version. So the union of this jaggery and Sankranti special dishes is just awesome.

Here is my recipe for the Sankranti special – Patishapta and Kheer.

 

So patishapta is a crepe type thing which is stuffed with a coconut and jaggery mixture filling. It is a traditional food eaten on Sankranti day on my in-laws side and it is eaten with kheer (sort of condensed milk) prepared with jaggery. Since both the items are time-consuming it is better to prepare kheer and the filling for the patishapta one day before the festival day.

Kheer (Condensed Milk) Recipe

Ingredients for Kheer:

 

  • 2 litres of  full fat milk
  • 1 cup of patali gur (may require more depending upon the desired sweetness). If you are using the solid patali gur, break it into pieces so that it melts and mixes well.
  • 1/3 teaspoon fine cardamom powder
  • A wide heavy kadai
  1. Pour the milk in the kadai and boil the milk over medium high heat. When the milk comes to a boil reduce the heat to low medium and let it simmer.
  2. The milk will start to thicken slowly and cream from the milk will settle on the sides and bottom of the kadai. Keep scraping down the cream and adding it back to the milk.
  3. Keep stirring the milk mixture intermittently until it is reduced to three fourths of its original quantity and becomes viscous.
  4. To check the right consistency of the milk mixture, take a spoonful and pour it on a flat plate. The viscosity of the milk should be such that it does not flow. It takes approximately one hour or so using low medium flame setting.
  5. Add the patali gur pieces and keep tasting to get the desired sweetness. You may use 2-3 tablespoons of sugar instead, keeping the gur in major quantity. Also add the cardamom powder and stir it in well.
  6. Switch off the flame and don’t let the condensed milk burn.

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Patishapta Recipe

 

Ingredients for Filling:

  • Grated coconut: 3 cups
  • Patali gur: 1 cup (may require more depending upon the desired sweetness. If you are using the solid patali gur, break it into pieces so that it melts and mixes well with the coconut)
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Khoya: 1/3 cup (If frozen then thaw it before use)
  1. Take a large pan and heat on medium flame. Add the grated coconut and dry roast for 2-3 mins on medium-low flame.Coconut tends to get burnt so keep a watch and stir fast and continuously.
  2. Add the patali gur pieces and mix it with the grated coconut. If you are using solid patali gur, wait for it to melt and then mix.
  3. Keep stirring. The mixture will appear wet and sticky but will start drying.
  4. When the mixture stops sticking to the pan, add the khoya and keep stirring continuously.
  5. Once the khoya is mixed completely, add the cardamom powder and stir continuously on increased flame for 1-2 mins and switch off. Overall it takes 20-25 mins maximum. The end result should be a brown moist sticky mixture.

Ingredients for Batter for Crepes:

  • Maida: 2 cup
  • Rice flour: 12 tbsp
  • Semolina (Sooji): 10 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar: 2 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • Milk: 3½ cup (more may be required to achieve the required consistency).
  • Refined oil
  • A non-stick flat pan or dosa tawa. It should not be too heavy as you need to rotate it to spread out the batter like a dosa. If it is heavy you can use the back of the ladle to do so.
  1. Sieve and sift maida and the rice flour to mix both well.

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2. Add sooji and powdered sugar.

3. Add little milk at the start to avoid lumps. Break the lumps while mixing. Make the batter by adding milk little by little and keep mixing.  The batter should be neither very thick nor very thin. It should be able to cover the back of a spoon.

4. Keep the dosa tawa on low flame and add few drops of oil on it.

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5. Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan and rotate the pan to spread the batter in a circle. This needs to be done quickly as the batter starts setting fast. The crepe should be on the thinner side.

6. Once the crepe becomes light golden, carefully flip it and allow the opposite side to cook.

7. While the other side is still cooking, put the stuffing gently.

8. There are two ways of placing the stuffing. You can either place it lengthwise at the center of the crepe or place it on the nearer round edge of the crepe. If you put it in the center, fold the open sides of the crepe alternately. If you put the stuffing on the edge, then turn the edge inner wards and roll the crepe away from you until you reach the other edge. Press it gently with the spatula. Flip it and press gently again. Remove immediately.

9. Make other crepes similarly. You should have atleast 20 patishaptas with that amount of batter.

10.Serve with the Nolen gur kheer drizzled on the patishaptas.

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This time I am also thinking of trying my hand at making Gur er Roshogollas.

P.S. Excuse my food photography and the shape of my patishaptas. It was my first attempt!! I hardly write recipe posts or do food photography. My food photography is limited to Instagram :-D.

 

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Movie Experiences With Keya

The last movie D and I watched before becoming parents was Avengers: Age of Ultron in October 2015. Our first movie experience…as parents.. with Keya was when she was 13 months old in January 2017. And the movie was Dangal. After reading reviews and news of Dangal breaking all box office records, we had decided to take the risk and watch it in a theater. So, we availed the offer of Buy 1 get 1 free on D’s ICICI card. Worst case scenario – only one ticket cost will be wasted in case we needed to leave the theater so as not to cause inconvenience to others.

Our movie watching was successful with Keya awake 80% of time and without disturbing others. At first she was sleeping so we thought she will sleep through but as soon as the ads before the movie started she woke up due to the loud sound. (Keya is such a light sleeper that I should write a separate post on it) Then she sat n watched the screen for some time. Then I kept her engaged in feeding. The places we mothers have to feed!! Then D took her out in intermission. After that we kept her engaged in eating. In last 45 minutes D walked around the entrance area with her in baby carrier while watching from there. After 15-20 mins she slept off and D could also watch nicely. So overall it was a success!!

Then Keya became a toddler and the risks of going to a movie theater increased. D’s cousin brother and his wife used to go for movies at night when their daughter was of Keya’s age and she used to sleep through the movie. But we didn’t want that because if she will sleep in a night show then after coming we will be sleepy and she wont be (anyway Keya is a night owl…most active evening onwards and definitely not a morning person). Movies came and went and our life went on. Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar are life saviours!!

D and I are both Marvel fans and after marriage we have watched almost every movie in the franchisee at theater. So naturally Thor:Ragnarok was on my list. It was released on 3rd November but we couldn’t decide whether to give it a shot or not. Then reviews started pouring and people started raving about it. It was already running since a month when we decided to take the plunge.

Since the movie was going on since November, there are limited shows now. A nearby multiplex had only 9.30 am show. So D booked tickets for that show and got us sofa seats as they were at the same price. The night before the D-Day, Keya went to sleep wearing the dress she was going to wear the next day. We got up early morning on a Saturday!! Had breakfast and prepared her diaper bag with lots of different food options. While leaving I took her in baby carrier which woke her up. But she again dozed in-car. As soon as we arrived at the mall, she woke up. She was wide awake inside the theater and watched the movie till intermission while eating different things – bread with peanut butter,bit of omelette, two square pieces of dairy milk and one pack of Gems. 🙂 It was a blessing that they let us enter with so much food items.

In second half we put video on mobile which she watched while eating another half packet Gems and  drinking Frooti. Then when last half hour of movie was remaining, she became restless as she was feeling sleepy (Keya is not a morning person). So I took her and fed her (which was super comfortable in sofa seat) and she slept right off. So again it was a successful attempt. It was helpful that Thor Ragnarok was a simple straight story and action movie and one didn’t miss much if one didn’t pay attention to some dialogues. And such was the impact of the movie that Keya remembered the Uncle with the hammer for few days. 😀 😀

So tell me, my reader, how was your movie experience with your kid?

DMart Woes

So, the inevitable happened. I missed one day ..5th Jan 2018. Just after 4 days of starting NaBloPoMo. Sigh!! I completely forgot! And the thing to blame is shopping in DMart. As you may know

DMart is the most profitable supermarket chain with focus on efficiency across value chain with lowest prices, costs and inventory price to the users. It has been named as the Wal-Mart of India.

 

I don’t like shopping there at all….that place doesn’t give me good vibes at all and the crowd!! OH MY GOD! It is like Kumbh Mela every damn evening in DMart. It is a whole family outing thing for people..from grandpa to youngest kid ..all just strolling in the aisles ..shopping + dinner from the numerous “100 variety dosa” stalls outside the supermarket. Public has been spotted even opening stuff from shelf or freezer and eating. The trick to shop there and maintain sanity and patience is for one person to join the queue after entering and another to shop and bring the cart to that person. Such is the crowd at DMart that people of same family wear same shirts to not get lost! 😀 😀

Since the discount on diapers ( yes a very important consideration for middle class parents) is the maximum in DMart (even more than Amazon), I am forced to go there. So we got terribly late and had late dinner at 10.30. Blogging just slipped out of my mind. And I won’t post on back date…honesty and integrity and all that 😀

Let’s hope it was the first and last time in the NaBloPoMo journey of this month.

Top 5 Baby Books Illustrators

I introduced Keya to books since she was 4 months old and today she has a huge collection ranging from all types of board books to paperbacks. I also sell off the ones she has outgrown and buy new ones. So in this journey of raising a reader, I have come across many illustrators but some are so good that buying their books never misses the mark with Keya. Though each baby is different, I think all babies love picture books and good realistic bold illustrations always win them over. It is not necessary that the parent should read the text…you can just describe the pictures and tell the story being depicted. I do plan to write a post on top books for babies and toddlers but for now this post is about the top 5 illustrators of books for babies and toddlers according to me.

#1 Jez Alborough

#2 Shirley Hughes

#3 Nick Sharratt

#4 Petr Horacek

#5 Leslie Patricelli

Will describe their works in next post. Had to write a post hurriedly!! After all NaBloPoMo ka sawal hai!

 

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday or posting a photo on Wednesdays in one’s blog used to be a thing when I was active in blogging. I don’t know if it is still around. It was a life-saver! A quickie but still a blog post ..especially when you are doing a NaBloPoMo. So keeping the trend alive and because I don’t have time today to make a post before the clock hits midnight, here is a not so wordless Wednesday post (Because I wrote such a wordy prologue!)

MasterChef at work!!

New Year Obsession

As a new year approaches, different people have different ways of celebrating and look forward to partying, dining out, family get-togethers, ringing in the new year at some holiday destination etc. The one thing I am passionate (obsession in D’s opinion) about is collecting new year calendars offered for free by supermarkets, shops etc. 😀

It is such a middle class 90’s generation kid thing no? Every year my father also used to hunt for calendars and we used to get them from local grocery shop, Life Insurance Corporation uncles who worked as agents, State Bank branch where father had account etc. The Bengali gold jewellery shop used to give Bengali new year calendar in April. Then there is my mother who loves changing the calendar page every month of every calendar at home. My father, even after seeing the old page, doesn’t change it and waits for mom to do it when she gets time. So sweet!

So when I set up my home, having two calendars (one for living room and one for bedroom) was a must, though I have seen my friends and similar age relatives’ homes and no one hangs a calendar anymore!! All are dependent on gadgets. I guess calendars at home have become a passé. When I was working, I used to keep a desk calendar and marking the holidays in it by red circles made me so happy! So hunting for new calendars became a new year thing for me.  D calls it the crazy time of the year and dreads it as I drag him to all sort of places to hunt for calendars and ask everywhere. 😀

But here in Bangalore neither we have LIC agents (actually we dont have LIC now that term insurance is in) nor any fixed local kirana store. And State Banks are misers in giving out calendars. Actually with internet banking and all other facilities, we hardly visit any physical branch of a bank. So,horror of horrors,I have to buy calendars here and that too only two are available in English – Deccan Herald and Bangalore Press. D’s office also used to give a calendar each employee but they discontinued since two years. But, as I luckily discovered 4 years ago, there is one hypermarket in our area which gives new year calendar for free to every customer who ask for it till stocks last. Sadly, they stopped this year. 😦 😦 Booo hoo hoo…I guess cost cutting is everywhere now.

Sigh…looks like we need to pay a visit to our State Bank branch and we need to make friends with a LIC agent. 😀

 

 

New Beginnings

Is it only me or did WordPress not send annual stats about one’s blog this time?? Considering that I did not write a SINGLE post in the year 2017, WordPress had nothing to say about my annual performance. Sigh!! Not a single post in a year..in 365 days. Was I so busy being a stay at home mother or was I so uninspired or was I so lazy? My primary blog..this one where you are reading the post…my first blog….my passion, my escape and hobby once upon a time…had so much potential but due to whatever reasons I let it die a slow painful death.

Pump..pump..pump…

Phuuuu..phuuuuu..phuuuu

That’s me doing CPR on my blog and trying to revive it. 🙂 😀

Since it is a new year…a symbol of new beginnings..new promises..new vows…I have taken few resolutions and one of which is I will return to blogging and be more regular. So taking baby steps, first of all I decided to do the NaBloPoMo thing on my blog this whole month and write a post daily.

As for the year gone by, it was a good year overall. Some quick updates:-

#Parenting – Keya completed two years and is a 24×7 full time entertaining and keeping-parents-on-toes toddler now. 🙂 Very cute, very adorable, very much edible and a total doll. Earlier it was taking care of baby and now the actual parenting has begun.

#Travel – There were two vacations last year ..one to Kolkata in April and one to Bhilai from Dusshera till Diwali.I went to my hometown after 4 years and for the longest duration since I moved to Bangalore. All previous visits were of just one week usually.

#Family – Sister and family moved back from abroad and we sisters spent the most wonderful time together for two months. Keya got to enjoy the company of her Mashi and a cousin sister 24×7. It was a learning experience for the two cousin sisters. Had a great time celebrating Durga Puja with complete family (parents, sister, me and our families) after so many years.

#Work – I took up some technical content development work which is mainly project based. So when any project came, I had got busy with that..working at nights after Keya slept. It is impossible to work in day with a toddler around and no nanny, no babysitter, no other family member.

#Friends – Even after leaving job, my group of colleagues-cum-friends have kept in touch with each other and we had some great get-together occasions last year. I also caught up with a colleague-friend in Bhilai too. I even made friends with one of the neighbors who has a son 3 months younger to Keya. Its uncanny how kids make you social, how you start interacting with other moms.

That’s it I guess…don’t remember anything else worth mentioning.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR!! HAVE A GREAT 2018!! See you around.