Highlighting another pitha of Bangladesh – moog pakon, gluten free, dairy free, protein rich fried dumplings soaked in cardamom and cinnamon infused syrup presented by Tunazzina of Twisted chef T. I came across Tunazzina through a Bangladeshi cooking Facebook group. She is sweet, thoughtful and very kind. She selflessly polices some of our creation on the internet. For more than once she identified few thieves who were using my photos and recipes with out giving any credit back to the blog or me. I am ever grateful to her for that. Let’s see which pitha she is presenting us today.
Having grown up outside of my native Bangladesh, my cooking interest was mostly in learning about food from anywhere other than the Indian Sub-Continent. This didn’t mean that I didn’t love Bangladeshi food. My thought at the time was that I could always visit family if I wanted to eat the traditional food. Fortunately or unfortunately, I married a man who can’t live without his traditional dishes. Since my repertoire was limited in that regard, I decided to spend some time looking for recipes online.
It just so happened that I found a Bengali cooking group on Facebook where ladies and some gentlemen shared their lovely recipes. It was in this group that I first noticed the wonderful dishes made by Lail. What really drew me to her recipes are the little spins she puts in her recipes to make them healthier. Also, love the stories that she shares.
When she asked me to share a traditional sweet dish or Pitha, in Bengali, with her readers, I couldn’t say no. This particular pitha called Moog Pakon is one my favorite. This was the first pitha that I ever made all by myself when I was a teenager (with Mom’s supervision and directions). I love that with this pitha you are only limited by your own imagination and you can also make it a family event where young and the old can take part. Some of my favorite memories of my childhood are sitting with my grandmother and watch her make pitha. Hope you enjoy my humble creation.
- 1 cup Moong daal flour (grind mung beans to make flour)
- 1 cup Rice Flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp sugar (or more if you want)
- 2 cups hot water
- Oil for deep frying
- For Syrup:
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water (more may be required)
- 1 small piece cinnamon (optional)
- 2 cardamom (optional)
- Mix all the dry ingredients together for the pitha.
- Place about 1½ cup of hot water in a pot and add the dry ingredients. Combine with the water and add the remaining hot water one spoon at a time until it begins to form a dough.
- Take the dough and place it in a bowl or rolling mat and knead the dough well. Be careful, the dough will be hot so don’t burn your hands. Let it cool down until you can handle it, which happens pretty fast so don’t walk away.
- Once the dough is ready, coat the rolling surface with a little oil to prevent it from getting stuck.
- Roll the dough to about a ¼ inch to ⅓ inch thickness and cut into shapes. You may use cookie cutters to cut them and make designs on them using anything you fancy – from knives to tooth picks to fondant tools. Ensure the design is deep enough as they will help absorb the syrup and make the inside of the pitha moist.
- Heat enough oil to deep fry the pithas.
- While oil is heating, make syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and heat until sugar melts and the desired consistency is achieved.
- Fry the decorated pieces until golden color and remove them from the oil. Ensure that all the oil has been drained from the pieces and place them directly in the hot syrup.
- At the same time make your syrup to a little thicker consistency than simple syrup but not too thick. Once the desired consistency is achieved, reduce the heat to a low setting to keep the syrup hot. There should be enough syrup to submerge all of the pitha pieces. Keep the pieces in the syrup until the pitha are moist inside to your liking.
Thank you so much, dear Tunazzina, for the lovely pithas. I’ve never made these before but will follow your recipe to make this year.