As I had already promised in my previous post that my recent posts will be completely dedicated to Poush Parbon or Makar Sankranti. This year I had prepared a number of Poush Parbon special Bengali delicacies to celebrate Makar Sankranti and I will love to share all those recipes.
In this post I’ll share the recipe of Gokul Pithe. Gokul pithe is not only made on Poush Parbon it is also a part of Janmashtami celebration. It is considered as one of the favorite item of Lord Krishna. Hmm it is easily understandable why he can’t stay away from this sweet.
Gokul pithe is a sweet fried dumpling soaked in thick hot sugar syrup. The filling is mostly made with desiccated coconut and jaggery. Sometimes coconut and khoya is mixed with sugar. Small balls are made from the filling mixture. They are dipped in thick flour-semolina batter to coat the balls; fried and soaked in sugar syrup. Voila... awesome gokul pithe is ready to gobble up.
I had already described the process of preparing the ‘filling’ in my previous post of Patishapta with step by step picture. I’m just copy pasting the text here for the sake of completeness. If you are preparing it for the first time, I will suggest you to go through the pictorial edition first.
Here is the recipe of Gokul Pithe.
Time: 55 mins. (15 mins for filling + 40 mins for frying and soaking).
Yield: 18 medium or 25 small Gokul Pithe
Ingredients for Filling:
Desiccated coconut: 2 ½ cups
Jaggery: 1 cup
Or sugar: 1½ cup
Or condense milk: 400ml
Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
Dry fruits: according to your choice
Khoya: 1/3 cup
Sugar: if necessary (my taste buds are always satisfied with the sweetness of jaggery)
Preparation for Filling:
Make tiny pieces of the jaggery. It will help the coconut to blend with it faster.
Take a large pan and heat on medium flame.
Add desiccated coconut and dry roast for 2-3 mins on medium-low flame.
Add jaggery/sugar/condense milk into pan, whichever you are using.
Try to mix it with the coconut flakes.
In the beginning it will seem to be impossible but allow the jaggery to warm a little to melt. Then these will easily mix up.
Once you notice jaggery-coconut mixture is not sticking to the pan any more, add khoya and keep stirring continuously on medium-low flame.
Once khoya is mixed completely increase the flame to medium and stir non-stop for 1-2 mins. If you are using dry fruits also, add now.
Switch off the flame sprinkle cardamom powder and transfer immediately into a flat wide palate to cool off.
When the mixture is cool enough to handle but still warm take 2 tbsp of the filling in your palm and give it a shape of round ball.
Keep the prepared balls in a flat plate.
Now make the outer crust or the coating of the Gokul Pithe.
Ingredients for outer Crust:
All-purpose flour: 1 cup
Semolina: 1/3 cup
Milk: ½ cup + 1/3 cup (if necessary)
Ghee/ any white oil to fry
Sieve and sift the both flour in a deep bottomed bowl. Add semolina and caster powder.
Add milk little by little to make a thick paste. Add very small amount of milk to avoid lumps. Break the lumps, if any forms and mix well with a fork.
Once the batter is lump free and smooth add more milk and keep mixing to form a very balanced batter. The batter should be able to coat the back of a spoon.
Dip the coconut balls in the batter and coat well from all the sides.
Heat oil/ghee in a round wok.
Drop the coated balls in the hot oil.
Fry the balls on medium flame until they are golden brown in color.
Remove them from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Allow them to rest for 5-7 mins.
In the mean while prepare the sugar syrup.
Ingredients for Sugar Syrup:
Sugar: 1 cup
Water: 1 ½ cup
Rose essence: 1-2 drops (optional)
Lemon juice: 1-2 tsp
Preparation for Sugar Syrup:
Take a deep bottomed steel pan. add water.
Heat the water on high flame until boiling.
A quick stir to help the sugar to dissolve quickly.
When the syrup is producing a lot of bubbles add lemon juice. It will prevent the sugar syrup from crystallizing when it will become cold.
Once the syrup reaches one string consistency add rose essence, if using at all.
Drop the fried gokul pithe in the hot bubbling syrup. Don’t allow it to sit and soak up all the syrup. Wait for 1 min and remove them from the syrup.
Place and arrange in the serving bowl with slivers of pistachio or almond.
Serve hot or cold, both ways they will be gone in seconds.