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– Sunanda Dey and Indrani Banerjee

Handed down through generations, Chanar Pithe has been a staple during Poush Sankranti celebrations in our family. It makes for a fantastic substitute for Gulab Jamun. Try and it out and you’ll know why.

Ingredients (for 40 pieces approximately):

For the patty (or base)

  • Chana dal (Bengal gram) – ½ kg
  • Refined flour – 300 gm
  • Refined oil for frying – 300 ml

For the filling:

  • Coconut – 2, dessicated
  • Sugar – 150 gm
  • Jaggery – 100 gm

For the sugar syrup:

  • Water – 1.5 litres
  • Sugar – 750 gm

Procedure for the patty (or the base):

Soak the Chana dal overnight. Boil the dal in a pressure cooker. Allow to stand for four whistles and remove it from the fire. Drain the water completely and allow the dal to cool down.

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Mash the dal well to get smooth mixture. Add the flour and mix well with the dal mash.

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Procedure for filling:

Dessicate the coconut as shown in the picture.

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In one and a half a cups of water, add the jaggery and allow it to dissolve. Now add the sugar and allow it to dissolve and bring to a boil. Now add the dessicated coconut and keep stirring till the water evaporates and you get a nice sticky consistency. Remove from fire and allow it to cool.

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Procedure for the syrup:

Add the sugar and water and keep stirring till the sugar melts.

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Making the pithe:

Take a small quantity of the dough/base/dal-flour mash-up make a ball and then flatten it. Now put the coconut filling inside and wrap the patty around it.

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Flatten it to make dumplings as shown in the image.

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Now heat oil in a wok and add the dumplings and fry till they are golden brown.

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Remove the pithe from fire and put them into the sugar syrup to make them soft and juicy.

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Garnish with dessicated coconut. Yummy Chanar pithe is ready to eat.

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This recipe was contributed by aunt, Sunanda Dey. A music exponent and an ex-school teacher, my aunt loves to cook and experiment with food that I get to eat almost everyday. Watch out for her recipes in my blog. 

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Here’s another recipe: Alur Pithe

Do you have a family recipe or a food story to share? Do you want to feature the Master Chef in your family? Write to me at quadrantsoflife@gmail.com, or leave behind a comment.

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