We discovered that Bengali pancakes are called patishapta pitha. It's a type of crepe made from rice flour, and it has a candied coconut filling. When researching this recipe, we thought we might have a little bit of trouble finding rice flour, and we really didn't want to have to make our own. We were also a little bit worried about finding a sweetener called jaggery. Fortunately we were able to find both at our favorite Indian grocery store. If you've never had jaggery, it is an unrefined sugar that is popular in southern Asia as well as Mexico. In Mexico it's called panela. Anyway, jaggery is a sweetener that does not separate the molasses from the sugar, which makes it difficult to describe the taste of it. However, I assure you it is quite tasty, and I'm tempted to use what's left as a substitute for brown sugar in some chocolate chip cookies.
Unfortunately Sam accidentally deleted all of the photos we took while making patishapta, so I won't have any to share with you this week, but here is the recipe.
For making the filling -
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 3 teaspoon rice flour
- 1/4 cup chopped jaggery
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 cup 2% milk, warm
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons jaggery
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ghee
First make the batter for the patishapta since it needs to rest for 30 minutes. Dissolve the jaggery in the warm milk. Next beat the egg and add it to the jaggery/milk mixture. In a separate bowl mix the rice flour, sugar, and flour. After mixing them together, slowly add them to the milk mixture until thoroughly mixed, and then set aside for 30 minutes.
Now on to making the filling. In a sauce pan, bring the evaporated milk to a boil while stirring constantly so that the milk doesn't burn. Add the jaggery to the milk and stir to dissolve. Add the coconut and rice flour to the mixture, and continue stirring constantly until the jaggery and sugar in the condensed milk begin to carmelize, then remove it from heat.
Time to cook the batter. You will need to stir the batter a few times, as the rice flour most likely is all at the bottom of the bowl. Get out a crepe pan and heat it up. Once it is heated up, place a little bit of ghee on the pan, and then 1/4-1/3 of a cup of batter to the pan (add less if you want a thinner crepe, and more for a slightly thicker crepe). Remember to swirl the pan to distribute the batter evenly across the ban. It will take 2-3 minutes of cooking to have the crepe a nice golden brown color. Once it is, flip it and cook briefly on the other side. Remove from the pan, and continue cooking the crepes until all of the batter is used.
Once all of the crepes are made, fill the crepe in the usual manner. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle, smashing it down slightly, and then roll.
These were quite tasty, but ours were a bit bland. I think it was because I halved the amount of jaggery used since we weren't using chopped jaggery, but we instead we bought jaggery already ground so that it looked like brown sugar. If making this again, I will probably by the block of jaggery, and then just chop up the amount I need instead. If you decide to make this recipe, be sure to use the amounts of jaggery as listed, as they are what the original recipe called for. Enjoy!