January 16, 2014

Patishapta for Makar Sankranti

Winter time is especially busy for the sweet shops in Kolkata, with a plethora of 'nolen gur' or 'first harvest jaggery' sandesh and rossogollas. While in law school, couple of my friends and I would often walk to the nearest sweet shop after dinner and devour freshly prepared 'notun gur-er rossogollas' for dessert. We frequented the shop so much, that the server stopped asking for our order, and would simply bring out plates full of warm rossogollas. Ah! Those 'mishti dates' are long gone...

During the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti, the sweet shops would sell 'patishapta' - sweet crepes filled with coconut-jaggery inside. This year, having just returned from India, we simply could not sit and crave for the sweets that are synonymous with Makar Sankranti. So, one of my friends and I decided to make some patishapta, even though it was bang in the middle of the week. Here it goes:


Crepe batter:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina/ suji
1/2 cup milk plus more to get desired consistency
1/4 cup jaggery or sugar

1 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup grated jaggery
1/2 cup khoya ie dried whole milk(optional)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds powered
1 tbsp ghee

Khoya gravy for dipping/ garnishing (optional)
1/4 cup khoya grated
4 tsp sugar
pinch of cardomom seeds, powdered
dash of milk


  • Heat ghee in a medium fry pan. Add cardamom powder and grated coconut in quick succession.
  • Saute for a few minutes till the coconut is light brown in color. 
  • Add jaggery and sugar and mix well. 
  • Continue to cook till the mixture is evenly cooked and the jaggery/ sugar is completely incorporated. Set aside to cool. 
Alternatively, you could go the shortcut method, and crush some home-made coconut - jaggery laddoos brought from India, add some khoya, and warm it with some milk and call it a filling. That's what we did. :)

Crepe batter:
  • Whisk the all purpose flour and semolina in a medium bowl. 
  • Add milk gradually and mix together for a very thin batter. 
  • In a small bowl, mix jaggery/ sugar and two tablespoons of milk and microwave for 15 seconds, till the jaggery/ sugar melts completely. Add to the batter and mix well. 
Khoya gravy
  • In a small pan, heat the khoya, sugar and milk together until well incorporated. 
  • Add cardomom seed powder and set aside. The gravy thickens as it cools, so you might have to add more milk or warm it up while garnishing.
Making the patishapta:
  • Once all the preparation is done, heat a non-stick tawa or flat bottomed skillet to medium heat. 
  • Brush on a little bit of ghee or oil, and pour a small ladle full of batter. Rotate the pan to spread the batter in a thin layer. Cook till slightly golden brown in color.
  • Gently place a tablespoon of the filling on one edge of the crepe. Roll it like a frankie and gently pat it to spread the filling evenly inside the crepe. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  • To serve, place the patishapta in a plate, and gently drizzle the Khoya gravy on top. 
Bon Appetit!
Hetal from Houston

January 2, 2014

Creamy Avocado Smoothie

   Let us start healthy and simple this New Years :)
I got introduced to avocadoes only after I moved here and now know its Indian name is Makhanphal a.k.a butter-fruit. Hetal and I both love this fruit and eat avocados in any form...literally ! It is very  nutritious so indulging in avocados is totally allowed.

    An over ripened avocado in my fridge a few weeks back made me  try making smoothie  out of it. Such is the fate of any ripened fruit in our kitchen; either it goes into a cake batter or used for making smoothie ...nothing healthy is at least tried to be not wasted ! It was a very simple recipe which was equally filling and  healthy. I am very biased towards avocado...so make it and taste it for yourself  :)

Serves : 1-2 persons

Ingredients :
  • 1 avocado - ripe, halved and pitted 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt ( I added plain yoghurt and a drop of vanilla extract )
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Ice cubes if you want it chilled
Method :

Blend everything and your smoothie is ready to be served ! I used basil leaves from my garden for the fancy look but you can get more creative with anything from your garden or fridge.

HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone !! Have a yummy and healthy year ahead :)

Ajanta from Walnut Creek