Here goes the Recent update from my side! I was being diagnosed with Gallstone last week and went through an operation! Well, as a result, I presently am is under “house rest” and have nothing to do 🙁 ! However, when I am presently healing and not permitted to eat much, I decided to come up with a few recipe posts! Though I cannot eat, I can feel while writing and especially when I have done with the preliminary work for a few recipes with “Tal”, the wise thing is to share the recipes. Tal or Sugar Palm is a seasonal fruit and immensely popular in West Bengal (and in Bangladesh as well). The recipe, I am going to share, is of Taler Bibikhana Pitha (Pithe), a Bangladeshi delicacy.
Pitha (as they call in Bangladesh) or Pithe (the West Bengal version) is nothing but a type of dumpling but when it comes to Bibikhana Pitha or Taler Bibikhana Pitha to be precise, this is more of a cake. Traditionally Bibikhana Pitha is prepared by steaming the batter using banana leaf as covering, however, I have used my OTG to make the Taler Bibikhana Pitha. The End result is a moist flavorful Pithe prepared with Tal!
As I have already mentioned, in my previous posts, that I have my origin in West Bengal but Bangladeshi food and Bangla way of cooking is something I have cherished always. Though I have grown up with eating Pithe, I have seen the varieties in my in laws place. They are Bengali Muslim with origin in West Bengal and I have seen my MIL making both sweet and savory Pitha which are popular in Bangladesh as well.
Coming to the Taler Bibikhana Pitha or Sugar Palm Cake, a Facebook friend of mine has shared a picture with me a few days back. He told me that her mother makes it every year whenever Tal is available and she follows the traditional way of steaming to make the Pithe. I found the Tdetails he was sharing (he was calling it Taler Pitha though) really interesting and ended on doing a bit research. I found several Bangladeshi recipes of the Bibikhana Pitha online and ended on making the same.
To make Bibikhana Pitha, you need some basic ingredients which are readily available and commonly used in Bengali cooking. Rice Flour, Ghee, Aakher Gur (Jaggery), coconut and Sugar Palm or Tal along give the distinct flavor to the Taler Bibikhana Pitha. In fact though look like a typical sponge cake but taste-wise The Bibikhana Pitha is something unique.
Taler Bibikhana Pitha | Taler Pithe | Sugar Palm Cake
- Tal / Sugar Palm: 1 (to extract at least 150 ml juice)
- Milk: 150 ml ( 1 cup)
- Egg: 2
- Gur/ Jagerri: 150g
- Vegetable Oil: 100 ml
- Ghee: 50g
- Rice Flour / Chaaler Atta: 50g
- All Purpose Flour/ Maida: 100 g
- Raisin: 15-20
- Cashewnut: 15-20
- Pistachios: 15-20
- Baking Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Cinamon Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Remove the skin of the sugar Palm or Tal and sprinkle some water on the fruit.
- Separate the carnels and great the carnels using a grater to extract the juice from the Sugar Palm.
- Around 150 ml Sugar Palm extract is required to make the Bibikhana Pitha.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes and make the batter in between.
- Now Scrap the coconut.
- Take the juice of Sugar Palm in a wok and start boiling in low flame for around 5-7 minutes until the juice thickens and emits a nutty aroma.
- Take the juice in a bowl and add 150 ml Milk and using a whisk mix properly.
- Add Oil followed by Ghee and mix.
- Now heat the gur in the microwave for 2 minutes and add the liquid gur to the mixture and whisk.
- Add Two Eggs at room temperature and using the whisk mix thoroughly.
- Now add Rice Flour and All Purpose Flour along with the baking powder and lightly fold the flour into the mixture.
- Add Raisin, Cashew Nut, and Pistachios and lightly fold.
- Take a baking mold and grease the same with vegetable oil.
- Pour the mixture into the mold.
- Bake the Taler Bibikhana Pitha in Pre-heated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C.
- The Pitha will not rise much, however, do check after 20 minutes of baking by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the Pitha to check the doneness.
- It took me 25 minutes to bake the Pitha.
- Take the Pitha Out of Oven and cool it on a wire rack.
- I have given the Pitha a rest of 1 day before serving it.
- You can store the Taler Bibikhana Putha in the fridge for 10 days or so if storing in an airtight container.
Other Sugar Palm or Tal Recipe apart from Taler Bibikhana Pitha Debjanir Rannaghar and few details about Tal:
Tal or Sugar Palm is a seasonal fruit and widely used in Bengali Cooking. The Fritters prepared with Tal, known as Taler Bora prepared during the month of August- September. Apart from the Bora, Taler Kheer and Taler Luchi are also popular amongst the Bengalis. Do check the recipe of Taler Bora or Sugar Palm Fritters here.