Mach-er Pitha recipe by Aparajita Aich as part of the Winter Recipe contest!
For the people of Bengal and its surrounding states, winters are synonymous with Pithepuli. Generally, Pithes are made with rice flour and make for wonderful desserts, with their varied sweet fillings. But, there are some delicious savoury pithes as well, to couple up with your evening tea.
While this article is all about the pithe, being a Bong, how can I leave the mighty fish behind? Here’s a pithe that tastes of fish and looks like one too!
Aah! Vegetarians, don’t you fret for there’s always a veggie version for everything. Read on the recipe of Mach-er Pithe.
Mach-er Pithe is so beautiful and tasty that your guests are guaranteed to come back for more.
I feel that the bongs have started to shy away from making pithes by themselves. Most people like buying these from shops. Kids can name only a few types, like the Gokul or Dudhpuli; IF they can name at all. The other, less popular ones have lost the race to the Pizza-s and Waffles. Here’s my humble try to introduce the reader to this amazing snack pithe. It is extremely fun to make and definitely, worth a try.
- 2 cups of All purpose flour
- ⅓rd cup of Rice flour
- Finely chopped ½ Carrot, ¼th Cabbage and/or ½ Tomato (Optional) - You can add Veggies according to the meat you have chosen.
- Boiled Fish fillet or boiled Chicken mince ⅔rd cup (If using bony fish, boil and remove the pin bones)
- 1 Onion Finely chopped
- Ginger Garlic paste ½ tsp
- 1 Finely chopped Green Chilli
- Finely chopped Coriander
- A pinch of Turmeric, Red Chilli and Cumin Powder
- Few cloves
- Salt to taste
- White oil
- Mix the All purpose flour with rice flour, salt and 2 teaspoon of oil.
- After thoroughly mixing it, add lukewarm water and make the dough.
- Rest dough for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok and add the onions. Sauté it for a minute.
- Add the Ginger Garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds.
- Now, add the powdered spices. Add little water to prevent the spice from burning.
- Once the spices are fried and onions are golden brown, add in the tomato if you are using it. Follow it up with the carrots and the cabbage.
- Add in the green chillies.
- After the veggies get cooked, add the fish fillet or chicken mince. I used flesh from a boiled bony fish (Catla).
- Add salt as per your taste.
- Add a little water and cook till the meat gets mixed nicely with the spices and veggies. If you are using fish fillet, make sure to break down the fillet into small shreds in the wok itself.
- After the liquid dries out, add the coriander and keep the filling aside.
- Apply a little oil to the rested dough and knead it once.
- Take a medium sized portion and flatten it with a rolling pin into an Oval elongated disc.
- Place the filling in between, just as shown in the picture. Make sure to leave enough room for the tail.
- Now with a knife, make sharp cuts with the picture as your reference.
- With your fingers, apply water to the edges of the flattened disc. This will help to shape the pithe and work as an adhesive.
- Start by making the fish head. Carefully take one strap and pull it across to the other side. Wrap this strap with the opposite strap.
- Now, to make the fish scales, just continue pulling the straps to the opposite direction in an overlapping manner.
- Do not allow the filling to show up in between the straps. Pull the dough to hide such gaps.
- After all the straps have been overlapped, carve lines on the tail with a knife to give it a pretty appearance.
- Finally, take a clove and push it in the head area to make the eye.
- After you finish marvelling at the beautiful pithe-s, it is time to fry them.
- Heat oil in a wok and after it is heated, bring the flame to medium.
- Fry the pithe till it is golden brown. As it has layered straps, the flame has to be medium for it to cook properly.
- Garnish with some cut veggies and serve with Tomato Chilli Sauce.
ATTENTION VEGETARIANS You can follow the same recipe and make a vegetarian filling without adding fish or chicken. Add chicken, corn and cheese for the kids. I have thought of doing a dessert maach pithe with a sweet filling (no non veg. obviously), but I did not try it. I am sure, if done with the right combination of ingredients, the pithe will taste just as nice. You can also bake this item.
The filling is totally optional and you can use veggies of your own choice. The same goes for the protein – chicken or fish. I had carrots and fish readily available at my house and have used the same.
- Category: Snack
- Cuisine: Bengali