Sita Bhog

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Today is Ganesh Chaturthi. It marks the beginning of the 10 day period where Lord Ganesha is brought home. This festival started by a freedom fighter in Maharashtra in 1894. India was then ruled by the british and  public place congregation was not allowed. So celebrating the Ganesh festival gave people an opportunity to congregate.

People keep the idol in the homes for 1, 3, 5, 10 days..it is all based on the family tradition. There is festive atmosphere and a lot of yummy food is made.

I like Ganesh because he is pretty chilled out…no hang ups, no hard rules.. Although he likes a few special things like Modak ( a steamed rice bun with sweet coconut filling), he does not mind if you offer him something else. 🙂

He is considered the beginning and the end.  He forgives everyone, they say which is why his tummy is big. He taken in all the sins and hides them in his tummy. He is also the god of knowledge & wisdom. When you start anything new, you worship him first. His ride is a mouse and they make quite pair.

He came this morning with his friend and said give me something to eat.

He came to play

Ganesh with his friend

So today I decided to make something special for him, something I have never made before and thought he also might like something new.

This dish was not easy to make but I am glad I did. It is not what it looks, so let us see how many of you know?

Today’s dish is called Sita Bhog. I learnt about it from a friend on another

SITA BHOG

Sita Bhog 3

Bengal is a eastern region of India. It is known for its artistic talent and love for good food especially sweets.  When you say Bengali Mithai ( a word for sweet), you often  think of Rosogolla, Mishti Doi and Sandesh. Today’s dish is a mithai that is much lesser known. Burdwan region of Bengal is known for this sweet. Legend has it that it made in honor of a British Viceroy , when he visited  Burdwan in February 1904.
When you look at this dish, you can easily mistake it for a bowl of sweet white rice accompanied with miniature gulab jamun pieces, but there’ s more than what meets the eye and definitely the palate.

Sita Bhog

 

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Ingredients

Cheese Grain

4 cups whole milk
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup Rice powder 
1 tbsp milk for kneading if needed

1 cup Sugar
 1 cup water
 Oil or Ghee  for frying
 1/2 tsp Green cardamom powder( optional)
1 tbsp Golden Raisins
Saffron- a pinch

Gulab Jamun ( Nikuti)

1 cup Milk Powder
 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 pinch Baking soda
Oil/ Ghee for frying 
2 tbsp Yugurt

1 cup Sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp Green cardamom powder

Method:

Boil the milk in a large pan. When it starts to boil. lower the heat and add 1 to 2 tbsp of vinegar to it. Turn the heat off. Start stirring the milk, you will see that the milk has started to curdle. If needed you may put one more tsp of vinegar to completely curdle the milk. When you see a greenish colour whey, then pour this over a strainer lined with cheese cloth to drain out the water. Let it cool.
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Take the cheese in a big bowl and add rice powder .Mix it well. Keep kneading. If it feels rather hard, add a bit of milk into it and knead again. Make the dough soft & elastic.
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In another bowl put the sugar and water and let it boil. Make a thick syrup; Put the rest of the cardamom powder to it and the saffron for color and flavour.
Fry the raisins slightly in 1 tsp full of oil and keep aside.

Now put the pan on flame. Pour oil and heat it.
Take a sieve. Take one small ball of the cheese mixture and press it so that tiny, oblong, rice-like bits of cheese drops into the oil. Don’t take long stroke otherwise you would have a string more than a rice like grain.
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Deep fry till a light brown colour. Take them out and keep aside.
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This is what they look like when fried. Make sure you fry on a low heat and try to keep them white.
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Add the fried Raisins and the cheese drops in the sugar syrup. Mix it well. Let it be soaked in the syrup from 10 to 15 minutes and then spread it on a plate to cool.
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In a Mixing Bowl add Milk powder, Maida, Soda-Bicarbonate,1 1/2 tsp ghee. Add enough yogurt to make a soft dough.

Heat ghee in a deep frying pan.Make small 15-20 oval shapes and fry until golden brown in color.
In another pan add water and sugar and put it to boil, Heat until it make a light syrup.. Put these small balls into the hot syrup. Let it cool and then you can mix these Gulab Jamun in the Cheese grains prepared earlier.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: 5 Extraordinary dishes from the Dessert Destination, Kolkata!

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