Ma , as I call ab's mother, was a wonderful cook. I was introduced to bhaja pithey at his house and Poush sankranti or Makar sankranti meant bhaja pithey, shoru chakli ( to be eaten with cabbage sabji) . With baba also having passed away recently, the need to reach out to the life which I had known in Baroda became stronger . And I took the courage to try out this recipe. Thankfully it was a success or that would have been the end of my journey to continue a tradition ;) ;) .
I do not have the weights / measures for this recipe as I recreated this from memory.
1. Dry roast yellow moong dal. Wash and boil it with salt to taste in minimal water till very soft in a separator in the pressure cooker. Using a separator allowed me to cook with minimal water. As you can see in the picture the dal has hardly any water. If you end up with more water, you may like to dry up the water.
2. Mash it in the mixie to a smooth paste with chilli powder to taste and very little jeera powder, two spoons of maida to bind and two spoons of rice powder to make it crisp.
3. Mash again with hand and roll into smooth balls. Stuff each ball with a small ball of sweet khoya or coconut mixture. My stuffing is a coconut jaggery mixture. In the picture below, the whitish balls are the moong dal balls and the brown shaped things are the jaggery coconut mixture.
4. You are actually supposed to pat it to a crescent shape but oblong is all I could muster..
5. Deep fry in very hot oil so that it does not crack while frying. It does not require frying for long as all the ingredients in it are already cooked. Your bhaja pithe is ready..
When u eat it, u get the taste of a savoury and sweet alternately... Bon Appetit! We had it with shoru chakli ( urad dal savoury pancakes) and a cabbage sabji.. "Tradition" as the song goes...
If you are looking for a bhaja pithey recipe with exact measurements, you may like to checkout this blog by the multi-talented Sayantani .. And when you are on her blog, do not miss out on her breathtaking nokshabori...