Patishapta pitha পাটিসাপটাBy Published: January 17, 2014
In Bengal for the poush month was marked by very severe cold. This information amazed me while I was reading "Kalikatar Puratan Kahini O Pratha [Ed. 2nd]" written by Mahendranath Dutta, the brother of Vivekananda. In 'Sheeter katha' শীতের কথা (a story of winter) he shared an information collected from his relatives, that in the Hoogly District during poush (December-January) it was seen that a collection of very tiny droplets of ice crystals over roof tops were visible those days like fog turning into snowdrops in the morning.In Bengal cold winter persists for a short period of time and most of the people are not properly equipped to invite it. So this scantily clad inhabitants love to stay beside the fire oven or unāna or Sigree - Charcoal Grill [ununa, উনুন, উনান চুল্লি, চুলো] - the only fire place at their home.
Thus a utility based habit grew over a long period of time and they prepared various sweets with ingredients easily available at winter as palm jaggery and fine scented rice is produced at that time. The diet of the widows consisted of a few selected items and their clothing too was scant, not properly equipped to withstand the severe cold. Their household duties were limited too, comprising of some general chores and mostly taking care of one's own needs. Hence after dusk they had ample time on their hands. So they used to sit beside the oven fire (the only fireplace at home) and kill their time by making various items from fine scented rice palm jaggery and milk, which were available then. This is how the sweet culinary art - a item pitha came into being - pithas of various shapes and sizes.
Interestingly this pitha is called patishapta. Rural Bengali people usually rest or sleep on a cane mat (rural craft is made from murta plants) named shital pati পাট(madur), which they roll and keep after use. The rolling system was usually known as rolling like a pati (পাট). From that this rolling type of pitha has been named as patishapta (পাটিসাপটা) - a Bengali Crêpe
Prep time: 6 hours | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 7 hour
Prepare a batter from 5 to 6 hours soaked gobindobhog rice: 6 cups with one pinch of salt and 1/2 cup jaggery with right amount of water so that it is neither too thick nor runny.
Nolen gur patali or jhola gur date palm jaggery or molasses: 3/4 cup
Scrapped coconut: 1 cup
Cooking oil: 2 tablespoon
In a hot pan mix scrapped coconut and jaggery until it becomes sticky and comes out like a dough over the ladle.
Take a nonstick flat tawa, put 1 teaspoon of cooking oil, pour 3 tablespoon of batter over the hot tawa, spread it to make it a oval-shaped crepes.
When it is ready it will have a perforated spongy appearance. Take 1 spoon of coconut mixture and place over the edge of the crepe and roll it carefully. ...