All the way,the thought that nested in my mind was that I was witnessing the brewing of another generation - our next generation.So amusing to think that just a couple of decades earlier,the generation of our parents had been in the same shoes!Elvis,ABBA and Harry Belafonte may have dominated their musical obsessions,bell-bottoms might have been in vogue;the Beatles might have been taking the world by storm and George Harrison must have been learning Sitar from the maestro himself.But the thoughts,the emotions,the happiness and the nitty gritties of daily life must have the same,albeit in different times and different climes.
As I drummed away on the keyboard,putting in my musings,I thought,maybe another couple of decades from now,someone from the following generation will think the same thought;there might have been someone who had thought the same thoughts and laughed them away.I smiled to myself over my silly thoughts and realised,that every generation smirks at the old and embraces the new,only to realise that the new will soon turn into someone else's old someday.That,I guess,is how the world in made!
Heavy thoughts and hard introspections soon left me exhausted and the ticking of the clock reminded me that I would be having some friends coming in.I decided to try out a dessert which is a very popular Bengali dessert item - the 'Patishapta'. It is basically a rice flour crepe filled in with rich and sweetened coconut filling and is doled out on some special occasions in Bengali homes.Often,it also finds a place as a dessert item and a very coveted one at that!Traditionally,preparing 'Patishapta' is quite a time-taking process and needs the virtues of delicate handling and undeterred patience.But since I have always been generously credited with having neither,I can assuage you that preparing it is no such uphill task as commonly grapevined.I tried to innovate a bit and added a touch of vermicelli to my Patishapta(do excuse my recent obsession with vermicelli!),but traditionally rice flour-sugar-coconut constitute the basic trio of this popular dessert.
Linking up my post to April's place at 'The 21st Century Housewife's Kitchen©' and 'Tuesdays at the Table' at Cole's place. Enjoy!
'Patishapta' with Vermicelli (Rice flour crepe with coconut filling and a touch of vermicelli)
You will need:
Rice flour - About 50 gms
All-purpose flour - About 250 gms
Sugar - About 200 gms
Vermicelli(the small sized one) - About 3 tablespoons
Milk - About 4 medium-sized cups
Shredded coconut - About 100 gms
Clarified butter or ghee - About 3 teaspoons
Cooking oil or butter(for frying the crepes)
Cardamon powder or whole cardamom pods
My way of making it:
1.In a deep-bottomed pan,add in the clarified butter and allow it to melt and heat up.When heated,add the vermicelli and fry it with swift strokes.Fry till the vermicelli is nicely browned and then put off the heat.
2.In a bowl,add the rice flour,all-purpose flour,2 tablespoons of sugar,the fried vermicelli and 2 cups of milk.Stir the mixture to form a smooth batter.After the initial 2 cups of milk,add in the remaining milk slowly while stirring the batter contantly.Take care not to leave any lumps.The batter should neither be too runny nor too stiff.It should keep its shape when dropped.
3.Now in a pan,heat a teaspoon of clarified butter and add the shredded coconut.Next add in the rest of the sugar and keep on tirring the mixture.The sugar should soon start caramelizing lending a brownish hue to the mixture.Keep on mixing the sugar and coconut well while the coconut slowly looses its rawness and gets cooked.
4.The mixture will soon turn a bit sticky with the sugar getting caramelized.Add in a pinch of cardamom powder at this point and mix well.Put off the heat ans keep on working on the mixture so that is remians pliable and does not turn doughy.
5.In a non-stick pan,take a blob of butter or a teaspoon of oil and allow it to heat up.Scoop up batter enough to fill 3/4th of a ladle and drop it smoothly onto the heated oil or butter.The batter should roll down the surface and form a roughly circular thin crepe.If required,gently smoothen out the batter at the edges with the back of the ladle to form an even crepe.
6.Let the crepe cook on on side.Take a spoonful of the coconut filling and arrange it alongside your side of the crepe.When slightly done on the underside,roll over the side with the coconut filling onto the other side to form a rolled up crepe with the filling in between.
7.Follow the same with the rest of the batter and the filling.The first couple of 'Patishaptas' may go a bit awry but do not be disheartened in case it does!Once the consistency of the batter is fine and you get the hang of things,your 'Patishapta' will roll out effortlessly.The crepe in question will be splattered with the fried vermicelli giving it a criss-crossed contour.Enjoy the home-made sweet!