There is no English translation for Pitha, the women told us. The closest they could get was cake or pie but we really think they resemble a dumpling the most.
As always, these little dumplings are traditionally made for special occaisions, receiving guests, a main staple for a Bangladeshi wedding and can also be eaten in small servings as a snack or with tea.
They sell them everywhere in Bangladesh and apparently you will see them on the road side being sold by vendors and small food stalls. They are strongly representative of culture and life in Bangladesh with their variety of different forms and fillings.
These little treasures were a joy to make. Unbelievably easy and look really impressive on the cake trolley. At our June session in Levenshulme Inspire, We gave the floor to a group of women who agreed to teach us a kind of dumpling from Bangladesh. We thought we would share it with you.
Makes approx. 60-80 dumplings
500g dessicated coconut
150g white sugar
3-4 tblsp condensed milk
1 cup of water
put all ingredients together in a pan and fry gently for 10 to 15 minutes until the coconut is sticky and has absorbed the condensed milk. Set aside to cool whilst you make the dough.
1kg Maida flour (you can find this in any good Asian shop or cash & carry)
Boiling water – enough to form a dough
Pinch of salt
Pour the flour onto the table and add a pinch of salt.
Pour hot water onto the flour and mix together to form a dough.
Knead for 5-10 minutes until soft.
Roll out to around 1/2 cm thick.
Cut out shapes with a wine glass.
add a bit of the filling and fold however you wish!
One of our ladies brought with her a little cheat tool which she got from when she lived in Italy:
Once finished, deep fry in vegetable oil in a wok until golden and crispy. Make sure to dry out on a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil. Serve with a sprinkling of coconut on top.
Serve after dinner or afternoon tea. Great treats for the kids too apparently when they get home from school! Thank you to all the ladies who took the time to show us this recipe.