The cold January air is reverberating to the beats of the drums for Lohri tonight and the dark night sky is lit with sky lanterns. Tomorrow at dawn, thousands will brave the biting cold to take a holy dip at Ganga Sagar. Tomorrow is Makar Sankranti or poush sankranti. Each household across India has their own way of celebrating the harvest festival. For us Bengalis’ it’s Pithe, Puli, Patishapta, Payesh and many more.
If you are aware of patishapta and dudh puli being the favourite bengali Makar Sankranti desserts, let me introduce you to “moog shamli”. Unlike the soft and delicate patishapta and puli, moog shamli is rather crunchy and crispy. Filled with the sweet coconut filling, moog shamli presents a perfect balance of taste, texture and flavour. Moog shamli is also known as “mooger bhaja pithe”.
What you need
- Rice flour – 1 cup
- Coconuut – 1/2 freshly grated
- Nalen gur – 100gm
- Yellow Moong Dal – 1 cup
- Ginger paste – 1 tspn
- Turmeric powder – 1 tspn
- Oil for frying (any oil other than mustard oil)
- Salt to taste
How to make:
- Cook the coconut with jaggery till sticky
- Cook the moong dal with turmeric powder, ginger paste and salt
- Strain the excess water in a bowl to be used if required for making the dough
- Make a dough of the cooked moong dal and rice flour.Check the salt and adjust according to your taste
- Take a small amount of the dough and make a small cup by pressing with your fingers
- Put the filling according to the capacity and seal the edges.
- Roll the moog shamli on your palm to get a smooth sealed dumpling with pointed edges or make patterns as you wish
- Heat oil in a wok and fry the moog shamli till golden brown
- Sugar can be added to the dough if you prefer a sweet and salty taste
- A variation of moog shamli can also be prepared by dipping the fried moog shamli in sugar syrup