Friday, 9 January 2015

Chocolate and Almonds Puli

I do not have too many memories of Makara Sankranti celebrations at home, simply because it has never been a big deal. It is strange actually, considering how my family seizes every opportunity to celebrate. We are celebration fanatics and yet, unlike many of my friends, I do not have memories of my mother, aunts and grandmother staying up all night making the mandatory puli pithe, rice flour dumplings with a sweet coconut and jaggery filling, and paayesh, traditional rice pudding with date palm jaggery.

You see, the Hindu festival of Makara Sankranti, dubbed as Poush Sankranti is Bengal, is a harvest festival in essence. And in Bengal making prticular kind of sweetmeats with rice and date palm jaggery is mandatory on this day. And though every year we would feast on pithe and paayesh relatives and friends would bring over, I have missed the thrill of making them in one's own kitchen.

One of my  close cousin's birthday falls on Makara Sankranti, usually celebrated on January 14 (sometimes 13 or 15, depending on the Lunar Calendar actually) and we often spend the day at their place in Chandannagar, a charming town on the River Hoogly, a former French colony. My aunt makes the best patishapta, crepe rolls of sorts stuffed with coconut ad jaggery or sometimes with coconut and kheer, and ranga alur pithe (sweet russet potato dumplings in a syrup) I have had. At there place Poush Sankranti calls for double celebrations. So, typically the Sankranti cum birthday feast would comprise Korai shutir Kochuri, mashed and spicy green pea stuffed fried bread, Aloor Dom, Phulkopir Kosha, a spicy cauliflower curry and an array of pithe including the ones mentioned above. Finally there is a nolen gur enriched paayesh to round up the meal.

This time however I made some puli pithe at home, so I could send the recipe as my entry to KFB's event Poush Sankranti Specials. However, I drifted just a bit from tradition and gave the traditional puli a twist. There is no jaggery or coconut in this puli pithe, unlike a traditional puli which ususally comes with a coconut-jaggery filling. Instead there is chocolate and almonds. This one is special. And delicious. Not as sweet as the traditional pithe but pleasantly different.


Rice Flour : 200 g
Hot water : 180 - 200 ml
Cocoa Powder :  2 tbsp
Vanilla essence : 1 tsp
Chocolate chips : 50g + 100 g
Milk: 1 litre
Cinnamon stick : 1 inch
Sugar : 1/4 cup
Almond : 50 g (coarsely ground)


In a deep bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let he milk simmer and reduce to half.

In the meantime tip the rice flour in a large bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder, vanilla essence and mix well. Now stream in the warm water while stirring it in with a spatula.

Knead the dough. It will be hot so consider wearing gloves. Be careful. Once you have formed a soft dough divide into 15-18 equal portions and keep. Keep the dough covered with cling film at all times, exposure to air will make it dry in no time. It is important that you work fast.

Roll out each portion dough into discs, put a little ground almonds and a teaspoon of chocolate chips on one side of the disc, fold the other end in to form half moons, press the edges with your thumb to seal. Your pulis are made.

Now add sugar to the milk and let it simmer for a couple of more minutes. Now turn the heat level to high and add the puli one by one. Let them simmer for a while and once the pulis float to the top.

Fish out the pulis and keep no a plate.

Add the cinnamon stick and hundred grams of chocolate chips to the milk ad let it reduce to half  of what it is.

Add the pulis back into it carefully, let is all simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle the remaining coarsely ground almonds and serve warm or cold.


  1. The puli is just too much delicious. Loved it. I have never prepared puli with chocolate and almond but will surely do this time after going through your blog as it is looking delicious. After preparing I am definitely gonna share the feedback with u. Thank u for the wonderful recipe. Keep posting with lots more.

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