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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Soru Chakli Pithe

Event: Blogging Marathon #56
Theme: Indian States
My choice: West Bengal

When I chose to makes dosas this week, I was confident that I would get at least 4 savory versions from the south Indian states, them being the home of dosas. And by the way, for the uninitiated, dosas are rice - lentil based, Indian version savory pancakes. I planned to do a sweet version as well to post this week and was going back and forth to patishapta, the festive, sweet pancakes from West Bengal. That planning happened before my India trip and now considering the amount of binging we did in India, it is time to go on a diet rather than indulging in a pancake filled with khoya (milk solids) and coconut and dunked in milk syrup.

Patishapta seems to be the most favorite pithe prepared in Bengali households during 'Poush Parbon' or Makar Sankranthi. When I sat down to learn more about the dish, I realized that hoards of rice based dishes are prepared on the occasion including a savory version of pancakes called soru chakli. No wonder there considering that India was once an agrarian community and the festival was/is to celebrate the harvest season. However it was a moment of epiphany connecting it to the south Indian version of the festival though a dosa / pancake is never part of the festival in south though they are a staple breakfast in the region. A south Indian sankranthi meal revolves mainly around sweet and savory version pongal dishes while the Bengalis seem to have turned it into a culinary indulgence, celebrating the new harvested rice, jaggery and so on.

Soru chakli is prepared using rice and black gram / urad dal similar to the south Indian dosas but the batter is on a thinner side and grated ginger is added just before using it. And the good thing is this batter needs no fermentation. Majority of the recipes I came across mentioned that no fermentation is needed while some did. I did not leave the batter to ferment but left the batter to sit for about an hour before making pancakes and it was fine. Though the batter is not runny, it is thinner and the resulting pancakes are thin and softer like neer dosa, albeit redolent with ginger flavor.
Ingredients:
1 cup rice
1/2 cup urad dal / black gram
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. peeled and grated ginger 
Oil to make dosas

Method:
* Wash rice and urad dal thoroughly and soak them in water for at least 3 hours or overnight.
* Drain the soaked water and grind it into a smooth batter adding salt and enough water. The batter should be thinner than the regular dosa batter. (I added about 1&1/2 - 1&3/4 cups of water to grind.)
* There is no need to ferment the batter to make soru chakli. However it is totally fine if you decide to do so. Add grated ginger to the batter and mix well with a ladle.
* Heat a non stick or an iron griddle to make pithe on moderate heat.
* Gently grease the pan with oil. Pour a ladleful of batter at the center and gently swirl the pan in a circular motion so that the the batter spreads thinly into a circle.
* Cover and cook for a minute or two or until the edges start to leave the pan. Flip, cover and cook the other side too. Remove the pithe with a spatula.
* Grease the pan again and repeat the pithe making.
* Serve warm with your choice of curry. I served with potato masala.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

Comments

13 comments:

vaishali sabnani said...

I have fallen in love with these pancakes ..they look so doable and would be accepted in the family. Excellent choice for the theme. Bookmarking.

Usha said...

These look just like dosa and it doesn't require fermenting! Nice pick for the state.

Sapana Behl said...

Pithe looks inviting and can be paired with any chutney or side dish.Lovely

Srividhya said...

Very tempting. loving all these recipes from India. Learning a lot

Kalyani said...

fluffy and sponge like.. bookmarking to try !!

Priya Suresh said...

This pithe looks almost like neer dosa na, loving the varieties of dosas exists in our regions.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Looking at the picture, I felt they are closer to Neer dosas. These sound interesting as well.

Srivalli said...

That's a wonderful choice Suma, I too felt that all Indian states have similar dishes, just made differently!..do send these to my breakfast event..

Sandhiya said...

Interesting recipe..I looks like neer dosa..

Pavani N said...

Very interesting dosa recipe from West Bengal. Adding ginger sounds delicious.

Archana Potdar said...

Delicious cosa from WB. Love it as its adaptable to any requirements.

Gayathri Kumar said...

This looks like a really tasty dosa. Will try asap..

Chef Mireille said...

No fermenting is my kind of dosa great!!!