a deep fried sweet dumpling using semolina (sooji) with coconut stuffing
“Pitha” is an inherent part of Odia Cuisine. These are the traditional sweet delicacies often prepared and served in the Odia households specifically during the festivals such as Dusserah, Kumar Purnima, Deepavali, Prathamastami, Manabasa Gurubar, Nua Khai, Raja Parba etc. Although primarily this is considered as festive special, still Pitha can be highly relished as a fulfilling breakfast dish, a snack or even as a tempting dessert. A varieties of pithas are there in the Odia Cuisine like Manda Pitha, Poda Pitha, Kakera Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Enduri Pitha, Chunchipatra Pitha etc. Among these some are deep fried, some are steamed and some follows other techniques, but all are so easy to make by following certain techniques. Here I am going to share about the Kakera Pitha.
Kakera Pitha !
This is a deep fried sweet dumpling with stuffing of coconut. Kakera pitha is also a part of Chhapan Bhog in the Jagannath Temple, Odisha.
Although this pitha is always prepared with a stuffing, still I love these pithas without the stuffing too.
These pithas can be prepared using semolina (sooji), wheat flour (atta) and all purpose flour (maida). And accordingly the name of the pithas varry – Sooji Kakera, Atta Kakera, Maida Kakera. Today’s recipe is using sooji / semolina.
Dietary Notes :
✔ Vegetarian sweet
✔ Perfect for Festive time
✔ Vegan dish
✔ Easy and simple to prepare
Ingredients for making Sooji Kakera –
- Semolina (sooji) – Usually the fine variety of semolina is used to make the kakera pitha.
- Coconut – Some freshly grated coconut is the traditional pick for the stuffing in the pitha. Desiccated coconut also plays well.
- Jaggery – This is the sweet factor in the pitha. Sugar can be used instead of jaggery here.
- Cardamom powder – This adds a nice aroma in the stuffing. In addition to this, black pepper powder some also use. I have used only cardamom powder.
- Salt – This is needed to balance the taste of the dough.
- Fennel seed – It enhances the flavor in the dough.
- Oil – The pithas are deep fried either in oil / ghee. I have opted oil here. If preparing during festival, use ghee. The oil used should be refined oil, no mustard oil / olive oil.
- Water – Water is boiled with some other ingredients and then used to make the dough.
What are the steps to make these pithas ?
Here are 3 parts like Dough making, Stuffing and Assembling.
➤ Dough Making –
In a deep pan first take 1.5 cup water along with salt, fennel seeds, 2-3 tbsp jaggery and start boiling. When it comes to rolling boil, lower the heat and add sooji slowly to the pan, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps formation. Then turn off the heat and transfer the sooji mixture into a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and keep aside to cool a bit. When the sooji mixture is still warm, start kneading the mixture in a greased palm to get a smooth dough texture.
➤ Stuffing –
In a pan take grated coconut and rest amount of jaggery. Mix well and allow to cook over medium heat, stirring in between. When jaggery melts completely and the whole mixture starts thickening, turn off heat. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Keep aside to cool down.
➤ Assembling –
Heat oil in a broad pan for deep frying. Now take 2 tbsp of dough at a time and start shaping like balls with no crack on outer surfaces. Pick one ball and press using thumb in the center to make a small bowl shape. Put 1-2 tsp of coconut mixture in that and fold the edges to seal it. Roll into a ball first and then flatten it slightly into a disc (around 3 inch dia), keeping in mind that there are no cracks in the outer surface. Keep on a greased plate and make some more pitha using rest dough in the similar way.
When the oil is hot enough, gently slide 4-5 pithas one by one (depending upon the size of the pan, do not overcrowd). Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat. Then flip all the pithas and allow to cook the other side. When the pithas look golden brown color from all the sides, take out from the oil and keep on a plate lined with absorbent paper. Similarly deep fry rest pithas.
Can these pithas store for some days ?
Yes, these deep fried sweet dumplings can be kept in refrigerator by storing in an air-tight container. These will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
Serving suggestion –
As I mentioned above that any varieties of pithas are always a festive delight in Odia households, so kakera pitha also falls in that category. One can enjoy these as breakfast / snack too in other days. This is the traditional and very easy to make with some easily available pantry ingredients. The crispy outside and juicy inside texture is loved by any age group.
Event related to this post :
Well, the July month challenge in ‘Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge‘ group was ‘Diwali Sweets & Savories’. The theme was suggested by Poonam, she is a wonderful co-blogger and her space is full of many Maharashtrian recipes and recipes from around the globe. Well for the current theme, I was partnered with Poonam too (blogs at Annapurna) who gave me 2 secret ingredients as Semolina & Fennel seeds and I gave her as Saffron & Chana dal. Do check this ladoo prepared by her 😊 And as usual, using my two ingredients I had to prepare a festive dish which one can enjoy during Diwali. So here is the Sooji Kakera Pitha for theme contribution.
And, yes !!!
If you like the recipe shared here and give a try at your place then do share in INSTAGRAM by tagging #firsttimercook. I would be so happy to see and surely share in my INSTA stories 😊😊
Now let’s go through how to make “Sooji Kakera Pitha” at home 👇
: Recipe Card :
Sooji Kakera Pitha – an Odia festive delight !
a deep fried sweet dumplings using semolina (sooji) with coconut stuffing
- Semolina (sooji) 1 cup
- Coconut (grated) 3/4 cup
- Jaggery (grated) 2/3 cup
- Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- Fennel seed 1 tbsp
- Oil for deep frying + more
- Water 1.5 cup + more
- In a deep pan take 1.5 cup water, salt, fennel seeds, 2-3 tbsp jaggery and start boiling.
- When it comes to rolling boil, lower the heat.
- Add sooji slowly to the pan, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps formation.
- Turn off heat and cover the pan to cool a bit.
- Meanwhile, in another pan take grated coconut and rest amount of jaggery.
- Mix well and allow to cook over medium heat, stirring in between.
- When jaggery melts completely and the whole mixture starts thickening, turn off heat.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Keep aside to cool down.
- When the sooji mixture cools a bit and is still warm, transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Heat oil in a broad pan for deep frying.
- In a greased palm, start kneading the mixture to get a smooth dough texture.
- Now take 2 tbsp of dough at a time and start shaping like balls with no crack on outer surfaces.
- Pick one ball and press using thumb in the center to make a small bowl shape.
- Put 1-2 tsp of coconut mixture in that and fold the edges to seal it.
- Roll into a ball first and then flatten it slightly into a disc (around 3 inch dia), keeping in mind that there are no cracks in the outer surface.
- Keep on a greased plate and make some more pitha using rest dough in the similar way.
- When the oil is hot enough, gently slide 4-5 pithas one by one (depending upon the size of the pan, do not overcrowd).
- Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Then flip all the pithas and allow to cook the other side.
- When the pithas look golden brown color from all the sides, take out from the oil and keep on a plate lined with absorbent paper.
- Similarly deep fry rest pithas and serve warm / at room temperature !
Some chopped dry fruits can be added to the stuffing. Even some mashed chhena can be mixed with that.
If you want, add some black pepper powder along with cardamom powder.
Instead of jaggery, sugar plays perfect too.
Sooji, Semolina, vegan sweet, deep frying, jaggery, coconut, Cardamom, fennel seed, odia pitha, Pitha recipe, easy and quick
vegetarian, festive dish, Semolina sweet dumpling, Stuffed dumopling, Odia Kakera, Vegan
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