Meetha Peetha – Savory Rice Dumplings

This is yet another dessert that I was introduced to by my MIL. It’s a traditional dessert made in Bihar – Meetha Peetha (sweet variation of usual healthy peetha or farra which has a chana dal (bengal gram split) and spices filled in it).

It’s a humble traditional recipe of delectable rice flour dumplings in milk. Soft rice-flour balls dissolve in mouth the moment you put it. Then you are greeted by heavenly mawa-filling – this bursting of balls in mouth is the high point of this dessert. 🙂

mawa-stuffed-peetha

After my marriage, when this dessert was made for the first time at home, everyone waited for my reaction. As it was the first time when I tasted this dessert, my response was like, “nothing unusual, it tastes like kheer!”

However, this didn’t went down well with my FIL.  He said, “how can you compare it with kheer, it’s different, didn’t you noticed mawa-filling in it?”

Later, I too felt he was so right! Comparing this dessert with kheer is injustice to this not-so-common Indian dessert, although it’s made with milk.

I am sure there many women who too come across such embarrassing situations during initial days of their marriage. After all, when MIL prepares a dish which is loved by everyone in the family, then as a good daughter-in-law, it’s better to develop the taste for it or at least not to wear critic’s hat. 🙂

So, after having this dessert for few more times, I developed a taste for it and now I really relish its unique taste.

How to make Meetha Peetha?

Although it’s quite simple-to-make dessert with minimum ingredients required, little amount of patience will always bring out the best result.

Since I myself have become so fond of this sweet temptation, I make it quite often. However, unlike most of the mawa desserts that I make (like – gulab jamuns, chandrakala, suji and gond ki barfi and parwal ki mithai etc.), I don’t use residual mawa (left after making ghee at home) in this dessert.

Ingredients

  • Rice flour: ½ cup
  • Milk: 1 liter (full fat)
  • Sugar: 3 tbs

Ingredients for Filling

  • Mawa: ¼ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Saffron: few strands

Procedure

Step – 1 (preparation of inner filling)

Roast mawa in heavy bottom skillet on medium flame for 5 minutes. Take it off the flame, and add sugar, almond flakes and cardamom powder. Mix well and make small balls and keep aside. Making balls in advance makes the filling process smooth.

mawa-balls-filling

Step – 2 (kneading dough)

Knead the rice flour with warm water just like you do to make chapattis. Dough will be sticky at this stage. So, apply ghee on palms and then do the kneading work. It will result into soft dough. Cover and let the dough rest for 2 minute, divide the dough into small rounds.

Dough can also be made from soaked rice, the process of which I have shared in farra making process. Technique is same in both.

Step – 3 (process of filling mawa)

Make small dough balls and make small flat round with the help of fingers (image 1). Place one mawa-ball in the center and join the edges. (images 2 and 3). Press the edges gently yet firmly to seal it (image 4) so that dumplings do not burst while boiling in milk.

peetha-filling-process

Fill all dumplings following the same procedure.

Step – 4 (Boiling in milk)

Put milk to steamer on heavy bottom vessel. Once milk starts boiling, drop dumplings one by one into it. Stir gently and be careful not to break dumplings.

Allow the milk to thicken for 15-20 minutes and then add sugar.  Stir well to mix the sugar and keep on flame for another 5 minutes.

mawa-stuffes-peetha

Take it off the flame and allow it to cool. Sprinkle few saffron strands and it’s done. Here I must mention that it tastes best when on room temperature.

mawa-filled-peetha

Tip – Enjoy this dessert when it’s fresh, as refrigeration makes rice dumplings hard. If at all, you happen to store in fridge, bring it to room temperature before serving to relish soft dumplings dipped in thick milk.

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