Pittha is similar to the South Indian kozhakattai/modak and to the Tibetan momos. It has an outer cover made of rice flour/maida/wheat flour and an inner stuffing made of ground dal and spices. This is cooked in boiling water to make a soft on the outside and bursting with flavour inside snack.
What you need:
For the outer cover - Atta kneaded as you would for rotis (Maida/ rice flour is more commonly used. However, I chose to use atta)
For the filling:
Chana dal - 1 cup, soaked for 3 hours in plenty of water
Onion - 1 large
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - a small piece
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Amchur powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Drain water from the chana dal. Add green chillies, garlic, ginger, onion and turmeric powder to it. Grind to a coarse paste without adding any water. To this, add the garam masala, amchur and salt. Mix well.
Pinch out a small ball of atta. Roll it into a circle. Place some filling inside the cirlce.
Fold one side over the other to make a semi circle. Press down with a fork on the edges to make a beautiful pattern.
Bring 7-8 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large kadai. I used my pressure cooker. Drop 3 or four of the stuffed pitthas into the boiling water. It will sink down when dropped in, but will soon rise to the top. Once it rises to the top, reduce the flame to medium and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. You will know it is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let it cool. Cut each pittha into two pieces. Heat some oil in a pan. Add some mustard seeds to it When the seeds pop, pour this season over the prepared pitthas. Mix well. Serve with green chutney and tamarind chutney.
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