Has it ever happened, you are in the midst of cooking, when to utter dismay and indescribable frustration, you have discovered that your pantry doesn’t have one of the key ingredients or just not enough of it?
You scour the pantry in agony, feverishly pull down bottles and jars from the disciplined shelves, ransack the refrigerator, feel an irresistible desire to curse yourself, all the while praying for a miracle.
But in vain.
Lady Luck is not smiling on you.
At least not today.
Calm, you finally console yourself.
Brew yourself a Chamomile.
What are the options? You muse in silence.
Well, walk down to the local store and pick up supplies. That definitely is a possibility.
That sets the clock back though by at least half an hour if not longer.
You rule that out.
Is there anything at all you can do to salvage the situation?
You look around, waiting for that million-dollar inspiration, that magical eureka moment.
And then it hits you.
Necessity, as they say, is indeed the mother of invention.
Well, that was me in the kitchen this afternoon.
A dear friend was visiting after what must have been a decade.
What do you want to have ? I had asked her on the phone.
Doodhpuli, had been the prompt response. We don’t get Nolen gur there, she had rued.
All was on cruise control, till I realised that the cook had used up most of the coconut I had lovingly scraped for the puli stuffing and there was no coconut at home.
She had alerted me in all fairness, it just did not register in me then that the doodhpuli would be in severe jeopardy.
And it was, just moments before I was ready to throw in the towel and settle on a nolen gurer payesh, that my eyes fell on the gorgeous red carrots.
Couldn’t I stuff the puli with red carrots ? It started with a diffident question.
Why not ? Came the spontaneous response.
And the more I thought, the more I was convinced that the combination would spell magic.
The gajorer doodhpuli turned out to be a runaway winner.
My friend loved it.
My family couldn’t stop raving about it.
Even I, usually the harshest critic of my own cooking, was pleased.
Do post the recipe on your blog, my friend had requested before she left.
Gajorer Doodhpuli. Rice dumplings stuffed with a delectable mixture of red carrots, jaggery and raisins (and yes the measly amount of scraped coconut that was left behind). Added to reduced milk, languorously stewed over a low flame, perfumed with the magic of nolen gur.
Don’t be a cynic for once. Do try it before the red carrot season runs out. I can guarantee that smile of content on your face. Enjoy !!
Gajorer Doodpuli (Doodhpuli with Carrot Stuffing)
For the stuffing
- 300 g red carrots peeled and finely grated
- 1/2 cup coconut freshly grated
- 2 tbsp raisins coarsely ground
- 3 tbsp nolen gur or liquid date palm jaggery
For the dough
- 1 cup rice flour freshly made
- 1 tsp ghee
- a pinch of salt
For the Payesh
- 2 lit cow milk
- 4 tbsp nolen gur or liquid date palm jaggery
For the stuffing
- Place the grated carrots in a pressure cooker, splash a little water. Cook, just one whistle I would reckon. Allow the steam to release on its own.
- Add the coconut and raisins to the carrots, continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so, till the water has dried off completely.
- Stir in the nolen gur, give it a hearty stir. Feel free to add some more nolen gur if you want it sweeter. Cook for another 5 odd minutes.
- Allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature.
For the dough
- Take a pan, add 1.25 cups of water, add the ghee and salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame, add the rice powder to the boiling water, stirring continuously with a spatula. If it gets too dry, feel free to splash a little water and mix.
- Switch off the flame, give it a standing time of 10 odd minutes.
- Take the rice mixture on a greased plate, while it is still warm and it’s just comfortable enough to handle, knead it well to form a smooth dough.
- Cover with a wet cloth, keep aside.
- Now take a dough ball on your palm, press it gently in the middle using your thumb forming a small oval cup. Place a small portion of the carrot mixture in the middle of the cup.
- Very gently bring the edges of the dough cup together to cover the stuffing and give it a oblong shape. As in the picture. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
Assembling the Gajorer Doodhpuli
- Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, let it simmer over a low flame till it reduces to little more than one third in volume. Stir frequently.
- Gently add the dumplings one by one into the milk. Cook over a low flame for about 10-12 mins. Stir the milk very carefully a couple of times in between.
- Switch off the flame and add the nolen gur. Feel free to add some more nolen gur if you want it sweeter. Give it a gentle stir.
- Allow to come to room temperature. Serve either at room temperature or cold.