Sooji Kakara Pitha Recipe | Odisha's Kakara Pitha
Traditional Sweet Recipe from Odia Cuisine, Sooji Kakara Pitha is deep fried Semolina/Sooji dumpling stuffed with sweet coconut filling.
Crispy from outside, sweet from inside, Kakara Pitha is considered as a festive food which is also prepared as a Temple food, an offering (Prasad) to the Lord Jagannathan of Puri Temple in Orissa. It is made with Sooji/Semolina or Whole Wheat Flour. Here I am sharing the Sooji Pitha recipe.
I have never been to Orissa but my parents went there a few years back. They have fond memories of that place and loved the Puri Beach and the local food there.
Oriya/Odia Cuisine is very new to me, I have heard a lot about the cuisine but never got a chance to try it. This is my dish from the cuisine and my whole family loved it. They have asked to prepare it again for some special occasion.
Sooji Kakara Pitha very easy to make dessert that requires only a few ingredients to make.
What are Pitha
Pithas are the indispensable part of Odia Cuisine. Pithas are primarily considered as festive and are made on every special and auspicious occasion. There are both sweet and savory Pithas. And further the variation ranges from pancake style to dumplings, deep fried, boiled, baked steamed or pan gridled. These are served as snacks or made on special occasions as mentioned earlier.
Pithas are also popular in other state like Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand. Rice flour is used as the main ingredient in many variations but sooji and whole wheat flour/atta is also used .
I tried this Sooji Kakara Pitha for the first time as part of the challenge of my Facebook foodies group Shh Cooking Secretly. The theme was suggested by Sasmita (who blogs at First Timer Cook), who asked all the fellow participants to try out different Pitha from Odia Cuisine. She made Chandrakanti Pitha for the theme.
My partner for the month Jayashree gave me two ingredients fennel seeds and black pepper which I used in my recipe.
I gave her Condensed Milk and Saffron, which she used to make Khira Gaintha Also, do checkout Jayashree's blog Evergreen Dishes for lots of delicious and easy vegetarian recipes.
I followed the recipes from Sasmita's blog here and Nisha Madhulika's recipe and adjusted the ingredients as per my preference and availabity.
How to make Sooji Kakara Pitha
Sooji Kakara Pitha is made with outer semolina/sooji covering and is filled with sweet coconut filling.
Fresh coconut with jaggery and nuts and raisins (optional) is used for filling.
The dumplings are then deep fried till golden brown.
Checkout the detailed ingredient list along with stepwise method in the recipe card
How long can we store Sooji Kakara Pitha
Pitha can be stored in refrigerator for 2-3 days. Before serving, warm in oven(preheating mode) or on griddle.
Refrigerate in an air tight container.
Checkout a few other recipes with Sooji/Semolina from the blog--
Sooji Kakara Pitha
For Outer Covering
- ½ Cup Sooji/Semolina
- 1 tsp Desi Ghee/Oil
- 2 tbsp Raw Sugar/Jaggery Powder
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Water
For Coconut Filling
- ½ Cup Grated Fresh Coconut
- ¼ Cup Jaggery Powder
- ¼ tsp Cardamom Powder
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Finely Chopped Almonds and Cashew nuts
- 1-2 tbsp Raisins
- Oil for Frying
Make Dough for Outer Covering
- In a pan/small kadhai heat 1 cup water. Add salt and desi ghee and sugar.
- Once the water starts boiling, add sooji/semolina little by little. Keep on stirring so that no lumps are formed.
- Once the mixture is thick switch off the gas and take out the mixture in a separate bowl and keep it to cool.
- Once the mixture is workable, not completely cool, knead the mixture for 5 mins to get a soft dough.
- Once done cover and keep aside.
Make Coconut Filling
- In another non-stick pan, add fresh grated coconut coconut with cardamom powder.
- Sauté it a little till it starts giving the roasted aroma.
- Add jaggery powder/sugar, cardamom powder, and sauté till jaggery powder completely melts.
- Now add chopped nuts and raisins. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Keep on stirring the coconut and nuts mixture.
- Once done, transfer in a bowl and keep it to cool.
- Now take the smooth sooji dough and divide it in equal portions. Keep a small ½" ball to check if the oil is ready for frying.
- Now take one ball and flatten on the palm to make 3" diameter disc.
- Keep about 1 tsp of filling on the disc, and fold the edges to seal the disc.
- Lightly press the ball and flatten it to make a disc. Ensure there are no cracks or opening, else the filling with come out.
- Or, you can divide the filling in small portions (about 1" diameter balls) or as required, and use for stuffing.
- Make all the Pithas in the same way, keep covered.
- In a kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, heat oil.
- Drop the small ball that we made in step 1 of making pitha. It should sizzle and rise up.
- If the ball rises immediately lower the flame and cool oil a bit. If the ball doesn't sizzle and rises very slowly, heat oil a bit more.
- Now drop 2-3 pithas in hot oil and fry till golden brown from both the sides. Lightly flip the pithas.
- While frying keep the flame to medium. If you feel the oil is not hot enough then only increase the flame.
- Fry all the pithas in similar way till golden brown from both sides.
- Take out in plate lined with kitchen towel. It absorbs extra oil.
- Once the pithas cool down, serve warm.
Do try this traditional Kakara Pitha recipe from the Odisha. Make it on festivals, auspicious occasions for Prasad or for snacks when family and friends visit.
Share your feedback whenever you make this. I am sure you and your family will love it as much my family loved it.
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