pitha,pithe, sooji pitha, kakara pitha, how to make sooji kakara, odisha pitha,what is pitha, coconut sooji, coconut jaggery, guda pura dia pitha

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These very popular Sooji Kakara Pitha from Odisha, are mildly sweet and made without the traditional coconut jaggery filling, making them a light and wholesome breakfast option or a snack to be enjoyed without much guilt. These Sooji Kakaras are filled with aromatic yet simple flavors like fennel seeds and cardamom powder and mildly sweetened with brown sugar.

learn how to make semolina/sooji/suji kakara pitha from Odisha

What is Sooji?

Sooji/Suji is also known as semolina is a staple in the Indian and middle eastern cooking. Made from coarsely ground whole wheat, semolina is used in varieties of sweet and savory dishes.

Since, sooji is made using durum wheat, it is not highly refined or processed, which makes it healthy. It is rich in healthy carbs, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B and other vital nutrients. Semolina is a great source of protein and fiber, and therefore it helps in reducing elevated blood sugar level and eventually reduces the risk of diabetes.

This Sooji Kakara Pitha recipe or as you will call it, Semolina Fritters is a delicious snack from the Eastern part of India – Odisha, such a rich and vibrant state with thousands and thousands of traditional recipes and culture.

Pitha is an emotion for Odias

Has it ever occurred to you that, things that you never really cared for as a child, becomes somethings you yearn for when you are all grown up? Things that we always take for granted, suddenly go up in value when we don’t find them that easy. My experience with food is something like that. When I was home growing up in luxuries of attentive parents, relatives and cooks…, I never appreciated the traditional fare which was always cooked with the farm fresh ingredients. Only after I became a parent myself with an ample shortage of time after tending to my own family and office work nonstop, I so badly crave for all that attention that I was once upon a time took for granted.

I have my memories of my mom rolling out these sooji kakaras , deep frying them and serving them hot with some freshly made ghuguni or aloo tarkari. Or she would go into great lengths in making other festive pithas like Rasaballi or Manda Pitha or even the Khira Gaintha. Just because I never liked the cocobut-jaggery stuffing, she would make these kakaras for me without the filling or “pura”. So yum!!!

Odisha is such a unique state when it comes to food. So many types of pithas come from there. Starting from Manda Pitha to Kheer Puli to simple porridge like sweets called Tarana…, you name it. Simply made with simple ingredients yet oh-so-tasty.

So What are Pitha?

Though most pitha use rice flour as the base ingredient, sometimes, rice flour is replaced with semolina or whole wheat flour. Pithas are the soul of Odia Cuisine. People in Odisha don’t wait for festivals or special occasions to enjoy the varieties of pithas. Most households enjoy chakuli pitha (dosa) for breakfast. Pitha can be both sweet and savory. Again, pitha can be both made with or without fillings. To get to another level, the pitha can be in the form of dosa/pancake style to dumplings, deep fried, boiled, baked, steamed or pan fried.

though most pitha use rice flour as the base ingredient, sometimes, rice flour is replaced with semolina or whole wheat flour.

Ingredients used in Sooji Kakara Pitha?

The ingredients used in this Sooji Kakara Pitha are simple and minimal.

  • Sooji or Semolina. You can either use the coarse variety or the fine variety. I buy mine from Indian stores but Bob’s red Mill has semolina flours too.
  • Couple spoons of flour (As per my mom, adding a bit of flour to sooji gives you that smooth texture)
  • Cardamom. An important ingredient. It imparts that warm smell and flavor to it
  • Fennel seeds. Again, another important ingredient. This gives you that authentic taste and flavor. A little goes a long way.
  • Jaggery or Brown sugar. I used brown sugar
  • Oil to deep fry. Use some light oil like vegetable oil.

How to Make Sooji Kakara Pitha?

  • Sooji Kakara Pitha is made with semolina/sooji.
  • The dough is cooked and sweetened with either jaggery or raw sugar.
  • Once the dough is cooked, its kneaded for few minutes to get the right texture and then rolled out into small pooris and deep fried till golden brown.
learn how to make semolina/sooji/suji kakara pitha from Odisha

Pro Tips

  • The oil needs to be hot and to check if the oil is hot enough, drop a little ball of dough into it. 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.
  • 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.

Other Sooji/Suji Recipes

Semolina Cake

Chhena Malpua

pitha,pithe, sooji pitha, kakara pitha, how to make sooji kakara, odisha pitha,what is pitha, coconut sooji, coconut jaggery, guda pura dia pitha

Sooji Kakara Pitha

MyYellowApron
These very popular Sooji Kakara Pitha are mildly sweet and made without the traditional coconut jaggery filling, making them a light and wholesome breakfast option or a snack to be enjoyed without much guilt. These Sooji Kakaras are filled with aromatic yet simple flavors like fennel seeds and cardamom powder and mildly sweetened with brown sugar
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Sooji/Semolina
  • 2 tbsp All purpose flour/Maida
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 2 cups Water
  • Oil to deep fry

Instructions
 

  • In a nonstick pan heat 2 cups water. Add salt, fennel seeds, cardamom powder 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 with greased hands for 5 mins to get a soft dough.
  • 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 roll out to make 4" diameter disc.
  • Roll all the Pithas in the same way, keep covered.
  • In a kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, heat oil.
  • Drop the pithas. 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.

Notes

  • Sooji or Semolina. You can either use the coarse variety or the fine variety
  • Couple spoons of flour (As per my mom, adding a bit of flour to sooji gives you that smooth texture)
  • Cardamom. An important ingredient. It imparts that warm smell and flavor to it
  • Fennel seeds. Again, another important ingredient. This gives you that authentic taste and flavor. A little goes a long way.
  • Jaggery or Brown sugar. I used brown sugar
  • Oil to deep fry. Use some light oil like vegetable oil.
Keyword odisha pitha, pitha, semolina fritters, sooji pitha, semolina pitha, kakara pitha, pithe
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