Sitabhog/ Bardhamaner Sitabhog
Wishing everyone Happy Diwali again. Can Diwali be complete without a dessert? No. So, made this iconic Sitabhog for this Diwali.
For sugar syrup
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 2" of cinnamon stick broken into pieces
- 4-5 cardamom pods
- ¼ cup of chhena
- 2 tablespoons of milk powder
- A small pinch of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour/ maida
- 1 tablespoons of butter
For cheese strings
- 1½ cup of chenna
- 4 tablespoons of basmati rice powder (See Notes)
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- oil for deep frying
Preparing the syrup
- In a pot, take the sugar, 2 cups of water, the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks.
- Now, let the sugar dissolve and the syrup come to a boil. Let the syrup boil for 5-7 minutes. We do not require any thread consistency for this syrup. When taken between the fingers, the syrup should feel like honey.
Making Sita Bhog
- Knead the chhena for about 10 to 15 mins, till you see the chhena oozing out fat and looks shiny.
- To the chhena, and add the rice flour.
- Knead again till the rice flour is well incorporated and the cheese holds its shape.
- Sprinkle the milk and knead the chhena into a ball again. The chhena ball at this point should not be dry. Dry chhena when grated will not come out as thread, but will rather break. Add milk little by little if necessary.
- Using the grater, first, try out grating through it to check if you are getting fine vermicelli size strings.
- Heat oil for frying in a kadai. Place a strainer in hot oil. (See Notes) Now, grate the cheese balls such with a grater such that the grated cheese falls inside the strainer. Reduce the flame to minimum.
- You will get fine strings of chhena that will get cooked faster. So, one should keep an eye on that to make sure oil is not very hot. You can turn off the flame for a while if the oil becomes very hot.
- Drain the sitabhog from oil.
- Transfer the fried sitabhog to the warm syrup and let it soak the syrup for about an hour.
- In another bowl, add milk powder, maida, baking soda, butter, and ¼ cup chhena.
- Mix well and knead it for some 10 to 15 mins. Ensure the dough is soft and does not crack.
- Pinch out tiny balls and shape to oval shape.
- Heat cooking oil in a kadai. When the oil is hot, simmer to low flame, drop the nikuti in batches and deep fry till they turn golden brown colour.
- Drain using a slotted spoon and also drop them in the same syrup.
- Let the nikuti soak in the syrup for about an hour. Strain the sitabhog from the syrup and serve.
- Soak 1 cup of basmati rice for an hour. Drain the water, spread it on kitchen towel and let the rice air dry. Grind the rice to a fine powder.
- The strainer in the oil prevents the sitabhog from spreading in the oil, else it becomes difficult to strain the sitabhog from oil later.