Dudh Puli is a classic Bengali milk based dessert that we specially prepare during winter season to celebrate Makar Sankranti. Stuffed with coconut, sweetened with the perfumy date palm jaggery this rice flour sweet dumpling is so satisfying at every bite.
What is Dudh Puli?
To break it down, dudh or doodh is milk and Puli is dumpling. Dudh Puli falls in the category of "pithe" which is a type of dessert that we prepare using rice flour, jaggery, coconut. It is very popular in the region of West Bengali, Orissa, Assam, the general Northeast Region of India.
Most of the pithe calls for rice flour, which makes it gluten free.
Ingredients for Dudh Puli
Rice Flour - You want to use good quality rice flour. You don't want something that is too fine like all purpose flour or too grainy, either.
Coconut - We make the filling using freshly grated coconut. You can use frozen too, but avoid using dry desiccated coconut.
Date Palm Jaggery - Since Date Palm Jaggery is a winter specialty, we use it a lot a. a sweetner in our desserts. Outside India, you can find this particular variety of jaggery in Indian or Bangladeshi store. Ask for "Patali Gur/Nolen Gur/Khejur Gur"
Khoya - Khoya or Mawa is solid milk, and it is not always added in the filling. I like the taste of Mawa with coconut, and so I add it all the time in the filling.
Milk - It is a milk based dessert and I like to use only whole milk. You can definitely switch it up and try different variety of milk.
You can find the exact measurement in the recipe card below.
Steps to prepare Dudh Puli
- In a heavy bottom pan, pour the water with a pinch of salt and bring it to boil.
- Add the rice flour, and don't stir. Just switch off the heat and keep it covered for 3 minutes.
3. Using the handle of the spatula, mix everything to form a crumble like texture.
4. Transfer the whole thing to a plate to knead. You need to keep a bowl of hot water next to it, as you need to keep adding hot water while kneading. Don't add too much water in one go, add little by little and keep bringing the mixture together into a soft dough.
5. After about 5 minutes of adding water and kneading, the dough will love soft and smooth.
6. Divide the dough into tiny dumplings.
7. The step of rolling the dough into a flat disc can either be done using your hand or by using a tortilla press. I personally prefer tortilla press. Watch the video to understand this step better.
8. Fill the rolled dough with the filling and fold it gently to form the shape. You want to gently press the edges to seal tight. No need to add water or anything else. You can also give some design as you seal the edges tight, or leave it plain.
The filling that I used here is the same that I used in Patishapta. You will need half a cup of the filling for this recipe.
Remember to always keep the dough covered with a damp kitchen towel as you shape, or else it will dry out easily.
9. Once the puli are shaped, boil milk in a heavy bottom pan for 15 minutes by stirring occasionally. Don't add any sugar or jaggery at this point.
10. After 15 minutes, layer the puli carefully and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally in between and be gentle as you stir as these can break easily.
11. Switch off the heat and now add the jaggery and sugar as per your liking. Cover the pan and leave aside for 5 minutes for the jaggery to melt in the hot milk.
12. Stir it around and serve the Dudh Puli!
Dudh Puli tastes best when served fresh. It tastes very satisfying and comforting while it's warm.
Storing and Reheating Dudh Puli
Often we prepare Pithe in small batches and serve it fresh. If you, however, make in big bulk, then store in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind that since it is prepared with rice flour, the dough will feel hard as it sits in the fridge. I prefer to bring it to room temperature before reheating in the microwave to soften the dudh puli.
It makes 17 Dudh Puli and the size is neither too small nor too big.
Yes, you can make it in advance. But Dudh Puli is tasted best when served fresh soon after preparing it. You can definitely make the filling a week in advance and store in the fridge.
Dudh Puli is prepared using rice flour, which makes it gluten free.
I am sure you can prepare the same using almond or oat milk, however the authentic taste comes from only using dairy whole milk.
Try these Bengali winter specialty
- 1 cup Rice flour
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 Cups Whole milk
- 1 cup Date palm jaggery (grated )
For the filling
- ¼ cup Solid milk (khoya/mawa)
- ½ cup Grated coconut
- ½ cup Date Palm Jaggery
- 1 tablespoon milk
Prepare the Filling
- In a non stick pan, add the grated khoya/mawa (solid milk) along with grated jaggery, milk and coconut.
- Keep cooking in medium low heat until it all combines. Taste for sweetness and if you prefer more sweet, add more jaggery.
- Once done, keep aside and let it cool downThe filling can be made a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Prepare the Rice Flour Dough
- In a heavy bottom pan, boil the water with the salt.
- Add the rice flour, switch off the heat, cover the pan and set a timer for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, stir the rice flour using the back of a spoon.
- Transfer the crumbly rice flour to a place or kitchen counter and take a bowl of hot water.
- The dough has to be prepared while the rice flour is still hot. For the perfect texture of the dough, you have to let it absorb enough hot water. So add water little by little with your hand and keep kneading.
- You have to be patient as you form the soft dough. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the dough to come together. Watch the video to understand this step better.
- Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp towel and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Shaping the Puli (rice flour dumplings)
- After 15 minutes, divide the dough into 16 portions.
- Shape the portions into round balls and keep it covered with a damp cloth as you shape. The dough will feel a little sticky, but avoid adding extra flour, instead wet your hand with water if needed.
- Traditionally, the tiny balls are rolled out with a hand and then a small portion of the filling is placed in the center. Fold the rolled dough in half and seal the edges by pinching gently. I use a tortilla press for all my gluten free dough recipe, and it becomes very effortless to roll the balls into tiny perfect circles.
- Shape all the dumplings and keep covered with damp cloth to avoid it from getting dry.
Preparing the Dudh Puli
- In a heavy bottom pan, pour the milk and let it simmer for 15 minutes in medium heat. Keep stirring, so it doesn't get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
- After 15 minutes, place the puli (the filled dumplings) in one layer without crowding the pan. Let it cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally, but gently as these are fragile and can break apart.
- After 10 minutes, switch off the heat. Sprinkle the jaggery all around and cover the pan for 5 minutes. This will help the jaggery to melt.
- After 5 minutes, stir everything to incorporate the jaggery evenly.
- Dudh Puli tastes best when served warm and fresh. Enjoy!