In dedication to my dearest Papa, I share with you one of his favourites of all sweets. By now many of you will know, whenever I talk about food I find comfort, and I like to share my memories.
Lately I have been trying to replicate some of the traditional and homely dishes my mum used to make. One of them was “Dhud Pitti”, I am not sure whether I have spelt I spelt it correctly, but I have written it the way I say it. So if anyone out there knows the correct spelling please share. These “Dhud Pitti” resemble rice but are made with flour. They are tiny pasta that looks like rice similar to Orzo pasta. Made with a flour dough and shaped into tiny rice grain. My grandmother used to make them, and she would sit down on a small bench with a large tray in front of her, and one by one patiently shape the dough into small tiny rice shaped pasta. These would then be left to dry until they turn hard. Once dried they would be stored and like dried pasta, would keep well in an airtight container.
It is true as they say getting older makes people wiser, I hope so in my case. Since I now appreciate simple staple food more, that also takes me to memory lane. So today I wish to share this delicious but simple pasta-like dish. It looks like rice cooked in sweet coconut milk and flavoured with desiccated coconut and pistachios nuts. My dad really liked this dish, a homemade simple dish and the more reason why he liked this one is obvious…. my dad sweet tooth and affinity to sweet dishes like these ones.
I will refer to the “dried dhud pitti” as pasta throughout the recipe.
Ingredients Serves 4
- 250 gms dried rice pasta (Dhud pitti)
- 1 litre whole milk (you can even use a mixture of condensed milk and milk)
- ½ can coconut milk (or you can use a whole can)
- 2 Tbs desiccated coconut
- ½ tsp ground green cardamom
- ½ vanilla pod – cut and scrape the seed
- ½ cup sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
- Handful of chopped mixed nuts (I used almond, pistachio, walnuts, hazelnuts)
- Handful of chopped pistachios for garnishing
- In a deep saucepan put water, bring to the boil. Add the rice pasta in the boiling water. Cook until tender and al-dente. Remove and drain, set aside.
- Pour the milk, coconut milk into a heavy-based pan and heat gently.
- Add the ground cardamom, vanilla seeds and the half cooked rice pasta to the milk.
- Slowly bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer rapidly, stirring from time to time to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If using condensed milk, add it to the mixture.
- Simmer stirring occasionally, until the milk is reduced by about half; this may take some time but be patient. This cooking process is slow by worthwhile.
- When the milk has reduced by half, taste to check for sweetness and add sugar if needed. Add the coconut, mixed nuts and stir well.
- Transfer into serving bowl. Serve with sprinkles of chopped pistachio.
Brinda’s Note: As this is flour based, it tends to absorb a lot of liquid; you may find it dries out when it is cold. To serve add a little more milk while you warm it.