Patishapta – Crêpes with Sweet Coconut Cardamom Filling



Patishapta - Crepes

Featured in New Asian Cuisine!



Crêpes are something which I have always related to spring and butterfly wings. The pale and delicate lacy wings gently wraps around the sticky, sweet cardamom flavored coconut. So many memories are intertwined with food.

It is probably the onset of spring that took me back home and this recipe. It could also be the approach of the Holi – the special festival of colors that inspired these cravings. These are one of those times when I painfully miss my ma. The very thought that I cannot ever talk to her, makes my heart crumble to bits and pieces. On an ordinary day, a small memory sparks, a craving to be with her and the food begins.

Patishapta Crepes

This east Indian Crêpe is special – reminds me of the Bengali New Year or Poila Boishak, which usually is celebrated during the month of April. Not that these Crêpes are made only during the New Year, for the patishapta, as we usually call it, had been a year round dish and mostly during any festivities. The winter and the early spring times are usually the times that these used to be cooked up at home along with many other sweets. Traditionally the patishapta is not exactly served as a dessert; it is more like an anytime snack kind of recipe.

I have never made this recipe by myself before. The entire childhood was spent watching my ma and dida make it, however I realize now that I never saw either one of them, mix up the ingredients. They were all ready when I seated myself beside them. While the entire procedure of cooking is vivid in my memory like a picture, every step, every move, I have no idea to what proportions the ingredients went in there. So I picked up the phone and called my aunt and I got an idea.  As my desperation peaked, I set about starting my experiment.

Patishapta Crepes

I stirred up the all purpose flour, the semolina and the rice flour too, even though my aunt had mentioned that it was either the semolina or the rice flour. I did not want to take the risk of a sloppy mass of flour sticking to the pan, so I did all of them. Out came my cast iron pan. In went the batter with careful swirls. Everything looked wonderful until I tried to flip it over. The cast iron failed me the first time ever. I tried two more, wondering if it was the pan, the temperature of the pan or the experimental batter that created this mess. After three miserable failures, I took out my only non stick pan, repeated and it worked.

I still wonder why the iron pan did not work, for ma never used a non stick pan to make the patishapta. Making these are a bit tricky, as the batter is eggless and the all purpose flour tends to stick. The art however can be perfected with little patience and practice. As you would have realized now, there in not exactly a fixed recipe. Different homes use different ingredients in the batter, and in proportions that work best for them.

Patishapta - Crepes

A few traditional variations of Patishapta:

As I have mentioned before, there are no exact regulations about the combination of ingredients and the ratio. Every home has adapted this to the convenience.

The filling can be made with  coconut as I did here. Sometimes coconut is combined with khoya/thickened milk, or only khoya or thickened milk is used. The patishapta may be drizzled with condensed milk or thickened milk. We do not like khoya, so I never use it.

The coconut filling is sometimes sweetened with gur/jaggery (unrefined cane sugar). The jaggery imparts a very nice flavor and a lovely burnt brown color. The jaggery may be substituted with brown sugar.

Patishapta - Crepes




Patishapta – Crêpes with Sweet Coconut Cardamom Filling


Ingredients: (makes 6-8 Crêpes)

  1. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  2. 3 tablespoon  semolina/sooji (cream of wheat)
  3. 5-6  tablespoon rice flour
  4. 1.5 tablespoon sugar
  5. 1.5 cup milk (+ more if the batter is too dense)
  6. ghee/melted butter – as much required to make the crepes

Note on rice flour: I usually soak rice for a few hours and grind it into a paste.

For Filling:

  1. 3 small green cardamom, the black seeds crushed
  2. 2.5 cups grated coconut (freshly grated or frozen)
  3. 2 tablespoons raisins or any dry fruits (optional)
  4. 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  5. 1/3 cup sugar / brown sugar (or to taste)
  6. lightly toasted almonds, flakes or slivers, for garnish



Preparation:

Making the Filling:

Combine milk and sugar and simmer it for a few minutes till the sugar dissolves. Add the coconut, dry fruits (if you are using) and crushed cardamom seeds to the  milk  and cook at low to medium heat till the entire mix starts to thicken, almost like a lump. Do not over dry the filling. This should take no more than 8-10 minutes.  It will further dry as it cools, so the consistency and the texture should be moist mass. Take care not to burn the coconut. Take it out of the pan immediately and let it cool.

(If you are using a combination of coconut and khoya or thickened milk,  follow the same procedure as above – add the coconut and the khoya together to the pan. Cook till it is a thick mass)

Or if you using only khoya (use the chikna khoya – the one which is soft and smooth with high moisture content), cook the khoya with sugar and cardamom and milk till it is a pasty mass)

Making the Crêpes

Combine and whisk together all ingredients for the crepes, other than the ghee.It should be lump free, smooth free flowing mix – the consistency should be like the crêpe batter: not too runny but thin enough to move around when swirled in the pan

Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. Heat an 8-inch non-stick skillet and lightly coat/grease it with ghee. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the crêpe batter, swirling the pan in a circular motion so that the batter spreads out in a circular shape. Cook the crêpe over low heat until the bottom is pale golden, and the sides are slightly crisp and start to curl, about a couple of minutes.  Carefully slide a spatula under the crêpe and  gently flip it over and cook for 1/2 a minute longer. (do not panic if the first couple do not look as good; as the pan heats and settles, the ones after are going to be alright).

Add about 1.5 tablespoon of filling on the middle of the crêpe and fold towards the middle from each side to cover the filling and so that one side overlaps the other. Set aside. Make rest of the crêpe with remaining batter and filling. Make sure to continue to grease the pan between crêpes. (I use  paper towel  greased with melted ghee and quickly “wipe” the pan with it).

Serve warm or cold. Sprinkle some nuts if you want or have it with a drizzle of cream or condensed milk.



Patishapta - Crepes

Enjoy them for breakfast/brunch,  a sweet indulgent snack as its traditionally done or for dessert.

Patishapta - Crepes




Related Posts:

Crêpes with Strawberry and Orange Compote

Sandesh – traditional Cheese Fudge

Gujia: Pastry filled with Coconut, Nuts and Dried Fruits

Around the Food World:
Sharmila’s Patishapta


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57 comments to Patishapta – Crêpes with Sweet Coconut Cardamom Filling

  • Yum Soma – this looks like a way better dosa! Delicious and gorgeous photos!

  • I have to be honest, I dont really care for coconut that much but I am still drooling over these crepes! They look perfectly thin and delicate, and I love anything flavored with cardamom.

  • Soma. Soma. I want tht purple plates. Thats my fav color!! And this is such a beautiful recipe

  • Awesome Crepes and I simply love the coconut filling. It must be sumptuous, cant wait to try your version.

  • Really nice Soma. Have never made this version. Looks so delicious and I am mighty hungry, so send some over. These are so tempting. Your post, photography as beautiful as ever!! Shulie

  • just looking at the platter makes me feel so good,..;-)
    thanks for sharin this,.

  • We make the same thing in Kerala also :-) This name is completely new to me though .The purple plate is so pretty :-)

  • hugs to you, Soma. I know how you must feel. Especially today as it is my mother’s birthday. I hope you are able to find solace and peace in all the good memories you created together. I can tell you that that’s what keeps me going.

  • That filling is so original and divine! A great idea.

    That purple plate is soooooooo pretty!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Such a lovely post. I’m on a cardamom kick right now, so these look absolutely perfect to me.

  • I was trying to figure out the etymology since the name ‘patishapta’ is a beautiful sounding word! No clue however. We make these too but with only rice flour. I am not sure about why the cast iron failed you but since I have had similar experiences some times I am sharing them here. My crepes taste best made in a cast iron pan which happens usually, but if the pan is too hot the crepes fail to spread. Happens after every few crepes and then I lower the heat. I have also seen that my cast iron pan is very ‘density’ sensitive. It does not respond well if the density of the batter is too thin or too thick. Just my thoughts. Probably somewhere you could find your reason in them! In comparison non stick pans are very forgiving though I feel taste suffers.

    I like the styling in the last picture, Soma. The stack looks beautiful and the fork calls to be picked up!

    Harini, for taking your time here:-)

    I was very disappointed with the cast iron pan this time, esp. becoz i make my regular crepes (the french kind) and the dosa too on it, and it works just fine. i tried everything…. i know how the crepes are usually sensitive to heat in the pan.. the first few always gets messy. but this time something really went wrong. will have to give it more time next time to figure what happened. The texture this time did not matter much, as these are supposed to be very soft. the cast iron works really good when the texture is like dosa, soft yet crispy. These are not supposed to be crisp in any way,

    patishapta does sound good! I feel like saying it over and over again. I was almost not adding that last pic. Glad I did and glad u like it.

  • Tracy

    Oh, my, these look lovely. What a nice way to honor your mother.

  • Oh..so thats what you tweeted about a few days ago! Looks so delicate and beautiful, especially the last click. As Harini said it, my cast iron too behaves the same way, when I make Dosa’s on it. But then regulating the heat and sprinkling water does wonder.
    Lovely post, Soma.

  • what an unusual recipe uve got there….and those plates are to die for! loving the color purple :)

  • I remember eating them at one of my friend’s place but never personally tried making it myself. They sure taste DIVINE and if you say that they are good then I can follow you blindly :-)
    LOVE all the photos btw!

  • very pretty and what a lovely way of describing crepes, as butterfly wings. how whimsical. wonderful flavors and very nice photos.

  • love the lavender plate!

  • Truly delicate crêpes and so beautifully presented. I really like the flavours of the filling too.

  • Delicious treat Soma. The name is beautiful and gives a certain warm feeling inside.

  • I love your plates. Crepes look pretty and delicious.

  • Lovely post, Crepes looks divine..love the coconut filling..

  • Your crepes look lovely. Glad to read about your experience with the pans and your reader’s comment on that subject too. Useful for when we do our trial and error. :)

  • O, that sounds really delicious…the delicate lacy crepes, the fiery cardamom… And it looks beautiful, as always…

  • anh

    Soma I bought an cast iron pan from an Indian shop last week. the shop ownder told me to make crepes, and all kind of roti with it. haven’t even “seasoned” the pan yet :)

    I like the idea of coconut filling in crepes! Perhaps I would borrow the fillings first and have it with normal crepe recipe? Whichever, it is such an appealing dish!

  • white with a lavender / mauve background, makes it more appealing, brilliant shots
    and off course the patishapta , it looks so sweet:)
    loved the last shot, good styling
    may I know which camera you r shooting with:)

  • These crêpes are quite different from the ones I grew up on, I’m very interested to try these and experience something new. It’s wonderful that you were able to recreate these just from your conversation with your aunt and your memories of the way your mother made it.

  • For me there is not really any season that is particularly best for crepes. I can have them any season and yours look absolutely beautiful!

  • I LOVE cardamom, these look so delicious!!

  • Ivy

    Soma, usually I have the same problem for at least the first crepe even if using a non stick frying pan. May be it’s a matter of temperature. After the first one the remaining come out perfect.

    I am going to attempt eggless crepes for lent but have to substitute butter and milk as well.

    Regarding the butter less, dairy less crepes, use regular oil or margarine instead of the butter and use almond milk instead of milk. if you have access to it that is. I love the nutty flavor that the almond milk imparts. Hope this helps.

  • Ashwini

    We use the same filling with neer dosa, albeit without the milk..will try these crepes soon :)

  • Cham

    Quiet a different version crepe, I love anything with coconut- delicious one :)

  • Looks so yummy !!! I have got an award for you. Please come by and collect it. :-)

  • Wow awesome crepes with beautiful pictures soma.. I love the purple plate u have used… very beautiful …wish i can grab one from the screen…

  • Soma–beautiful and delicious-sounding crepes. I can certainly understand your frustrations with the pan; I’ve often found with crepes and pancakes that every so often something just doesn’t work. Glad you moved onto the nonstick!

  • mohana

    very nostalgic ones

  • Moumita Biswas

    DELICIOUS

  • These look beautiful….so delicate and sweet filled

  • Lakshmi

    We love crepes at home! This is a wonderful idea for dessert. Will try this sometime.

  • Oh this is simply divine Soma! I love crepes and the flavor of cardamom. What a delightful way to start off the day these would be.

  • Ana

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. Must try it. :) …May I ask you where did you find such a lovely plates?

    Greetings,
    Ana

  • Gosh they are mystical, pur crepe in purple plates simple gorgeous!

  • soma

    Thank you for all your comments. There seem to quite a liking for the purple plate which I myself love quite a lot! Glad that you share my love!

    Ana: I found this plate, and another tiny one matching this (in the second last pic) in a Thrift Store (Second hand store).

  • Soma, your desserts are awesome! I can’t wait to try this one either.

  • Looks amazing! We make a similar filling, fill in the dough and deep fry them. Makes me want to eat one right now! thanks for posting it.

  • We don’t make crepes in the south, at least not like these. Would love them with the coconut jaggery filling though. Agree about Harini’s comment about the name. Sounds lovely.

  • Hi soma, first time in your blog, beautiful blog, lovely crepes, I got attracted by the name, nice to say it!, I was reading about your cast Iron pan and the comments below, I love my cast Iron pan, I keep the flame in medium and then I cut a small piece of a whole onion with the skin into half and prick a fork to it, and every time I make dosa, I use 1/2 tsp of oil on the tawa and wipe it with this onion, this way I am able to make at least 10 dosas without problem later on I will a bit of water cool it down and start again with the same process. sorry for this long comment

    Thank you Jayasri, and more so for taking your time and write! Really appreciate. The trouble I had with my cast iron, was only this time :-( with these crepes. I do my dosa in the cast iron pan on a regular basis and it works just fine. I use a paper towel to coat the pan and only the first couple of times. After that I actually do not even need to coat my pan, it is so well seasoned. Something really went wrong with these.. probably the texture of the batter.

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  • [...] I saw Soma’s post on patishapta, a pancake from Bengal. When I read Soma’s post, I discussed it with my friend, Sandeepa. [...]

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  • Kay

    Hi there!!

    Guess what… I have been secretly following your blog since many days, and not only reading but actually making your recipes. :) I have lost count as to how many I have made so far. But I remember making Salmon Jalapeno, Gajar ka halwa, Patishapta, Chilli Soy beans, Sheesh Kabbab. I have a fish recipe (Fish with coconut curry) kept aside for this weekend. Your recipes are easy to follow, and the ultimate result is always great! The photos are good. Thank you for providing such mouth-watering food in my kitchen. Great work, Soma.

    Thank you so so much!

  • Walde

    Soma, recipe & photos are beautiful as ever. The filling has me wondring if coconut & cardamom would make a good ice cream flavor. Do you have any experience with an ice cream like that? If so, would love to see your recipe.

    I do not have any ice cream with coconut and cardamom, but have an ice cream which I had posted with coconut milk (No dairy) and cherries. (http://www.ecurry.com/blog/desserts/vegan-ice-cream-coconut-cherry-almond/) We loved it. You could use coconut milk, grated coconut and cardamom if you want or even dairy and grated coconut with cardamom.. Now you have given me an idea! may be in summer Thank you!

  • Hi Soma,I have mentioned this recipe of yours in my latest post of Pati Shapta which I have done for ICC.You are always an inspiration.Hugs,

  • Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been
    blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    site is wonderful, let alone the content!

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