Pitha, also known as ‘pithe’ is a type of cake or bread that is a regional dish of Northeastern India and Bangladesh. This cake is generally made with rice flour batter; however, some people even make it with wheat flour or flour of any locally available root. There are different regional variations to pitha.
Origin of Pitha Recipe
Pitha is native to Bangladesh and Northeastern states of India such as West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Assam, etc. This dish, both sweet and savory varieties, is generally prepared during some festive occasions; however, because of the locally and easily available ingredients, it is prepared at other times as well.
Various Pitha Recipes
Pitha is prepared in different ways, but with rice flour as a base and in some cases, wheat flour. Some people prepare by melting the jaggery in hot water and adding the rice flour to the jaggery syrup and stirring the contents continuously. Once the required consistency is achieved, the contents are cooled and rolled out. Another pitha recipe is where the rice flour dough is shaped like a container (known as khul) and the khul filled with the required sweet or savory ingredients. The pithas are then sealed and steamed.
Types of Pitha
Pitha has different variations depending on the local preference and availability of ingredients. Some popular pitha recipes are –
- Assam – Til Pitha (made with sesame seeds) and Ghila Pitha (made with bora saul and jiggery) are popular in this state.
- West Bengal & Bangladesh – Chitui/Chitoi Pitha, Teler Pitha (oil pitha), Puli Pitha (dumplings), Dudh Puli, etc.
- Orissa – Arisa Pitha (fried variety), Manda Pitha (steamed variety), Enduri Pitha (made from rice flour and black gram), etc.
Pitha has another connotation other than being the name of an Indian dish. The base or pedestal of an Indian deity’s idol and the religious seat or throne of an abbot is also known as ‘Pitha’.