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Varieties of Pitha (Pithe in Bengali)

coconut veg poppy seed dal rice flour

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#1 Kanchan Shaw

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

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Pitha or Pithe in Bengali is a specialty dish prepared mostly in eastern India on occasion of festivals (e.g. sankranti). It’s basically a container filled with varieties of stuffings. The container is made with rice flour batter and the stuffings can be dal, poppy seeds, coconut and various other ingredients. You can prepare this for whole meal (lunch/dinner) or snacks or even dessert (sweeter version). Again Pitha can be prepared by frying or baking or steamed. Pitha Recipes have a common structure varying slightly in stuffings and preparation method and thus you can have (creative) multiple combinations. One thing for sure, the preparation take quite sometime and hence needs prior planning. I will cover posto (poppy seed) pitha, dal pitha and milk pitha (dessert) here. Let me start with milk pitha.

Ingredients
  • 400 gm crushed nariyal (coconut)
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 8-10 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 200gm govind bhog rice powder
Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Serves: 6

How to make Dhudh (Milk) Pitha (suitable for dessert)

1. Take 400 gm crushed nariyal (coconut) available at market (or crush it using the special peeler tool directly from the coconut shell) and mix it with 1 cup of milk and keep aside.

2. Take a non-stick frying pan heat for 1 min, then put the crushed coconut mixture (step 1) and 8-10 tablespoon of sugar mix it well. Cook till sugar releases water from the coconut. Coconut mixture is ready for pitha stuffing.

3. In a non stick frying pan put 1/2 litre of water and heat for 3-4 mins, then put 200gm govind bhog rice powder into the pan and mix it well. Swith off the gas and put the rice mixture in a bowl and mix it well to make a dough with hand till it become smooth like chapati dough.

4. Shape the dough into small size ball and with each ball press it in the middle (dough) and put the coconut mixture (step 2). Close it tightly and press the edges lightly with hand.

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5. In a big vessel put 3/4th of water and bring it boil. Put the pitha (step 4) into the water, after few mins pitha will float on water and cook for 4-5 mins or till it is fully cooked check it with fork. Take out the pitha from water.

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Note: You can simply serve this pitha (also called coconut pitha).

6. In another bowl put 1 litre of milk and bring it to boil till the milk become medium thick. Then put 8-10 tablespoon of sugar and cook for another 8-10 mins.

7. Put the pitha (step 5) into the milk and mix well.

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Dhudh (Milk) Pitha is ready to serve hot/cold as a desert.

Posto (Poppy Seed) PithaIngredients
  • 200gm of posto (poppy seeds)
  • 4 dry red chili
  • 6 garlic clove
  • 1/2 litre of water
  • 200gm govind bhog rice powder
  • salt to taste
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Serves: 4

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How to make Posto (poppy seed) Pitha

1. In a mixer grinder put 200gm of posto (poppy seed) and blend it for 1 mins till it becomes smooth (not absolutely smooth, but smooth enough to make a course paste), do not add water into the posto.

2. When posto become smooth then add 4 dry red chili, 6 garlic clove, add little by little water and blend all the ingredients, mixture must be coarse. At last add salt to taste and mix it with posto mixture.

3. In a non stick frying pan put 1/2 litre of water and heat for 3-4 mins, then put 200gm govind bhog rice powder into the pan and mix it well. Swith off the gas and put the rice mixture in a bowl and mix it well with hand till it become smooth like chapati dough.

4. Break the dough into small size ball and with each ball press it in the middle of the ball (dough) make a space and put the posto mixture (step 2) into it. Close it tightly and press the edges lightly with hand.

5. In a big vessel put 3/4th of water and bring it boil. Put the pitha (step 4) into the water, after few mins pitha will float on water and cook for 4-5 mins or till it is fully cooked check it with fork. Take out the pitha from water.

Posto Pitha is ready to serve hot with coriander chutney.

Dal Pitha

Ingredients
  • 250gm chana dal
  • 4-5 dry red chili
  • 200gm govind bhog rice powder
  • 1/2 litre of water
  • salt to taste
Preparation Time: 25 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Serves: 4

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How to make dal pitha

1. Take 250gm chana dal soak it over night in enough water.

2. Drain the water form chana dal and put it in mixer grinder with salt to taste and 4-5 dry red chili with very little water and make a course paste. Add more water if required.

3. In a non stick frying pan put 1/2 litre of water and heat for 3-4 mins, then put 200gm govind bhog rice powder into the pan and mix it well. Swith off the gas and put the rice mixture in a bowl and mix it well with hand till it become smooth like chapati dough.

4. Break the dough into small size ball and with each ball press it in the middle of the ball (dough) make a space and put the dal mixture (step 2) into it. Press the edges lightly with hand but do not completely close the edges (see the illustration).

5. In a big vessel put 3/4th of water and bring it boil. Put the pitha (step 4) into the water, after few mins pitha will float on water and cook for 4-5 mins or till it is fully cooked check it with fork. Take out the pitha from water.

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Dal Pitha is ready to serve hot with coriander chutney.

Edited by Kanchan Shaw, 08 January 2012 - 08:23 PM.

  • Chetan, lady_on_recipe_hunt, Termz and 1 other like this
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#2 burmanarindam

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:41 AM

hi kanchan this is chef arindam here and i like your pitheys they are very innovative so do keep up the good job--bon apetite

#3 Chetan

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

@burmanarindam Welcome to Gourmet India Chef , do Introduce yourself !

#4 Kanchan Shaw

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:03 PM

@burmanarindam Welcome to Gourmet India Chef , do Introduce yourself !


Thanks!

Actually I have posted to Gourmet India before (about more than a year back)... I am a housewife staying in Kolkata, West Bengal... here's my slightly more detailed bio.
- Kanchan
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#5 Kanchan Shaw

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:03 PM

hi kanchan this is chef arindam here and i like your pitheys they are very innovative so do keep up the good job--bon apetite


Thanks!
- Kanchan
Best of Kanchan Blog
Personally Home Cooked Indian Recipes
Best of Kanchan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bestofkanchan

#6 burmanarindam

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:40 AM

hi i am chef arindam burman from kolkata west bengal, am 28 years old running my own restaurant and catering in west bengal and in orissa. Have worked in places like miami, london, birmingham, dubai for several years. i am specialised in italian cuisine, Indian cuisine lousiana cuisine and bakery and pastry. i have worked in hotel group like the taj, sheraton and to name a few. i like reading food related books and article, keep track of upcoming food events in India and around the globe. industry people in kolkata know me with the name of andy in India and harry in england and maxi in the US.
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#7 lady_on_recipe_hunt

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:16 AM

Kanchan, Welcome back. Nice to see different varieties of Pitha.

@ Chef Arindam, Welcome to GI.

#8 Raunak

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:06 AM

quite unique ones...I would imagine these are from east bengal

#9 Termz

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

Nice post...creative.

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.


#10 Chetan

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:19 PM

@Kanchan Shaw , Here is one of the photos @Raunak added a few days back called Pithe Puli Cont , whats the difference between the two ?

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