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Title: Pitha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tourism in West Bengal, Indian bread, Rice cake, Bangladeshi cuisine, Bihu
Collection: Assamese Cuisine, Bangladeshi Desserts, Bengali Cuisine, Indian Breads, Indian Desserts, Odia Cuisine, Steamed Foods
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Course Whole meal, snack, or dessert
Place of origin India, Bangladesh
Region or state Everywhere in Odisha, Assam, Bengal, Bangladesh
Main ingredients Rice flour or wheat flour
Cookbook: Pithaa 

Pitha (Odia: ପିଠା, Assamese: পিঠা, Bengali: পিঠা piṭha, ), (Sanskrit: पिष्टा, अपूप) or pithe (Bengali: পিঠে piṭhe) is a type of cake, dimsum or bread common in Bangladesh and India, especially the eastern states of Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and the northeastern region. Pithas are typically made of rice flour, although there are some types of pitha made of wheat flour. Less common types of pitha are made of palm or ol (a local root vegetable).


  • Preparation 1
  • Regional variation 2
    • In Odisha 2.1
    • In Bihar 2.2
    • In Bangladesh and West Bengal 2.3
    • In Assam 2.4
  • Image gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Pithas are primarily made from a batter of rice flour or wheat flour, which is shaped and optionally filled with sweet or savory ingredients. When filled, the pitha's pouch is called a khol (lit. "container") and the fillings are called pur.

For stuffed vegetable pithas, ingredients such as cauliflower, cabbage, radish, or potato are usually fried, baked, or steamed, and then mashed, cooled, and formed into small balls to stuff into the pithas.

Sweet pithas typically include sugar, jaggery, date juice, or palm syrup, and can be filled with grated coconut, cashews, pistachios, sweetened vegetables, or fruits. Sweet pithas are also often flavored using cardamom or camphor.

Depending on the type of pitha being prepared, pithas can be fried in oil or ghee, slow-roasted over a fire, steamed, or baked and rolled over a hot plate.

Pithas are often eaten at small meals such as breakfast or as a snack with tea, although there are many sweet varieties that are reserved for desserts or holidays.

Regional variation

Pithas vary considerably across the regions of the eastern Indian Subcontinent.

In Odisha

In Odisha, Pithas (Odia: ପିଠା) are special delicacies in an Odia home. On traditional festivals sweet pithas form a part of the celebrations. Even pithas are also routinely prepared and served in Oriya homes in normal days. The pitha may be broadly put in the category cakes. Some Oriya pithas include the following:

Manda Pitha
  • Aarisa piṭha (Odia: ଆରିସା ପିଠା): deep-fried pitha made from rice flour with jaggery or sugar.
  • Manda Pitha (Odia: ମଣ୍ଡାପିଠା): steamed pitha made from rice flour, often with a grated coconut and jaggery/sugar filling or a fresh cheese (chhena) filling.
  • Kakara pitha (Odia: କାକରା ପିଠା): very popular fried pancake made from wheat flour/semolina, often with a sweet cocunut filling.[3][4]
  • Enduri Pitha (Odia: ଏଣ୍ଡୁରି ପିଠା): pitha made from rice flour and black gram, often with a jaggery and coconut or cheese filling, steamed in a turmeric leaf. Enduri pitha is a special delicacy of the Prathamastami festival.
  • Chakuli Pitha (Odia: ଚକୁଳି ପିଠା): (chakuli) thin/thick pancake(set dosa) made from fermented rice and black gram, often eaten for breakfast. Thinner varieties are called saru chakuli, and resemble plain dosas. Often served with dalama (Odia: ଡାଲମା) (vegetable mixed with pulses)nadia chatni (coconut chutney) or kheeri (Odia: ଖିରି), a rice dish.
  • Poḍa piṭha (Odia: ପୋଡ଼ ପିଠା) (lit. "burnt pitha"): slow-cooked pitha made from fermented rice and black gram, with chopped coconut. Its crust is slightly burnt, while the inside is soft and white,mostly during Raja Parba.
  • Chitau piṭha (Odia: ଚିତଉ ପିଠା): fried pancake made from rice flour, coconut, and milk, often offered in pujas to Lord Jagannath on Chitalagi Amabasya (or Chitau Amabasya).
  • Gaintha godi (Odia: ଗଇଁଠା ଗୋଡ଼ି): Small balls made of rice flour dipped in seasioned sweet milk.speciality of pausha amavasya(baula amavasya)[12]
  • Karanji (Odia: କରଞ୍ଜି): A dumpling made of maida and stuffed with coconut,cashew raisins and fried in ghee.
  • Malpua (Odia: ମାଲପୁଆ): Sweetened deep fried batter of a mixture of bananas and flour
  • Suji Kakara Pitha (Odia: ସୁଜି କାକରା ପିଠା): A sweet dish made of suji with coconut stuffing
  • Tala Pitha (Odia: ତାଳ ପିଠା): A sweet dish made of palm fruit and rice batter

In Bihar

Pitha (Devanagari : पिट्ठा ) is also the part of Bihari cuisine particularly in Mithila region of Bihar. Mainly the rice flour pitha is popular in Bihar and two varieties of stuffed(sweet or salty stuffing) or unstuffed pitha are consumed.

In Bangladesh and West Bengal

Puli Pitha
Bhapa Pitha.

While some pithas can be made any time of the year in Bengal (Bangladesh and Indian West Bengal), there are special pithas strongly associated with harvest festivals such as Nabanna (Bengali: নবান্ন nôbanno, lit. "new rice" or "new food") and the Poush parbon (the Poush festival). Pithas are often served with sweet syrups such as date tree molasses (Bengali: খেজুরের গুড় khejurer guṛ). Some of the most common pithas found in Bengal (both in Bangladesh and West Bengal) include the following:

  • Chitui/chitoi piṭha
  • Aarisha Kakara Pitha
  • তেলের পিঠা Teler piṭha (lit. "oil pitha")
  • ভাপা পিঠা Bhapa piṭha (lit. "steamed pitha") or dhupi
  • Pakan piṭha: fried
  • পুলি পিঠা Puli piṭha: dumplings
  • বেনি পিঠা Beni piṭha (lit. "braid pitha")
  • দুধের পিঠা Dudher piṭha (lit. "milk pitha") or ভিজা পিঠা bhija piṭha (lit. "wet pitha")
  • চন্দ্র পুলি Chôndro puli
  • মুগের পুলি Muger puli
  • দুধ পুলি Dudh puli
  • Paṭi shapta
  • Mug pakon
  • Gokul
  • Chui Pitha or Chutki Pitha (Traditional Old Dhaka Pitha)

In Assam

In Assam, pitha is a special class of rice preparation generally made only on special occasions like Bihu. Assamese pithas are often made from bora saul, a special kind of glutinous rice, or xaali saul, or sun-dried rice. Some pithas commonly found in Assam include the following:

  • তিল পিঠা Til pitha (lit. "sesame pitha"): a baked pancake made from bora saul and filled with sesame seeds, ground coconut, dried orange rind, and jaggery. Also called hesa pitha since it is rolled and pressed.
  • Ghila pitha (lit. "knee pitha"): a fried pitha made from bora saul and jaggery. Salt can also be used instead of jaggery for a savory variant.
  • Sunga pitha: a special pitha made with both xaali saul and bora saul, which are mixed with water and jaggery and churned thoroughly before being placed in a young bamboo tube corked with banana leaf and roasted in fire. The resulting tube-shaped cake is then cut into pieces and served with hot milk.[1]
  • Tekeli pitha (lit. "earthenware pitha"): a special pitha made with both xaali saul and bora saul, mixed with coconut, sugar, and powdered milk. Ground cardamom and dried orange rind can also be added. The pitha is steamed in an earthenware pot set on a hearth.
  • Xutuli pitha
  • Dhup pitha
  • Bhapotdiya pitha
  • Lakhimi pitha
  • Tora pitha
  • Muthiya pitha
  • Kholasapori pitha

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ "Making of Sunga Pitha". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 

External links

  • A Pitha Lover's Tale
  • Oriya Cakes
  • Varieties of Pitha Recipes
  • Oriya Pitha
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