Prathamastami: Significance Of Enduri Pitha In Odisha’s Cuisine
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Across India, there are many Hindu festivals that are centred around the concepts of parenthood and safeguarding children. From the Jitiya festival in Bihar to the Prathamastami ritual in Odisha, these festivals highlight the fact that parents can and do everything they can for the wellbeing of their children. In Odisha, the festival of Prathamastami is particularly dedicated to the wellbeing and prosperity of the eldest child, irrespective of their gender—making it a unique festival among a whole range of Hindu festivals.  

Celebrated on the eighth day after the full moon or Purnima in the month of Kartik, Prathamastami is being celebrated on December 5, 2023. The key rituals associated with this festival include donning new clothes that are especially sent in by maternal uncles and worshipping deities like Shashti Devi and Lord Ganesha. However, Prathamastami is incomplete without the making of a delicacy called Enduri Pitha.  

If you are at all familiar with the concept of Pithas in the cuisines of Eastern Indian states, then you would already know that in Bihar, Assam, Odisha and West Bengal, the making of Pitha is associated with the most auspicious of festivals. Whether it’s during Makar Sankranti in Bengal or Bihu in Assam, Pithas with incredibly delicious stuffings and cooking methods are always prepared. Enduri Pitha, a true representative of Odia cuisine Pithas, is intrinsically associated with Prathamastami and Manabasa Gurubara. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Enduri Pitha

A Unique Fermented Pitha From Odisha 

Also known as the Haldi Patra Pitha thanks to the use of turmeric leaves in its making, Enduri Pitha is made with unique ingredients like black gram, rice flour, coconut, jaggery and spices like black pepper. Eaten as a light snack, this unique leaf-wrapped delicacy is also one of the many Pithas and dishes offered to Lord Jagannath at the Jagannath Temple in Puri for breakfast, making it a must-have for all, gods and mortals alike. The dish has a slight laxative effect because of the use of turmeric leaves, and the mixture of rice flour and the coconut-jaggery filling make this one a great sweet dish too. 

However, most people across Odisha don’t just eat Enduri Pitha as a sweet snack. Traditionally made in earthen pots in a curious steaming method, Enduri Pitha is also served with a simple potato-peas curry too. Making Enduri Pitha can be quite tricky, as the dish requires fresh turmeric leaves which first have to be cleaned and lightly toasted to release their natural aroma. A thick rice flour batter is first fermented properly and spread across the turmeric leaves, topped with the jaggery and coconut mix and then the leaves are folded quite like Patoli or Patholeo from Goan and Konkani cuisines.  

These assembled Enduri Pithas are then steamed in earthen pots, though you can absolutely use a steamer to whip them up on any day. Want to make some Enduri Pitha at home to mark the occasion of Prathamastami? Here is an easy and authentic recipe you can try. 


1 cup rice 

½ cup urad dal 

1 cup grated coconut 

1/3 cup jaggery 

¼ tsp cardamom powder 

½ tsp ghee 

4-6 turmeric leaves 

Water, as required 


  1. Wash the rice and urad dal and soak them for three to four hours.  
  2. Make a fine paste with the rice and urad dal and let them ferment for a few hours or overnight. 
  3. Heat the ghee in a pan then add the grated coconut and toast it. 
  4. Add in the cardamom powder and jaggery and mix well. 
  5. Cook until you get a dry coconut-jaggery mix, then let it cool down. 
  6. Take the turmeric leaves, wash them, pat dry, then toast lightly on a pan or tawa. 
  7. Place the leaves on a flat surface, add two-three tablespoons of the fermented batter and place the coconut-jaggery mix in the middle. 
  8. Gently fold the leaves and place in a steamer with hot water. 
  9. Steam the Enduri Pitha for 10 minutes, let them cool down then serve.