The Legacy Of Odia Pithas
- Sonakhi Rumi
Updated : April 11, 2022 02:04 IST
The food culture of Odisha is so fascinating. The same ingredients with certain additions and improvisations of cooking techniques can give birth to a completely different tasting dish. The legacy of Odia Pithas is just so tempting and unique to the state.
Preparing Pithas for special occasions is an inherent part of Odia traditions. It is a local saying that Odia's celebrate 13 festivals in 12 months, with each festival marked by a unique set of pithas offered to the deities. Pithas are often considered as the Odia versions of cakes and pancakes. Earlier it was prepared on the conventional chullah by using firewood or coal. In most households in present times, these are trained on the gas stoves, often using ovens or micro-ovens. The primary Odia festivals loaded with different varieties of Pithas include Raja Parba, Dasahara, Manabasa Gurubar, Kumar Purnima, Prathamastami, and Nua Khai. Making Pithas require a lot of preparation before the cooking even starts. Here is a list of the lip-smacking and irresistible Odia Pithas that everyone should try:
Poda Pitha: It is one of the most loved and prepared Odia Pitha of all time. The primary ingredients used to make this are rice flour, lentil, dry fruits, and coconut. Earlier it was made on a traditional chullah in which charcoal and dried cow-dung cake is used as fuel, while today, it is prepared in a pressure cooker, pan, or oven. It is said to be the favourite Pitha of Lord Jagannath.
Enduri Pitha: This Pitha is mainly made during the festival of Prathamastami. It has an elongated ovular shape and is stuffed with grated coconut sweetened by jaggery. The unique aroma of turmeric leaves in this Pitha adds to its taste. You can find the hatas (markets) full of turmeric leaves just for the purpose of preparing Enduri Pitha during this time of the year.
Arisa Pitha: It is prepared using rice flour and is one of the most famous Pithas for its unique sweet soft taste from the inside and the crunch on the outside. This sweet pancake can also be stored for a decent number of days and enjoyed.
Manda Pitha: It is a steamed version of Odia Pitha. It is often prepared with rice flour with chenna, jaggery, and grated coconut stuffing on the inside.
Kakara Pitha: Kakara is a fried version of Odia Pitha that is stuffed with coconut and jaggery. It is sweet semolina deep-fried balls that can be served both hot and cold.
Chitau Pitha: It has a very distinctive taste and is made of rice flour and coconut slices. This pitha is primarily produced during the Chitalagi or Chitou Amavasya, a festival related to Lord Jagannath.
Chakuli Pitha: Chakuli is one of the most notable and savoured dishes of Odisha. It is a rice-based, fried & flat pancake resembling the South Indian Plain Dosa. This is often made in Odia households and usually eaten for breakfast or to fulfil that little hunger rage.
Do not miss a chance to try the variety of Odia Pithas. This reason should be enough for you to plan your next visit to this beautiful place.