Pithas are traditional Odian sweet delicacies which is not only authentic, but also lip-smacking. Pithas normally resemble pancakes. Rice flour, wheat flour, coconut and jaggery serve the major ingredients for preparing pithas. In Odisha, pithas are made on certain occasions and festivals. Although it can also be prepared on a regular basis for breakfast or evening supper. Some of the most popular pithas from Odia kitchen are:-
1)Arisa Pitha – Its prepared from rice flour with jaggery as a sweetening agent. Its deep-fried with oil or ghee. Therefore, its crispy outside and soft inside.
2)Manda Pitha – Its also made from rice flour and jaggery or sugar. Its a round-shaped pitha with grated coconut and jaggery filling inside. Its so similar to steamed momos that if someone insists on segregating momos and manda pithas kept together in a plate, I’m damn sure, 90 percent of the people would fail to do so, unless tasted!
3)Poda Pitha – It is believed to be Lord Jagannath’s favourite dessert. Prepared from rice flour, cashew nuts, sugar or jaggery and diced coconut, it is one of the best traditional pitha of Odisha. The crust of this pitha is slightly burnt, but the taste remains unaltered. Its my favourite pitha too!
4)Kakara Pitha – It is made from wheat flour, jaggery and stuffed with grated coconut. It resembles a small pancake, and is soft and delicious.
5)Chitau Pitha – It is made from rice flour, coconut and milk. It resembles the Sourh Indian Idli recipe, but can be distinguished. It is primarily made and offered to Lord Jagannath on the day of Chitalagi Amavasya. On this day, every Odia household prepares and consumes this pitha.
6)Chandrakanti – It is a deep-fried pitha prepared from moong dal and coconut. It resembles fried pieces of paneer cubes, and is square in shape.
7)Enduri Pitha – This pitha is prepared mostly on the festive day of Prathamashtami. It is made from rice flour and black gram, with jaggery and grated coconut filling. Each pitha is steamed in turmeric leaves. Turmeric leaves add a sweet fragrance to the pitha.
8)Malpua – This pitha is prepared from rice flour and bananas. Its a delicate pitha. A mixture of the bananas and flour is made and deep-fried, resulting in malpua.
9)Chakuli Pitha – It is made from fermented rice and black gram. It resembles the South Indian Plain Dosa and is mainly eaten for breakfast. Crispy as it is, serving with coconut or mint chutney makes it all the more delicious.