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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chunchipatra Pitha ( an Odia Delicacy )

Today is the last day of Raja, a three day celebration in Odisha. (Click on the link to read more about the festival  ). I have been very busy making various types of pithas (sweet snacks) and hence did not get the time to post anything over the weekend.

This is a special recipe that I learnt recently from Ritu maam and had a chance to make it for the first time during Raja. A very interesting traditional dish, one does not rely on any fancy kitchen tool but a bunch of 'Doob' grass to fashion it. The batter used is a normal rice flour one but with a very runny (almost water like) consistency. One just dips the bunch of grass into it and sprinkles a cross symbol on a flat vessel or a tawa. Now, this 'tawa' should be maintained at an optimal temperature, not too hot nor too cold (quite like a dosa). Then one puts some stuffing ( this can either be sweet like a coconut-jaggery mixture or savoury like potato/paneer/vegetable ) in the center and folds the ends over it to close it like a pocket. But these days we find ourselves living in concrete jungles and grass is tough to come by ( and even if we do, God forbid what chemicals/pesticides people spray on the lawns these day ) . So, a clean piece of thin cloth folded into a rectangle shape will do in place of the grass. What I find most endearing about this dish is the fact that the layers are paper thin (almost transparent) and one can actually see the stuffing inside.

So, read on for a refreshingly different recipe -

Preparation Time - 30-40 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup basmati/jeera/arwa rice 
  • 1 whole coconut
  • sugar/jaggery to taste
  • 1-2 green cardamoms
  • 1-2 tsp ghee
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash and soak the rice overnight.

Drain excess water. Grind it into a very fine paste. Add salt and more water to the batter. Make it quite runny in consistency. Keep aside for 1-2 hours.

Grate the coconut and keep aside.

Cooking - Heat 1 tsp ghee in a wok. Add the coconut and fry till it starts turning light brown. Add sugar/jaggery at this point and keep stirring till it is completely dissolved. Remove from flame and keep aside.

Heat a tawa. Lightly grease with ghee. Use a paper towel to wipe off/remove the excess as it will not allow the batter to spread properly.

Take a thin cotton cloth/handkerchief and fold it into a rectangle. Dip into the batter, remove and brush lightly over the tawa making a cross symbol with it. Keep the flame low to medium. As it gets cooked, the ends will slightly lift up.

Put the coconut stuffing in the center and fold the ends over it. Remove from tawa and keep aside.

Wipe the tawa with a paper towel and proceed with another pitha. (After making 4-5 pithas, the batter gets slightly thicker. Add a few teaspoons of water to dilute it and adjust salt accordingly)

Serve hot with curry/dalma.


  1. Wow, this pitha is very impressive, love the way u prepared them.

  2. Wow.. such a new recipe... to know about. would definitely try it. i loved the step of making the rice sheets....BOOKMARKED.

  3. Delicious and lovely looking pitha. Wonderfully prepared.

  4. Wow this is awesome. Love it.


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