Poda Pitha (Black gram & Rice cake)
An unique traditional Cake of Odisha
Poda pitha is made by slowly baking fermented rice & black gram, coconut & jaggery/sugar. Its crushed is slightly burnt and the inside is soft. Traditionally Poda Pitha used to prepared in chulhas which uses charcoal and cow dung cakes for fuel. now a days we make it by using pressure cooker, kadai, or oven. Poda pitha is generally prepared in Rajo parba.
Rajo parba/Mithuna sankranti is a three day long festival & the second day signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from which the season of rain starts. it is believed that the Mother goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu/Jaganath under goes menstruation during the first three days. The fourth day is called Vasumati snan/ceremonial bath of Bhudevi. The festival became more popular as an agricultural holiday marking the worship of Bhudevi. A silver idol of Bhudevi is still to be found in the Puri Temple beside Lord Jaganath.
During the three days women are given a break from all house-hold work and play indoor games like cards & ludo. Girls play swing tied on tree branches. This festival is also known as swing festival. It falls in mid June. The first day is called Pahili Rajo, second day is Mithuna Sankranti/Rajo Sankranti, third day is Bhudaaha/basi rajo and the final day is called Vasumati snan. In this festival Odia people prepare various kind of Odia foods and the two main food without which rajo is incomplete that is poda pitha & rajo paan. Poda pitha are of two type, one is janta poda pitha & the other one is the normal. Today I will share with you the normal poda pitha. In any other day I will share the janta poda pitha. For making a soft poda pitha you need to ferment the rice & black gram batter., but today I will share with you how to make soft poda pitha without fermentation.
Soaking time: 3~4 hr
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30~40 min.
Total time: 4~5 hr
Black gram (skin less)- 1 small glass (approx 130~140 gm)
Rice- 1.5 small glass (not to use basmati rice).
Sliced Coconut- 1 full handfull
Jaggery/sugar- 3/4th to 1 cup or as per taste
Ghee- 2 TBSP
Salt- 1/4th TSP
Methi (Fenugreek Seed)- 1/4th TSP (optional)
Black pepper powder- 1/2 TSP
Fruit Salt/Eno- 1sachet (Not to use the flavour one)
Soak black gram rice and methi for 3~4 hrs
Make a batter of it. Make sure rice should be slightly coarse. Dont make a fine paste of rice.
Add coconut, cashew, jaggery/sugar, black pepper powder and salt. Mix well.
Heat ghee in a kadai on low flame.
Add fruit salt/eno to it and mix well.After adding eno immediately mix it and pour the batter in the kadai.After adding eno do not keep the batter for long time.This is the instant way of making a very soft pitha. If you do not want to add eno then you have to keep it for fermentation for 3 to 4 hour.Adding of eno makes the pitha supper soft like a cake.
Cover the kadai & cook it on the lowest flame for about 20~30 min. In between check it by inserting a knife whether it is done or not,because time may varry depending on the size of the pitha.
After 5~10 minute you can see the pitha is risen up
When the knife will come clean that means the pitha is cooked properly. At that time switch off the flame & remain it in the kadai for 5 to10 min to cool down. Than remove it from the kadai and serve it by cutting into piecess.
You can make this pitha by baking it. Greese a pan add 1~2 tbsp of ghee in to the batter and bake it in a pressure cooker by placing a stand in the pressure cooker and remove the whistle of it.But in this method you will not get the burnt crust,which is the uniqueness of a traditional poda pitha.I personally love the lower part of the poda pitha having burnt crust.If you do not like then you can bake it. Here I have prepared a small pitha by baking in pressure cooker
Nutritional Information per piece(55 gm) :
Energy : 108 calories
Protein : 2.5 gm
Fat : 2.5 gm
Carbohydrates : 19.4 gm
Fibre : 1.4 gm
If you like the recipe, please share with family & friends.