Course Whole meal, snack, or dessert
Place of origin Indian subcontinent
Region or state Everywhere in Odisha, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Bangladesh
Main ingredients Rice flour or wheat flour
Cookbook: Pitha  Media: Pitha

Pitha (Odia: ପିଠା, Assamese: পিঠা, Bengali: পিঠা piṭha), (Sanskrit: पिष्टा, अपूप) or fita (Sylheti) is a type of cake, dimsum or bread from the eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent; common in Bangladesh and India, especially the eastern states of Odisha, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and the northeastern region of India. Pithas are typically made of rice flour, although there are some types of pitha made of wheat flour. Less common types of pitha are made of palm or ol (a local root vegetable).


Pithas are primarily made from a batter of rice flour or wheat flour, which is shaped and optionally filled with sweet or savory ingredients. When filled, the pitha's pouch is called a khol (literally "container") and the fillings are called pur.

For stuffed vegetable pithas, ingredients such as cauliflower, cabbage, radish, or potato are usually fried, baked, or steamed, and then mashed, cooled, and formed into small balls to stuff into the pithas.

Sweet pithas typically contain sugar, jaggery, date juice, or palm syrup, and can be filled with grated coconut, cashews, pistachios, sweetened vegetables, or fruits. Sweet pithas are also often flavored using cardamom or camphor.

Depending on the type of pitha being prepared, pithas can be fried in oil or ghee, slow-roasted over a fire, steamed, or baked and rolled over a hot plate.

Pithas are often eaten during breakfast and as a snack with (often with tea), although there are many sweet varieties that are reserved for desserts or holidays.

Regional variation

Pithas vary considerably across the regions of the eastern Indian Subcontinent.

In Odisha

In Odisha, Pithas (Odia: ପିଠା) are special delicacies in an Odia home. On traditional festivals sweet pithas form a part of the celebrations. Even pithas are also routinely prepared and served in Oriya homes in normal days. The pitha may be broadly put in the category cakes. Some Oriya pithas include the following:

Manda Pitha

In Bihar

Pitha (Devanagari : पिट्ठा ) is also the part of Bihari cuisine particularly in Mithila region of Bihar. Mainly the rice flour pitha is popular in Bihar and two varieties of stuffed(sweet or salty stuffing) or unstuffed pitha are consumed.

In Bangladesh and West Bengal

Puli Pitha
Taal Pitha

While some pithas can be made at any time of the year in Bengal (Bangladesh and Indian West Bengal), there are special pithas strongly associated with harvest festivals such as Nabanna (Bengali: নবান্ন nôbanno, literally "new rice" or "new food") and the Poush parbon (the Poush festival). Pithas are often served with sweet syrups such as date tree molasses (Bengali: খেজুরের গুড় khejurer guṛ). Some of the most common pithas found in Bengal (both in Bangladesh and West Bengal) include the following:

Nokshi pitha

In Assam

Main article: Assamese Jolpan

In Assam, pitha is a special class of rice preparation generally made only on special occasions like Bihu. Assamese pithas are often made from bora saul, a special kind of glutinous rice, or xaali saul, or sun-dried rice. Some pithas commonly found in Assam include the following:

See also


  1. "Making of Sunga Pitha". Retrieved 2011-01-24.
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