Tag Archives: oriya food

Straight from the Kitchen: Oriya Chitau Pitha

Pithas are an integral part of Oriya cooking. I’m not too sure how to describe pithas! They’re normally made out of rice flour and sometimes wheat flour. Sometimes, pithas have a kind of a stuffing – sweet or spicy. Sometimes, they are fried or they are steamed. Some are served with syrup!  They are so many different kinds of pithas and I don’t even know half their names. The pitha that we often have at home is chakuli pitha, which is the Oriya version of a dosa.

Today, I’m going to share the recipe for Chitau Pitha, which my mom made for dinner last night. Trust me, I have no idea how to make this so this post is going to help me learn the recipe as well!

What you need:

  • 500 grams of  rice
  • 1 coconut grated
  • Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder

Steps:

  • Wash the rice and let it soak in water for 3 hours.
  • Grind the grated coconut and the rice together. Add water as required.
  •  Add the baking soda and a bit of salt as per taste.
  • Heat a wok on a high flame.
  •  Pour in a big serving and cover with a lid.
  •  Pour 1 tsp of water over the lid and let it steam for about a minute.
  • Take it out and it’s ready to serve!

This is what your batter should look like.

Let the pitha steam under the lid. Here, I took it off to show you what it’s supposed to look like.

Ta-da! Your pitha is ready to eat!

You can eat chitau pitha with any kind of curry that you might like. We had chitau pita with Ghanta curry, which is an Oriya dish that has a lot of vegetables. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it but next time, I will share some Oriya curries.

Chitau pithas are really healthy and at home, we make them without oil or ghee. For a change from the usual rotis and rice, try the chitau pitha! Let me know if you’ve ever had chitau pitha or you are planning to try this recipe!

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Here to stay!

As usual, I’ve been procrastinating! It’s such a terrible habit and I can’t seem to get rid of it.It’s been several months since I last posted anything on this blog and suddenly, today I felt the urge to post something again. I guess it’s just the feeling of being in Delhi? Yes, I’m here again for the summer. I’ve been here for over a month now but I haven’t been doing much outside work and the occasional shopping trips.  The infamous scorching heat of Delhi  is to be blamed!

However, what I HAVE been doing a lot is eating at the State Bhawans. My workplace is located in Chanakyapuri – an area with swanky embassies, official residences and fancy cars. The eating options are either too expensive for a daily affair or cheap but very unhygienic. So my co-intern and I decided to check out some of the State Bhawan canteens around the area.

Gujarat Bhawan (Kautilya Marg)

Our undoubted favourite is Gujarat Bhawan where you can get a thali for Rs.80 and it includes, the usual rice and roti, three curries out of which one will be a paneer dish, one dry sabzi, one snack item (pakora/dhokla) and salad. The thali is unlimited so you can be sure that you won’t be able to stay awake at work after such a heavy lunch! Jokes aside, the food is really tasty, not too rich or oily and has a sense of familiarity (ghar ka khana). They used to include a dessert along with the thali but now they charge separately (Rs 15). So far, I had the chance to try basundi and aam raas. A little too sweet for my liking but nice to end a meal. The service is really efficient and you don’t need to call them. They will come to you! Sometimes, it can get a little crowded for lunch but it’s definitely worth the wait! Needless to say, they do not serve non-vegetarian food.

Orissa Niwas (4, Bordolai Marg)

Being an Oriya, I love dalma, pakkala, machha bhaja and the list goes on. I haven’t had good Oriya food for nearly six months now which was the last time I went home. So I was delighted to find the Orissa Niwas restaurant quite close to my office. You can a regular thali (Rs 60), a deluxe thali (Rs 80, not sure), non-vegetarian side options and even a pakkala thali! I haven’t tried the pakkala or the deluxe thali. I always just stick to the regular thali. For those who haven’t heard of pakkala, it’s rice which has been fermented in water and you eat both the rice and water along with some garnishes of your choice and an array of side dishes.  The regular thali comes with rice/roti, dalma, one sabzi, one vegetable curry, khatta, salad, papad and kheer. The food is authentic and true to the flavour of the Oriya cuisine. I really loved the place and would recommend it to anyone who wants to try Oriya food.

Himachal Sadan (Sardar Patel Marg)

The last bhawan for the day is Himachal Sadan. This building is located on the main road yet a little inside so it might be a little difficult to spot and unlike, the other two canteens, this place was pretty quiet.  We ordered thalis (Rs 60) which comprised tandoori style rotis, a black dal, malai kofta, raitha and salad. It was simple and didn’t have as many curried as the Gujarati thali but it was tasty and fresh. This place seemed more like a small kitchen for the guests staying at the bhawan rather than a restaurant. So don’t expect many options here.

That wraps it up for now! Next week we’re planning to hit a few more Bhawans and I’ll keep you updated. I’ll also try to take a few pictures so you can drool looking at the food! Until then, let me know if you have any recommendations or if you’ve eaten at any of these Bhawans.

🙂

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