Monday, June 7, 2021

Odia Manda Pitha

Manda Pitha is a traditional sweet dish from Odisha. It is a coconut jaggery dumpling made with rice flour. It is very similar to dishes like Modak from Maharashtra, Kozhukatta from Kerala, and Kozhukattai from Tamil cuisine. 

This steamed dish is prepared during festivals falling on monsoon and post-monsoon seasons like Manabasa Gurubara, Durga Puja, Kumar Purnima, or Rakhi Purni. (Reference: wiki)


  1. Rice flour (fine) - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery grated- 1/2 cup 
  3. Coconut grated - 3/4 cup 
  4. Cardamom pods - 2-3
  5. Black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
  6. Salt - 1 pinch
  1. Boil 1 cup of water and add a pinch of salt. 
  2. Add rice flour to boiling water and turn off the stove. Mix it thoroughly until all the water is absorbed. 
  3. Cover it and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, knead it thoroughly until it forms a smooth non-sticky dough.
  4. Mix grated coconut, jaggery powder, black pepper powder, and cardamom powder and set aside. If you think there are impurities in your jaggery, melt it with a couple of tablespoons of water, strain it and transfer the liquid jaggery back to the stove. Boil it till it thickens and add grated coconut, black pepper powder, and cardamom powder.
  5. To make the pitha, take a small lemon-sized dough. Flatten it on your palms, add around 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle and roll it back into a ball as shown in the picture. 
  6. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. 
  7. Use a steamer and boil water in the bottom vessel. Place the pitha balls in the steamer rack and steam for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn off the stove after 15 minutes and keep it covered for 5 minutes before serving. 

"Shhhhh Cooking  Secretly" is a monthly challenge in the Facebook group. At the beginning of the month, a theme is chosen by one of the participants and all the participants are grouped in pairs. The participants will exchange 2 secret ingredients with their partners who are supposed to prepare a dish that matches the theme of that month.

This month's theme was "Odia Pitha Series" and it was chosen by Sasmita Sahoo Samanta who blogs at First Timer Cook. Do check Sasmita's blog for a huge collection of Odia dishes and some of them worth mentioning include Chandrakanthi Pitha and Chaula Khiri

My partner for May 2021 is Poonam Bachhav. She gave me jaggery and cardamom as my secret ingredients. I gave her jaggery and black pepper and she made Suji Kakara Pitha. Her blog has a wide collection of delicious healthy recipes. Some of them which I want to try to make include Karachi Fruit Biscuits and Whole Wheat Nankathai.