Guwahati, January 12: It is that time of the year again when the womenfolk of the state are busy preparing delicacies for the much awaited ‘Bhogali Bihu’ or ‘Magh Bihu’ celebrations.
Also we must mention one’s fondness for pithas with gorom lal cha (tea) during the winters is eternal.
The ‘Magh Bihu’ is all about feasting and making merry. Varieties of pithas (rice cakes), laru made out of rice powder, sesame, molasses (black syrup from sugarcane), puffed rice, flattened rice, and coconut are prepared by the women folk. Feasts are arranged in the open paddy fields.
The festival is marked by singing, dancing, feasts and bonfires. People erect makeshift huts, known as meji and bhelaghar, from bamboo, leaves and thatch. As per the ritual, people eat the food prepared for the feast in the bhelaghar and then burn the huts the next morning.
Check out few easy to make pitha recipes which would leave you asking for more.
Til Pitha: Til Pitha is one of the most sought after Bihu delicacy. Your Bihu will be incomplete without tasting this rice cake. This delicacy is a combination of sticky rice, sesame seeds and jaggery/sugar.
How to prepare: First wash and soak the rice for an hour. Spread the rice and let it dry partially. Then grind the rice to a very fine powder. Collect the powder in an air tight container and cover it with a wet cloth. This is the outer layer of the pitha.
In order to make the filling, roast the sesame seeds in a pan and coarse grind it, add melted jaggery to the sesame seeds.
To prepare the final pitha, heat a tawa to the required temperature. Scoop out some of the rice flour and spread on the tawa, press it gently with your fingers and put some sesame filling. Roll up the pithas and gently push it to the edge of the pan and let it finish cooking.
Tekeli Pitha: This delicacy is prepared with rice flour, grated coconut and jaggery.
How to prepare: This pitha is prepared under steam of a kettle and is widely loved. Not just during the Bihus, this pitha is found almost all the year.
First heat a kettle filled with water. Put some rice flour on a white cloth and add the grated coconut and jaggery. Place it on the lid of a kettle and close the cover. After five minutes open the cover of the kettle and your pitha is ready to eat.
Narikol Laru: We all love ladoos but Bihu makes our love for narikol laru grow, isn’t it?. This is one of the easiest recipes of Bihu delicacies that you should try at home. All you need is grated coconut, sugar or jaggery, few cloves of cardamom (as per your taste).
How to prepare: Heat a pan and mix the grated coconut and sugar and stir. The mixture should be stirred in low flame till you get a sticky feeling. Now remove the pan from the stove and try making a laru.
Ghila Pitha: Who does not love the soft sticky ghila pitha? We all do right. Some loves the snack to be sweet while others like it salty.
How to prepare: As rice is the main ingredient of all the Assamese delicacies, Ghila Pitha popularly known as Tel Pitha is made out of rice flour. It’s very easy to make. Just take some rice flour add water and make a dough. Add salt or sugar as per taste. Then finely make some fine balls and deep fry. It’s ready to taste.
Sunga Pitha: This pitha is prepared using a bamboo stem. All you need is a bamboo stem some sticky rice and you are good to go.
How to prepare: Put some Bora saul inside a bamboo stem. Heat the steam to cook the rice. Remove the rice from the stem after a while. Have it with pork. The flavour of bamboo adds taste to the rice.