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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tekeli Pitha

  
I was contemplating whether to sign up for this Indian States' based marathon or not because of the scare the northeast Indian states gave me. I knew it was predominantly non vegetarian and getting interesting vegetarian recipes seemed almost impossible. Assam state was the only exception where there were hoard of recipes online from authentic sources. 
After going through them, pithas caught my attention and a couple of varieties of pithas were the first dishes that got cooked for this marathon. Pithas are usually made with a batter of rice flour or wheat flour, which is shaped and optionally filled with sweet or savory ingredients. A pitha can be anywhere from an instant rice flour dosa to athirasam / ariselu. Depending upon the type of pitha prepared, they can be deep fried, slow roasted over a fire, steamed, baked or rolled over a hot plate. The savory varieties are eaten as breakfast or snack while the sweet varieties are reserved for desserts. 
I chose to go with tekeli pithas that I saw on the Assamese facebook page. Tekeli pithas are steamed rice cakes served over breakfast and there are again both savory and sweet versions of it. The savory version contains egg filling while the sweet one contains sweet coconut or black seseame seeds -jaggery. Pithas are prepared using a tekeli and hence the name. Tekeli being a clay pitcher with a long neck. I have given the method used by the locals and there are also online pictorial presentations how to prepare these pithas if anyone is interested. However I figured out that they can be just steamed like idlis and that's what I did. Traditionally, rice flour is prepared from scratch but store bought version works fine too.
It is hard to describe the taste of these pithas as I have never eaten anything similar. They were subtly sweet and it reminded me vaguely the chalimidi maybe because it is also made with rice flour.

Ingredients: (makes 5)
Rice Flour- 1 cup
Roasted scrapped coconut- 6 tbsp 
Sugar - 1/4 cup.
A pinch of salt 
Milk - little

Method:
* Combine together rice flour, coconut, sugar lightly with your fingers. Add water and milk just to bring the mixture together. Remember that a batter is not required here and we are looking for a coarse crumbly mixture. As I was preparing a small quantity of pithas and so used around 2 -3 tbsp milk to form the mixture. I didn't use any water.
Traditional method:
* Heat the water in a kettle. 
* Grease a kettle lid with butter. Fill it up with the rice flour mix.
* Tie the lid tightly with a muslin cloth and secure the top. Block the mouth of the kettle with another piece of cloth to prevent the steam from escaping.
* Place the lid on top of the boiling kettle of water and steam for about 20 minutes or until done
.

How I did:
* I thought steaming in a cooker would be hassle free. I greased small cups / katoris and filled them with the rice flour mixture up to half, slightly pressing the mixture. 

* Place them in a pressure cooker without the whistle on and steam for about 20 minutes. 
* When done, remove them from the cooker, demould and enjoy.
* They are served warm with liquid molasses and cream / chilled sweet milk.


23 comments:

Kalyani said...

Lovely shape of the pritha there Suma ! In Karnataka also there is a similar version with rice flour and jaggery and coconut - which is made into kadubu shape.. Lovely idea to use greased cups for steaming ..

Manjula Bharath said...

oh wow what an idea to make tekli pitha :) looks fabulous and made perfectly :) fabulous recipe choice :) tempting pitha there !!

The Pumpkin Farm said...

these look lot lovely than what i had seen on other blogs while planning, and now it seems completely acceptable as a dish, especially when you accompany it with sweet milk or molassses, great presentation

Pavani N said...

Very interesting pitha. Yours have come out just perfect.

Saraswathi Tharagaram said...

I too bookmarked it for marathon and some how end up with Labra. But I love to see it in your space..So simple and easy..

Priya Suresh said...

Lovely way of making cute little tekeli pithas,this dish is like just as South Indian Puttu.

Hari Chandana said...

Wonderful preparation!

Gayathri Kumar said...

This is so much similar to puttu. I made a different version of these pithas. Yours looks absolutely delicious...

Nivedhanams Sowmya said...

NE states scare was for most of us I guess!!! beautifully done tekeli pitha

vaishali sabnani said...

I am loving these rice cakes..and trying to enjoy the flavours described by you.Subtly sweet .like the idea of enjoying them with cream.

vaishali sabnani said...

I am loving these rice cakes..and trying to enjoy the flavours described by you.Subtly sweet .like the idea of enjoying them with cream.

Harini-Jaya R said...

They look very cute, Suma. I totally agree that cooking from the NE states was/is a nightmare.

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

nice yummy pithas

Srivalli said...

Oh these pithas are so scaring as well right..cos most of the NE have this in common..your method is cool and the dish has come out so well..btw glad you didn't miss it out..:)

Farin Ahmed said...

lovely little pithas dear!!!!

Sapana Behl said...

Pithas looks nice and delicious !

nandoos Kitchen said...

Nice, wonderful and yummy pithas.

Chef Mireille said...

the varieties of pitha the assamese have are endless. that pic on the fork is so tempting

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Love the shape and the texture of the pithas...Cannot believe all the amazing flavors they have!

Nalini's Kitchen said...

The pithas turned out so perfect and got a very nice shape,sounds inviting...

Sreevalli E said...

Inviting Pitha's.. Yum

Usha said...

Tekeli Pitha look delicious. Pithas did not sound interesting but after reading your post, I want to try them.

Padmajha PJ said...

Love your platter and your dish.They seem to have come out perfectly!