Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

Winter Pithas in Bangladesh

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Altaf Hussain :
itha is a part of life and culture of the Bangladeshi people. Though it is not a part of our daily menu. Most pithas are seasonal, especially prepared in the winter season because of some ingredients to prepare there are available only in winter season.
Pithas are strongly associated with harvest festivals such as Nobanno and Poush Parban. Some pithas are also made throughout the year. Most pithas are sweet and a few are hot and spicy.
Dew wet foggy morning of winter days along with delicious sweet pitha, payesh and other typical items - is just amazing and phenomenal.
Our traditional pithas tastes and flavors are different than each-other. That’s why their ingredients and making processes are different too. Rice flour, sugar or jaggery is the common ingredients for all type of our traditional pithas.
Besides somewhere coconut, date palm juice, banana, lentils, milk and coconut are needed too. Often cooked meat and vegetables are also used in some of our typical pithas. Some need oil to cook and some need hot steam. They have various names and shapes.
Bhapa, Puli, Pakkon, Patishapta, Chitai, Andosha, Kulshi pitha, Pata pitha, Jhuri pitha, Muthi pitha and Roser pitha are the very common name of our pitha.
These are available all-around the country. But there are some other names, which are not very common to every corner of Bangladesh. But they are also the part to our traditional pitha collection.
It’s true that nowadays our urban life has little scope to go for the traditions. Whatever the season is, all we are just running after something which already makes us as emotionless. Everybody is busy with something, which just takes away the leisure. But we didn’t forget our tradition and culture.
For these reasons, pithas are becoming extinct day by day. Other than some familiar pithas, most of the pithas are already lost with our grandmothers.
In this capital city of Bangladesh there many street shops, where pitha is the main item and every day meets many people’s need. And interesting thing is such street pitha shops are providing their items all through the year; in every season. All classes’ people consume pitha from there. Before winter there chitai pitha is seen mostly with hot-spicy dried fish bhorta (smash) and other typical bhorta items.
(Altaf Hussain, Chairman, Green Club, Manikganj)

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