Bihu Pitha by Sharmin Pasha
|Traditional Assamese Bihu preparations|
Photo Source: Google Images
I take immense pleasure in introducing today in my blog, Sharmin Pasha of Assamese Cuisine and Recipes, she shares here two of her amazing recipes on the occasion of Bihu.
Sharmin Pasha, a food writer, needs no introduction, she is passionate about Assamese Cuisine, although she resides in far away Dubai, her contribution and love continues unabated. She is a regular columnist at our local daily, The Assam Tribune and the Creator and Founder of Assamese Cuisines and Recipes. She shares here today, two simple Assamese Pitha or Assamese Sweet Meat preparations but both recipes are easy and can be cooked in any kitchen, around the world. Also the recipes are gluten free, so that is an added bonus. Without further ado here's Sharmin Pasha...
Bihu Recipes by Sharmin Pasha
Photo Source: Google Images
Assam celebrates three Bihus; all three Bihus are associated with the agricultural cycle of the region. However, Bohaag Bihu, is the most popular festival and celebrated around mid April.
Bohaag, is the first month, according to Assamese calendar. Hence it is also celebrated as the New Year, in Assam. This traditional Assamese New Year also signals the onset of spring and the start of the fresh harvest season.
Bohaag Bihu is also known as Rongaali Bihu (‘Rong’ meaning gaiety in Assamese), as it is celebrated with joy and merriment across the state, irrespective of class or creed. It is mainly observed for three days, but celebrations last a full week.
Traditional delicacies, made of rice, rice flour, jaggery, sesame and coconut etc, are made to celebrate the successful harvest and the abundance of crops. These snacks are an integral part of the Bihu celebrations. People visit relatives and friends to exchange greetings and Bihu delicacies.
Gourd Dumplings in Syrup (Lau Pitha)
|Picture Credit: Sharmin Pasha|
1 medium bottle gourd
½ cup rice flour
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 cup jaggery
1 cup water
2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Vegetable oil or mustard oil ,for frying
To make jaggery syrup, combine jaggery, cardamom pods and water, in a large saucepan over low
heat. Cook, stirring for five minutes or until jaggery dissolves.
Remove and strain to remove impurities. Then heat it up again and keep warm.
To make the dumplings, wash, peel and grate the bottle gourd. Squeeze to remove excess water.
Steam the grated gourd until cooked. Remove and mash to a smooth puree.
Combine the steamed gourd, sugar and pinch of salt in a large bowl.
Add rice flour, a little at a time and mix lightly until a soft dough forms. Add extra flour only if needed.
Divide mixture into 8 portions and roll each portion into oval shapes.
Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok, over medium heat
Fry the dumplings, over low heat, until golden brown and cooked through.
Carefully remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Place dumplings in the syrup and allow them to soak for at a few hours
Serve with tea.
|Photo Credit: Sharmin Pasha|
Steamed Rice Flour Pockets (Bhapot bonuwa Pitha)
1 cup Rice Flour
1 cup of Water or as needed
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
Pinch of Salt
½ cup sugar
1 cup coconut, grated
2 tbsp milk
To make stuffing, combine the grated coconut, milk and sugar, in a heavy wok, over a low flame, until
the sugar dissolves and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Keep aside to cool.
Meanwhile make the rice pockets:
In a deep pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and oil.
Place the rice flour in a mixing bowl and add the boiling water gradually.
Mix well using a spoon and then cover with a tight lid and keep aside until it’s just cool enough to
Grease hands and knead into smooth and pliable dough.
Add more boiling water, if required to form the dough.
Cover and set the dough aside for twenty minutes
Divide the dough into small balls and then roll each ball into thin discs
Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each disc.
Bring the ends together and squeeze gently to shape.
Place in a steamer and steam fifteen minutes or until done.
Remove and serve while hot.
|Assamese Xoria with Tamul and Gamosa|
I hope you enjoyed having Sharmin share her recipes here today at Foodology. Here are Sharmin's social media links, do follow her.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/assameserecipes/
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