Celebrating Magh Bihu with Pitha and Laru

 

Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu marks the beginning of the year long celebration of festivals. The celebration day co-incides with the celebration of ‘Sankranthi’. Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is celebrated to mark the end of harvesting season. With the granaries full of harvests, both old and young take part in the process of an eventful preparation by building ‘bhella ghor’ or ‘meji’ ,and preparing varieties of traditional dishes. ‘Bhella ghor’ ( looks more of a temporary shelter) and ‘meji’ ( conical in shapes) are temporary sheds made from dry leaves, hay , bamboos etc. On the evening prior to Magh Bihu, households enjoys ‘uruka’ where family members, communities gather to enjoy feasting. Early in the following morning the Bhela ghors and mejis are burnt with bursting of bamboos filling the air with sounds similar to fire-crackers. The event is followed by distribution of ‘proxad’ ( Prasad or offerings to God ) and enjoying with families and friends

In this issue of Fried Eye, Sharmin, makes some of the most popular traditional sweets prepared on the occasion of Magh Bihu

Ghila Pitha

Ingredients

  1. 1 kg Bora/Glutinous Rice

  2. ½ kg jagger, grated

  3. 1 cup of warm water

  4. Mustard oil for deep frying

Preparation

  1. Wash rice thoroughly

  2. Soak for a few hours and drain completely

  3. Place in a colander and allow it to dry

  4. Grind to a fine powder

  5. Sieve if necessary and set aside

  6. Mix the jaggery in warm water. Keep aside.

  7. Add the rice flour to the jaggery water, mix well to make a soft dough

  8. Cover and keep aside for 1/2 hour

  9. Divide the dough into equal portions

  10. Shape into a ball and flatten slightly with your palms

  11. Heat oil in a deep wok .Deep fry until golden brown. 

  12. Remove and drain well. 

Til Pitha

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 kg Bora/Glutinous Rice 

  2. 200 g black sesame seeds 

  3. 100 jaggery,grated

Preparation

  1. Wash and soak rice for a few hours.

  2. Drain the rice completely and leave it in a colander to dry.

  3. Grind the soaked rice to coarse powder. The powder should be damp but not wet to touch. Keep the rice flour covered and away from draft.

  4. Lightly dry roast the sesame seeds, pound it slightly. 

  5. Grate the jaggery. Mix sesame seeds and the jaggery together.

  6. Heat an unseasoned tawa /girdle over medium flame and take a ladle of rice batter place it in the middle of the pan and spread to a small disc.

  7. While it is being roasted, place some jaggery and sesame mix in the center.

  8. When the rice batter begins to firm, lift one of the edges and hand roll into a cylindrical shape.

  9. Keep aside for a while on the side of griddle so that the pitha is crisp then remove from pan.The pitha should remain white.

The pithas can be stored for about a week.

                                                         BLACK TIL PITHA

Ingredients

  1. 500 gm Black Bora rice 1 fresh coconut

  2. 100 grams sugar

Preparation

  1. Wash and soak rice overnight.

  2. Drain the rice completely and leave it in a colander to dry. Grind to coarse powder. The rice powder should be damp but not wet to touch. Keep the flour covered and away from draft.

  3. Grate coconut .Mix in the sugar and cook over low heat for a few minutes .Remove and keep aside

  4. Heat an unseasoned tawa /girdle over medium flame and take a ladle of rice batter place it in the middle of the pan and spread to a small disc.

  5. While it is being roasted, place some coconut mix in the center.

  6. When the rice batter begins to firm,lift one of the edges and hand roll into a cylindrical shape. Keep aside for a while on the side of griddle so that the pitha is crisp then remove from pan. The pitha should remain white.

The pithas can be stored for about a week.

Til Laru

Ingredients

  1. 500gms Til (Sesame)

  2. 2 cups grated Jaggery

Preparation

  1. Clean and lightly roast the sesame seeds on a pan until crisp, taking care not to burn the seeds

  2. Place a heavy bottomed wok on medium flame, heat jaggery and a few table spoon of water to make thick syrup. (To check the consistency, pour a drop of the syrup into a cup of cold water. It will become a soft ball).Make sure the jaggery does not get burnt.

  3. Add the sesame seeds and m ix well

  4. Wet hands, scoop out a spoonful of mixture and roll into walnut sized balls immediately

Happy Magh Bihu!

Assamese Cuisine and Recipes

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1 Comment

1 Comment
  1. Aman kahlon

    I am not very fond of sweets ….. but this looks so tempting … Sharmin Awesome as ever

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