Enduri Pitha a.k.a Haldi Patra Pitha– the word brings back a huge wave of childhood memories where the Pitha or steamed sweet dim sum marks the Prathamashtami, a festival of Odisha that is celebrated to pray for the well-being of the first born. Now, being the second the born there was an obvious hatred in me for this festival and the rituals associated including the lip-smacking Pitha. But as I grew up, with the fading ‘second-born jealousy’ fading away, the love for Enduri Pitha deepened.
The word Enduri itself, in my family, meant something that’s very rare and precious. Whenever anyone of the three siblings would be fussy about the food, she would say “Aau kana Enduri ta khaibu?” which meant ‘You think I’ll make Enduris for you now?’ I always thought what the word meant anyway and why is it given such an importance? I am yet to find the real reason behind it but the fact that the Pitha, unlike any other Pitha could only be prepared in the season when the Haldi leaves are abundantly available, the speciality lies in the rarity!
Enduri Pitha is as difficult to make as it is easier to gobble down. The Pitha process and taste of the Pitha is quite similar to that of Idli but the difference lies in the aroma of the turmeric leaves and the filling. The batter needs just the exact quantities of rice flour and black gram for a perfectly plump and soft Pitha later when it is steamed. The filling, however, is easier as one could add different ingredients to it according to one’s palette apart from the usual grated Coconut, Jaggery and Chhoti Elaichi or cardamom filling. The most essential part of the cooking process that gives the Pitha its final shape and that subtle turmeric aroma is the part at the end where the batter is put into the Turmeric leaf and the filling is put into it. The leaf then takes over the responsibility of creating the drama of a freshly peeled aromatic Pitha.
Enduri Pitha could only be prepared in the season when the Haldi leaves are abundantly available, the speciality lies in the rarity!
Enduri Pitha could very well be eaten as a snack anytime of the day or as a main course in any of the important meals. The flavourful filling is more than enough for taste and it doesn’t need anything accompaniment to with it. However, people, like my father, who always need something to balance out the sweetness of the Pitha could combine it with Matar Tarkari (White Peas Curry) or any chutney of choice.