Is it a momo? Is it a Gujia? No, it’s a Dal Pitha. From the land that gave us Litti Chokhas, Dahi Churas and Thekuas , comes another snack that is sure to leave the foodie in you curious and definitely craving for more. Dal Pitha or Pithi is a Bihari dish, eaten mostly during breakfast or in the evenings with chai.Dal in Hindi means legumes and pitha or pithi means dumplings made of whole wheat or fresh rice flour. The steamed dumplings are traditionally shaped like Gujiyas. Dal Pitha is traditionally served with chokha which is mashed potatoes fried with some onions, green chillies and pickle masala or freshly made hari dhaniye (coriander) chutney or a tangy tomato chutney.These dumpling delicacies are eaten across the regions of Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The sumptuous snack could be both sweet or savoury. The secret lies in the lentil filling. To bite into a dumpling which could be either, is one of the best surprises for everyone who truly loves good food. For breakfast, people usually enjoy the Bihari snack in which the rice flour dumpling is stuffed with a spicy, masala lentil filling. In parts of Jharkhand and Northern Bengal, the sweeter variant is preferred more, where the dal filling has and an additional mix of coconut and jaggery to induce a lovely sweet taste to the dumpling. Not to say that the spicy variant is any less loved in the state.
Its style of preparation, makes Dal Pithas or Pithis one of the guilt-free snacks to binge on Because the dumpling is steamed. And the spicy dal filling is full of proteins and essential minerals. What a bonus right?
Making these Pithas requires an artful attention to detail and like every traditional recipe- lots of patience. While the ingredients are bare minimum, a minor negligence can lead to hard pithas. For the filling, the chana dal is traditionally soaked for 4-5 hours or overnight and then grounded into a firm paste with a mix of chillies, ginger and garlic paste, and coriander leaves. After this, you need to knead the flour smoothly to make the dough. Fill the mixed dal paste in every portion and roll them in a Gujiya shape and put to steam or microwave. And your Dal Pithas are ready!
Here’s a delicious recipe of savoury Dal Pitha by Karuna Verma that you can make at home for a delightful experience.