We are arriving at the latter stages of our challenge. What began as a plan, quickly turned into an excitement-frenzied cook-off against time and resources, and now it is something that has given a purpose and loads of ideas to take the initiative forward.
I will be working on a photo series along with blogs and videos about the similarities between the roots of Assamese and South Indian cuisines. There are more than a handful dishes common to both regions, that are prepared in eerily similar manners and both claim them as their own.
This project will be particularly interesting, especially since I live and work in Bengaluru but have my home in Assam. I get to experience both worlds, the places, the food and the people who make those delicacies. It may take a while, probably a month or so, but I am very determined to pursue it with all my heart. So, let’s hope for the best.
Bhapa Pitha or Steamed Rice Cakes – 3 ingredients
My mother simply loves making these round delights. Each time I am home, these pithas or cakes are a must over one breakfast sitting. They are easy to make, if you have all the ingredients, and not overly sweet that just hits the spot.
Makes 6-10 pithas or cakes (depending on the size of your steamer)
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins
Dry rice flour – 4 cups
Freshly grated coconut – 2 cups
Granulated sugar – half a cup
Steamer/Rice Cooker/Idli Maker
In a large stainless steel bowl, add the rice flour, coconut and sugar and combine well.
Bring the water in the steamer to a boil. We had an idli maker for a steamer, like a lot other Assamese homes, which is why the name bhapa or steamed comes from. Few other places have traditional bamboo baskets to make these cakes.
Apply a little coconut oil the moulds of the idli stand, so that the mixture doesn’t stick while cooking. Take large spoonfuls of the mix and stuff into the moulds of the idli stand. Set it into the maker and cover it with the lid. Let the cakes cook for
Set it into the maker and cover it with the lid. Let the cakes cook in the steam for about three minutes and then check to see if they are done. The mix would have set into the shape of the mould and will easily drop out.
Serve them hot with a hot cup of tea and some cream on the side.