Oriya recipes

Poda pittha

September 23, 2008


Last week I was extremely occupied settling up our new place, lucky enough to have nestled in a cozy apartment and that too only five minutes drive from my son’s school. I am getting used to the new environment and new surroundings. It is exciting and at times a bit daunting to search for new shops that would to cater to our simple daily needs of vegetable and fruits.
I am quite used to traveling and setting up at a new place very frequently so this wasn’t new for me. I am quite glad that my son has started liking his new school and is well settled.
Now the week before we moved, I baked a traditional cake from Orissa, “Poda” means brunt and “Pitha” refers to cake. Basically the ingredients are not the usual plain flours but rice and lentils. Surprisingly this divine cake had never caught my attention until recently when my mom mentioned about it. My curiosity rose and it was a must on my baking list.
This cake is a unique combination of fiery pepper blended with aromatic cardamoms and crushed subtle ginger. Since this cake is always part of our festivals and offered to god, so it is absolutely vegetarian (free of eggs too).
In Indian cooking, recipes have traditionally been handed down from one generation to another and is always modified according to one’s taste and generation and so as such no accurate measurements were ever recorded. This indeed helps to fire the imagination of every creative cook.
I love contemporary baking since it has accurate measurement and the success rate is higher if one follows the instructions well. I was rather confused when my mom shared her recipe and only place was my life saver Google. I found this recipe very similar and exactly the place it was meant to be at the this website “Hare Krsna”.

Poda pittha
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Odiya
Author: Shibani of Pearlsofeast
  • 3/4 cup split Urad dal
  • 1 cup Rice
  • 1 cup brown sugar/jaggery
  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper crushed
  • 3 to 4 cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 inch ginger crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 5 to 6 pitted chopped dates soaked and pureed
  • Handful of nuts (cashews, almonds, and pistachios)
  1. Soak rice and urad dal over night. Grind them to a coarse paste using very little water and set aside for 3 to 4 hours. Don’t let it ferment. Mix sugar, baking powder, cardamoms, pepper, ginger and salt. Add them to above mix.
  2. Add coconut, ghee, raisins, pureed date, and nuts and mix well. Grease a baking pan (22cm) with ghee and pour the batter. Preheat the oven at 180’C and bake for 30 to 40 minutes till done.
  3. Remove and let it cool down. Slice and serve.
Traditionally dates are not used but I have used them to make the pitha moist and soft.

Update- 2017

So recently when I started to edit this post, I thought of completely revamping it and changing the content with my latest pictures but I soon realised that it is a good idea to keep the original content and post a recent update.  Honestly I feel extremely proud to see my journey so far. My styling and photography has changed over the period of time but these recipes, the taste hasn’t changed at all. I still love it…
I have lately started using coconut sugar instead of our regular sugar, otherwise all the above ingredients remains the same. I have made this recipe many a times for different gatherings and groups and I have always seen people enjoying its  unique flavour.
Now there is one more reason to feel proud too, seeing  my mum and my mum in law having adapted my version of baking this pitha using pureed dates. I am sure this delicacies from our beautiful state Odisha will always remain coveted forever. There are few more delicacies like chenna poda, rassbali, rasgulla, chenna jhili  have also topped  the list too and definitely needs no introduction to my beautiful Odiya folks.




Don’t forget to leave me comment if you have baked this recipe, would love to hear how it turned out.


Poi saaga ( leafy greens ) with vegetables
Lentils and Onion pokoras also known as "piyaji"

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  • Reply sowmya September 23, 2008 at 11:09 am

    superb. looks delicious too..I am bookmarking this..hope to try it this weekend…
    Btw, thanks for your mail about springform pan,…will look for it in Ikea..

  • Reply Arundathi September 23, 2008 at 11:10 am

    that looks great!

  • Reply meeso September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    This is interesting and I’ve seen nothing like it… Hope you get settled soon 🙂

  • Reply Vanamala September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Looks nice … sounds new to me

  • Reply bee September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    very similar to the gujarati handvo, which also incorporates veggies like bottlegourd. i love this concept.

  • Reply Usha September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Sounds wonderful what a great idea, will give this a try 🙂

  • Reply Vaishali September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Yummy: a savory cake! This looks divine and delicious, Pearls.

  • Reply Cham September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Just like a piece of cake, very new recipe 🙂 Beautiful presentation

  • Reply Madhavi September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Oh this looks awesome, mouth-watering. Very nice recipe, bookmark!!!!

  • Reply Sangeeth September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    This is new to me and sounds delicious…

  • Reply Divya September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    How interesting! Will try it out for its uniqueness. I have seen nothing like this before. Will let you know when I make it.

  • Reply Sukanya September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Amazing….Its totally new to me…Did’nt know of this recipe before….looks yummy…very nice click

  • Reply ANJALI J. September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    this is new to me.. i can try this out soon.

  • Reply Happy cook September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    You moved again.
    This cake is really new to me.
    Looks so healthy and delicious

  • Reply Rachel September 24, 2008 at 12:12 am

    that is a real authentic cake….great presentation S.

    You have been moving a lot…Wheww!!!

  • Reply Uma September 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    wow, fantastic cake! A complete different recipe for me. A must try.

  • Reply Divya Vikram September 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    This is a new one to me..Glad that you have settled in your new place..

  • Reply SriLekha September 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    its looking perfect too!

  • Reply SriLekha September 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    wow! delicious cake!

  • Reply Priti September 26, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Hey glad to knw you have settled in your new place. Cake looks delicious and yummy…I would have never guessed it made from dal and chawal ..wow this is real new for me..and am so excited to make this. One thing..while grinding the dal, chawal..do we add water? If yes how much? I guess it should be minimal ?? Please guide. Thanks for the lovely recipe dear

  • Reply Suma October 8, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Hi Shibani

    I made poda pitha following your recipe.I also added pureed the dates to the batter. The final result was a soft and spongy cake like. The taste was good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  • Reply Pearlsofeast October 8, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Thanks you Suma for trying out this recipe.I feel more enthusiastic to post Oriya recipes,

  • Reply Kirti May 30, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Great photos! Mouthwatering!

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