Prathamashtami is one of the major festival celebrated in a Hindu Odia household. It is widely observed throughout the state and it is celebrated to pray for the long life and prosperity of the eldest child of the family.
This ritual is celebrated on the 8th day of the Margasira month – 8 days after Kartika Purnima. On this day the eldest child of the family referred to as ‘Padhuan’ is dressed with new clothes gifted by the Maternal Uncle (Mamu) of the child. They are adorned with sandalwood and Vermillion on their forehead( Chandana Sindura Tipa) and marigold garlands . They are blessed with prayers in which flowers and rice are showered on them and a lamp is lighted for them which is called Bandapana in Odisha.
The social significance of the festival is that the first born or the eldest child of the family are obedient and responsible and take the responsibility of carrying forward the family tradition after the death of their parents. They are considered to be the successor of their parents and hence prayers are held for their good health and long life. Prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha and Sathi Devi .
The signature delicacy of this festival is Enduri Pitha more commonly known as Haladi Patra Pitha which is prepared in every household of the state. It is prepared using haladi or turmeric leaves and the aroma of the turmeric leaves gives a nice flavour to this pitha. Enduri Pitha is a steamed cake similar to idly in which a stuffing made of grated coconut , jaggery and cardamom is placed between the batter and this batter in placed inside a piece of turmeric leaf or Haladi Patra. It is then steamed over hot water and hence a stuffed cake is formed with the rich aroma of Haladi Patra. Hence this pitha is also known as Haladi Patra pitha.
Haladi Patra pitha along with other delicacies like sweets, fruits, kheer and ghanta ( Odia style mix veg curry )are served as offerings to God on this auspicious day.
It is difficult to find Turmeric leaves for the Odia people who stay outside Odisha. Hence they prepare a different version of Enduri pitha known as Muaan Pitha. The recipe of this Pitha is similar to Enduri Pitha except the fact that Muaan Pitha is steamed without a turmeric leaf. This Pitha also tastes delicious.
Here’s sharing the recipe of Muaan Pitha –
- Urad Dal – 1 cup
- Rice – 2 cups
- Grated Coconut – 2 cup
- Grated Jaggery – 1 cup
- Elaichi Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – 2 tbsp
- Water for steaming
- Soak the Urad Dal and Rice in water overnight. After that grind them to form a batter of thick consistency. Add salt to the batter .
- Allow this batter to rest for 8 – 10 hrs so that the batter becomes double in quantity after fermentation.
- To make the coconut filling heat a pan and add jaggery.
- When jaggery starts melting add grated coconut and elaichi powder.
- Keep on frying till coconut becomes dry. Once the coconut becomes brown and dry remove from flame
- Heat water in a open mouthed vessel . Tie a cloth on the mouth of the vessel. Once water gets heated place 2 spoonful of batter on the cloth and spread it. Add coconut filling on top of the batter and add 2 more spoons of batter on top of the filling.
- Cover the mouth of the vessel with a lid and allow the Pitha to cook in steam.
- Insert a knife to check whether the Pitha is cooked. If the knife comes out clean that means the Pitha is cooked.
- Remove the Pitha from flame using a knife or spoon
- Serve with ghanta tarkari or kheeri.
Check the video of the above recipe on my YouTube channel by clicking on the below link.
To all my dear friends away from Odisha….try out this delicious recipe and enjoy the festival of Prathamashtami.