The fresh aroma of steamed turmeric leaves, wrapped within a world of rice wonder, creates an irresistible vibe of sweetness and love in every Odia household this day! Mothers, with a lot of love and care, prepare what is locally known ‘Enduri Pitha’, or ‘Haladipatra Enduri’- one of the many varieties of sweet dishes made in Odisha.

Picture Courtesy: Binita Mangaraj

Amid the early chills of winter, barges in a festive fervour! Prathmashtami, as suggests the name, is celebrated on the eighth day of Shukla paksh (waning moon phase) in the Marghshira month as per the Hindu calendar. People believe, this is a festival for the well-being and prosperity of the eldest child as s/he takes up all the major responsibilities. Along with all the pampering, new clothes, attention, and love, ‘Enduri Pitha’ is especially served.

Picture Courtesy: Pranita Panda

While almost every sweet dish in Odisha is made out of rice flour and the process involved is usually steaming, Enduri Pitha stands out for the special manner in which it is being steamed. A layer of rice-black gram mixture is applied of the leaf. On it, coconut and jaggery mixture is spread. The leaf is folded/rolled into a stick and is steamed in ‘athara handi’ (steamer). The preparation starts a day earlier, because rice and black gram has to be soaked in water overnight. The best part? This pitha is prepared for seven continuous days starting Prathmastami. On the 7th day, the handi in which Enduri Pitha is teamed, gets immersed in water, as per the tradition.

Picture Courtesy: Binita Mangaraj

Enduri Pitha is also prepared on Manabasa Gurubara, in Odisha. Besides, did you know that it is offered to Lord Jagannath for his breakfast (sakala dhupa)? The medicinal properties of turmeric make this sweet dish all the more endearing and healthy! Here’s celebrating the existence of all eldest children, with lots of ‘Enduri Pitha’ love!

Tip: Enduri Pitha is best relished with Dalma!

Cover Picture Credit: Deepali Dilip Behera