Chitoi Pitha (Steamed Pancakes)

Chitoi Pitha is a bengali rice based steamed pancake that is eggless, need no oil or butter. It is served with freshly grated coconut and some jaggery, preferably date palm jaggery – Patali gur/Nolen Gur. 

My Mom is one of those very simple women who didn’t change much with time. I have never seen her wearing anything other than saree; her hair is always casually tied into a bun with a red bindi on her forehead and no make up whatsoever.

Her fashion sense could be old fashioned but I adore how quickly she got herself accustomed to smart phones.

For someone who never cared to have a mobile phone, she very proficiently chats with me on WhatsApp and even learnt video calling on Skype. Well, she does explain that its only because she wants to watch Avyan grow, even if virtually.

I am just glad that we can get on Skype and cook together. She taught me to prepare these Chitoi Pitha exactly that way.

Bengali Makar Sankranti special steamed pancake - Chitoi Pitha #playfulcooking

What is Pitha or Pithe ?

Pitha or Pithe are sweet treats, which are typically prepared with rice flour mixed with wheat or all-purpose flour. Mostly popular in eastern region of India, and Bangaladesh, Pitha/Pithe could be dumplings, tiny cakes or pancakes (like the one I am sharing today).

What is Chitoi Pitha

Chitoi Pitha or Steamed Pancakes are a little tricky to prepare. It’s a traditional food from Bangladesh.

The batter needs to be of perfect consistency, not runny but thin enough so you can ladle it on the hot pan. Then, it’s steamed after covering with a lid and sprinkling just enough water all around.

Too much water and it gets mushy, too less water and it gets dry. Unlike typical pancakes, these are dense and chewy because they’re prepared with a mix of rice flour and wheat flour.

Sankranti Special Nolen Gur, date palm jaggery being sliced. Nolen Gur

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO OF THE RECIPE 

Every time we meet, Mom prepares Chitoi Pitha for me, several times. We love to have it for breakfast with some freshly grated coconut and shaved jaggery, preferably date palm jaggery.

I do love to prepare the jaggery milk and enjoy few dudh chitoi pitha literary translating to milk chitoi pitha.

Dunked in the creamy sweet jaggery milk, it turns into a comforting winter treat. A perfect Sankranti special to celebrate winter harvest of rice, wheat and jaggery.

Jaggery milk being poured on the steamed pancake

Preparing Chitoi Pitha with out the mold! 

Typically Chitoi Pitha is preared in a special cast iron or earthen ware pan with holes in it. The batter is poured in those holes and then steamed until cooked.

I don’t have that special cookware and so I have always prepared it using a cast iron skillet.

Pouring the eggless pancake batter to a skillet

You can also use a non stick pan.

The authentic look might be missing but the taste is spot on. Give this easy Chitoi Pitha recipe a try and watch the video to understand the steps better.

Chitoi Pitha (Steamed Pancakes)

Chitoi Pitha (Steamed Pancakes)

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Chitoi Pitha is a bengali rice based steamed pancake that is eggless, need no oil or butter. It is served with freshly grated coconut and some jaggery, preferably date palm jaggery – Patali gur/Nolen Gur. 

Ingredients

for Chitoi Pitha/Steamed Pancakes

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • water to make the batter

for jaggery cream sauce

  • ¼ cup grated jaggery
  • 200 ml fresh cream

other ingredients

  • grated jaggery
  • freshly grated coconut

Instructions

  1. Whisk rice flour, wheat flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Then, pour water little by little to get the right consistency. If the batter gets too runny, add a little but of rice flour or wheat flour. Allow the batter to rest for about 10 minutes and in the meantime, prepare the jaggery cream sauce.
  2. Scatter the grated jaggery in a saucepan and turn on the heat. Allow it to simmer until the jaggery starts meting. Now, very carefully, taking your face away from the pan pour cream and give it a stir. Don't cook for too long or else it will curdle. Just mix everything and switch it off.
  3. To prepare Chitoi Pitha, heat a flat pan and make sure the heat is medium low. Ladle a little bit of the batter right in the center. Immediate cover the pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water all around the lid. It will start steaming the pancakes and in about 2 to 3 minutes, it will be done. Take off the lid and remove the Chitoi Pitha to a serving plate. Continue making rest of the Chitoi Pitha.
  4. Once done, pour the jaggery cream sauce on top and allow the Chitoi Pitha to soak up some of the sauce before serving. You could also serve it dry with some grated coconut and grated jaggery.

Notes

Chitoi pitha (steamed pancakes) cooks best in iron pan instead of nonstick pans.

Bengali Makar Sankranti special steamed pancake - Chitoi Pitha #playfulcooking

Did you enjoy this Chitoi Pitha (Steamed Pancakes)? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Anindya
    Anindya
    April 25, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    As usual great pictures and a small story to give that nostalgic feeling. Isnt this more of a Bangladeshi dish than the Indian counterparts dish ? nice read

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      April 25, 2016 at 7:10 PM

      Thank you Anindya and you are right about the origin of the dish. I updated that line 🙂

    • Bijoy Bharat Das
      Bijoy Bharat Das
      February 10, 2021 at 9:05 PM

      Yes, it is so. But in Bangladesh, they serve it with savoury curries and not date palm jaggery and grated fresh coconut.

  • Roxana
    Roxana
    April 25, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I’ve never heard of this pancakes before! They look delicious!

  • angiesrecipes
    angiesrecipes
    April 26, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Both the recipe and photography are stunning!

  • Megan @ Meg is Well
    Megan @ Meg is Well
    April 27, 2016 at 6:54 AM

    That jaggery cream sauce looks amazing and I love the milk pan. I had to look up what jaggery is and I want to try this so bad now! It’s so cool how you and your mom are able to cook together through Skype!

  • Shumaila
    Shumaila
    April 27, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    I have never eaten this but loved learning about it. Gorgeous pictures as always Kankana.

  • Jennifer Farley
    Jennifer Farley
    April 27, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Beautiful recipe, beautiful photos 🙂

  • Soma
    Soma
    April 28, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    In my family, chitoi pitha used to be done the night before Sankranti in clay molds. Good you showed a way of doing these on a tava or skillet. I can try eating some now! I miss them so much!

  • Asha
    Asha
    May 2, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    This sounds so good and looks very similar to something we make in the south. Love it and love the pictures.
    xx

  • Dolphia Nandi
    Dolphia Nandi
    May 10, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Your pictures are feast to eyes, and I always look forward to your stories. I was clueless about the origin of the recipe, thanks for educating me Kankana! Hugs and love to Avyan.

  • Easyfoodsmith
    Easyfoodsmith
    January 16, 2021 at 8:35 AM

    There is so much variety of pitha/ pithe! Love this version and especially drizzled with that cream, it sounds too good to resist 😀