First of all, thank you Rupam Kowar from FB : https://www.facebook.com/rupkon?directed_target_id=0.
The original photo is his.
I have been pondering over two things. Assam has 6 seasons ! And we Assamese know how to celebrate each moment with specific food and some sort of music. Guess we really came down from the heavens through a golden ladder, that we seem to know how to live life king size. Our food is simple and has exotic taste! How can something be so simple? Some times it is so simple that I do not know how to describe. Hence when I saw this picture, I could not resist but use it.
Nangol Dhuwa is the end of all plowing season normally falls say Mid End Sept to Mid End October. This is the time when all farming jobs comes to a halt and the time to reap your harvest. People start to take life easy ( we are easy any way) and prepare for harvesting (not the witchy version).
This is normally a small ritual at home, not much of fanfare ( because people are hardly left with much money) and then distribute some of this cooked Pitha to the neighbours. This also declares that till next farming season, we are done ! In olden days it was a social way of saying, '' now I am available for social causes and celebrations''. ( this is what I gathered from my grand father; he used to say '' eh tahati nagol dhuwai nai, keneke ahibo'' meaning '' Sigh, they have not yet hung their plough, how can we bother them''.
Let me not go on and on about it, and give you the pitha recipe.
1. Banana Leaf - depending on how much and what size of pitha you want.
2. Rice Flour - Ideally Bora Saul, but any sticky rice - 2 Cup
3. Seasoning - Coconut Powder - 1/2 Cup
4. Salt & Sugar - As you like it.
5. A pot to boil.
Mix 2, 3 &4. Make a paste. NOT dough, thick paste ( thicker than your traditional pan cake).
Leave it for about two hours if you are using dry flour. In this case you will need more water.
If you are using fresh flour, you are ready to cook.
Now take about 2 table spoon for 1 pitha and wrap it up like in picture 4.
Let the water boil in a deep pan. Meanwhile your wrapping job may have been done. Once the water boils, remove from fire, put the packets you have made and drop them in water; put the pan back on fire.
You must be careful that all packets are submerged in water. Once the pitha is cooked, in most case it will float up. Else, just in case of fresh flour, it takes about 10-15 minutes depending upon where you are. Dry four takes a little more time.
Take them out and they are steamy hot.
If salty, serve with duck curry, if sweet eat with fresh cream or tea !!!
NOTE: You can use any other leaf that is traditionally used to steam in your place, a bit of flavour difference, but who cares. When I do sweet, I add a cardamom to the water just for fun; mind you not part of the original recipe.