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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter's Pitha-Puli-Payesh

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The winter is running here in the Bangladesh, though it's not been mature yet in the urban areas. But the nature has already expressed many sign of winter; little foggy at night and early morning. Dryness and cold air are increasing day by day. With these all we are also preparing us for make a go through in it.

From costume to cuisine, everywhere sign of winter is reflecting now. Bangladesh has a primitive culture to enjoy various types of Pitha (Rice cake) during this time. We have plenty of pitha items. And most of them are introduced especially for this winter period. Whether question arises - why most of the pithas are introduced in winter?

Answer is simple - it's one our tradition from long ago, when our cultivation was depended on natural irrigation system. There farmers were waiting for the rain drops to planting seeds for paddy and other crops, as there were no high yielding crops we only had maximum three crops in a year.

And the third-termer planted just after the rainy days and became mature during winter. After that two to three months crops field remains empty, as there were no technology and ideas to utilize them.

So that farmers were well-known to enjoy their new crops through pitha, payesh and many other Bangladeshi typical festive-food items. Thus the tradition was started and it's still keep going, although nowadays we have vast ideas to maximum use of our crops' fields. But this tradition is still with its own glory and became our culture.

Dew wet foggy morning of winter days along with delicious sweet pitha, payesh and other typical items - is just amazing and phenomenal. Our traditional pithas tastes and flavors are different than each-other. That's why their ingredients and making processes are different too. Rice flour, sugar or jaggery are the common ingredients for all type of our traditional pithas.

Besides somewhere coconut, date palm juice, banana, lentils, milk and coconut are needed too. Often cooked meat and vegetables are also used in some of our typical pithas. Some need oil to cook and some need hot steam. They have various names and shapes.

'Bhapa', 'Puli', 'Pakkon', 'Patishapta', 'Chitai' 'Andosha', 'Kulshi pitha', 'Pata pitha', 'Jhuri pitha', 'Muthi pitha' and 'Roser pitha'are the very common name of our pitha. They are available all-around the country. But there are some other names, which are not very common to every corner of Bangladesh. But they are also the part to our traditional pitha collection.

It's true that nowadays our urban life has little scope to go for the traditions. Whatever the season is, all we are just running after something which already makes us as emotionless. Everybody is busy with something, which just takes away the leisure. But we didn't forget our tradition and culture.

Wherever and however we are living in the urban, we like to fulfill those demands of our culture. And so that nowadays every type of our typical and traditional pithas are available in our nearby food corners. Means, now it's not only stands with the sign of culture; also stands with sign of prosperity.

Yes, in this capital of Bangladesh there many street shops, where pitha is the main item and every day meets many people's need. And interesting thing is such street pitha shops are providing their items all through the year; in every season. All classes' people consume pitha from there. Before winter there chitai pitha is seen mostly with hot-spicy dried fish bhorta (smash) and other typical bhorta items.

But during winter period their sells touch the higher margin, as this time sweet Bhapa pitha added with the previous items. After sunset customers crowd give the evidence of better business ratio and the higher demand of pithas. Often there grows customers queue to take delicious items. Nutrient facts of piths are not the focal point of this crowd, their only desire to taste the taste of winter's pitha.

Such desire and appetite is also seen at our home's cuisine too, as grand moms and moms are passing busy moments for making delicious pithas. Winter's pithas are the part of our culture. So what products' prices are day by day moving higher! But our tradition and culture always stand with the top priority to us.  


The writer is a Sub-Editor of The Asian Age                               -----A.S.M. Yiahia

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