Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Street Food: Bhapa Pitha (Steamed Rice cakes)

It has been four months since my last post...life has been taking over a bit. But, I am back with another addition to the Street Food series!!

Today's is Bhapa Pitha! Its a bit out of season since these vendors are out during the winter months and right now its is HOT!! What are Bhapa Pithas? It is rice flour steamed with jaggery. It's incredibly soft and pillow-y when steamed right and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you bite into hot off the oven. What's even more interesting is --this is one of those very rare items that are solely sold by women on the streets! Whether its a tiny makeshift stove by the roadside or a cart by the park...it is almost always by a women steaming away the cakes.

I always find the compactness of the street vendors amazing. Everything is at their fingertips and ready to pick and go in a matter of mins. For this particular item one requires a portable fire, a metal pot with a built in steamer, small disc plates and rice flour (boiled), salt, jaggery (date palm) and shredded fresh coconut. One just needs to mix the flour and salt and spread on plate. Add shredded cocnut and spoonful of jaggery in the middle, cover with a muslin or thin cloth and steam away for few mins.

Thats it! Each one costs about Tk.5 - thats about $0.07 !!!