Bihari Dal Pitha, Steamed Rice Dumplings with Savory Filling

Cooking a traditional recipe always warms me up. I love the nostalgia it brings with it, I remember how my grandmother used to make it and then my mother and how all of us siblings would huddle up in the kitchen and be curious. No wonder all of us siblings are foodies and great cooks. Though when it comes to try the more labor intensive and time consuming recipes it’s yours truly who plays granny. And I love doing this and I love when I see happy faces around me. Food always succeeds in spreading happiness. This goojha as we call it at home is a family favorite. It is called fara (singular) or Farey (plural) or pitha in different parts of Bihar and UP. Bengalis make a sweet version of the same dumpling with a jaggery and coconut stuffing.


Try them if you want variation in your tastebuds and have no problems with the typical chana dal/besan flavor. This is a very healthy snack for your evenings as it is steamed and has gram filling. Do try! Happy and Healthy cooking!!

Health Benefits of PithaHigh Fiber content which prevents constipation and digestive disorders and leads to weight loss,Good source of Protein for vegetarians,Excellent source of Manganese and Iron, Stabilizes Blood Sugar, Lowers Cholesterol

Recipe of Pitha

Ingredients: Makes around 6-8 Pithas

For the Outer Covering:
1/2 Cup Rice Powder/Rice Flour
1 1/2 Cup Water
1 tsp Cumin seeds/Jeera
Salt to taste

For the Filling:
1/2 Cup Chana Dal/Bengal Gram
3 Green Chillies
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Cumin seeds/Jeera
Salt to taste
2 sprigs of Coriander Leaves

For the Seasoning:
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
A sprig of Curry Leaves

1. Soak the chana dal in sufficient water for around 4-5 hours or overnight. Drain and keep it aside.

2. Heat water in a thick bottomed pot and add salt and cumin seeds as soon as it starts boiling.

3. Now switch off the flame, add rice flour to it and mix well till it forms a dough.

4. Transfer it to a plate. Allow it to cool slightly..

5. Dip your fingers in little water and form a smooth dough using your hands.

6. Cover it with wet cloth and keep it to rest till use.
7. Grind chana dal with green chillies and garlic to a coarse paste.
Note: Do NOT add water at all while grinding.

Pitha Filling

8. Add cumin seeds and salt and grind till the chana dal are mashed.. Add coriander leaves.

9. Divide the dough into equal sized balls and keep aside.

Pitha Layer3

10. Take one ball and press it between your palms. Now shape it with your fingers to form a small circle..
Note: Dip your fingers and apply your palms with water if the dough is sticking..

11. Keep a small lump of the filling inside..
Note: Don’t fill too much as it will be difficult to close.

12. Cover it into desired shapes. You can make semicircle like this or cover fully into a round dumpling.

13. Design using a fork if desired. {seals the edges properly and looks pretty too}

14. Place it in a steamer and steam for around 15-20 mins till a knife inserted comes out clear.

Pitha Layer4

15. Cut into desired shapes and pour seasoning of curry leaves and mustard seeds over it.
Enjoy with Mint Coriander Chutney!
For the Chutney, Grind together a Tbsp of freshly grated Coconut with 5 sprigs of Coriander leaves, a sprig of Mint leaves,3 Green Chillies, a clove of Garlic, a small piece of Ginger andJaggery with little water to a smooth paste.. Add Salt and Lemon juice.. Serve fresh!


Dip the Tasty Pithas into the Tangy Chutney and enjoy with a Hot cup of Tea!



A girl from the capital of Bihar, trying to understand the past underdevelopment of Bihar and exploring the ways to improve the status of the State