the rice flour open dumplings with urad dal paste as the stuffing from odia pitha series 

Odisha, one of the eastern states of the Indian subcontinent is a land of rich culture and tradition. In this state, there is a popular saying ‘Bara Mase Tera Parba’. That means ‘the Odia people celebrate 13 festivals in 12 months’. And each festival always calls for Pitha besides any other dishes. Pitha is basically a traditional sweet delicacy in the Odia language and the state of Odisha offers an amazing variety of pithas. Pitha is an integral part of Odia cuisine and is always in all Odia’s hearts irrespective of many modern adaptions. Starting from Kakera Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Chunchipatra Pitha to Manda Pitha, Enduri Pitha, Poda Pitha, etc there is always an array of this. 

Among these Manda Pitha is one of our most favorite. While I like the savory stuffing in the manda pitha in the steamed version, the rest of my family members love to have the sweet version which has a stuffing of coconut-jaggery mixture. In the savory version, the choice of stuffing completely depends upon the individual choice. One can go for vegetarian stuffing or even nonvegetarian (not for festival time) ones. I have grown up with having the cauliflower-potato stir fry stuffing in the savory manda pitha prepared by my mother still, sometimes I love to have the urad dal stuffing. With that dal stuffing, pitha is called Biri Gaja or Biri Manda.

Dietary note :

    ✔ Vegan

    ✔ Side dish

    ✔ Gluten-free

    ✔ Vegetarian

    ✔ Without onion & garlic

    ✔ Festive friendly

    And, yes !!!

    If you like the recipe shared here and give it a try at your place then do share in INSTAGRAM by tagging #firsttimercook. I would be so happy to see and surely share in my INSTA stories 😊😊

    Now let’s go through how to make this “Biri Manda” at home 👇

      : Recipe Card :

      Biri Manda Pitha / Biri Gaja



      Prep time

      10 Min

      Cook time

      30 Min

      inactive time

      1 Hour

      Total time

      1 H & 40 M

      Biri Manda Pitha / Biri Gaja

      a rice flour open dumpling with urad dal paste as the stuffing from Odia pitha series


      • Rice flour (chaula chuna) 1 cup
      • Black gram (urad dal) (soaked) 2/3 cup
      • Green chili 2-3 no.
      • Ginger (grated) 1/2 tsp
      • Curry leaf 1 sprig
      • Coriander leaf (finely chopped) 1-2 tbsp
      • Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
      • Salt as needed
      • Water as needed


      1. First, in a kadhai/wok, boil 2 cups of water along with 1/2 tsp salt.
      2. When water starts to boil, lower the heat and add the rice flour slowly while stirring continuously.
      3. A dough will form soon, turn off the heat.
      4. Cover the pan and allow the dough to cool down a bit.
      5. Meanwhile, make a fine paste of the soaked urad dal using very little water.
      6. Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl.
      7. Into that add grated ginger, chopped green chilies, roughly tore curry leaves, and chopped coriander leaves.
      8. Mix everything and keep aside.
      9. When the dough is still warm, start kneading it with a wet hand to get a smooth and soft texture.
      10. Divide the dough into equal size balls (around lemon size).
      11. Take one ball at a time and start pressing using fingertips to make a small bowl shape.
      12. Stuff 1-1.5 tbsp urad dal paste in it and close from either 2 sides / 4 sides with the center portion opened.
      13. Keep this pitha on a plate and similarly make some more pithas with rest dough balls and dal paste.
      14. Steam these pithas in a steamer for 10-15 minutes or till a knife/toothpick inserted in the stuffing comes out clean.
      15. Take out from the steamer and allow to cool.
      16. Serve as it is or with any curry or even with some chutney!


      Onions can be added in the chopped form if preparing on some other day instead of the festive time.

      Adjust the spiciness as desired by adding more or less green chilies.

      no onion no garlic, odia pitha, Biri gaja, Rice flour, urad dal, dumpling

      pitha, Biri manda pitha, Festival friendly, vegetarian,


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      1. Mayuri Patel

        Sasmita I've had the opportunity to taste traditional UP and Bihar pitha, and would definitely love the opportunity to taste some authentic Odia pitha. Biri manda pitha looks so tempting and healthy too as its steamed. Love that you've been sharing so many traditional Odia recipes.

      2. Superduper kitchen

        I always love your traditional odia recipes, Sasmita. This looks so cute and is similar to the uppu kozhukattai we make for Ganesh chathurthi. Previously also I have seen your rice dumplings in milk similar to our paal kozhukattai. Now I wonder if there are more recipes that are similar in odia and tamil cuisine. Lovely share and happy to know the new ones.

      3. Hema's Musings

        I have lots of homemade rice flour and I'll use it to cook your quick and delicious pitthe. Looks so good I wish I could have tried it soon

      4. jayashree

        Good to know about the Odia culture. The manda pitha is absolutely my kind, I too love savoury ones.

      5. JollyHomemadeRecipes

        I love traditional recipes, I have heard about end number of pitha varieties some sweet some salty, always curious to make it but looking full proof recipe of it & I got it. Would love to try this steamed version. The shapes looks really interesting and cute. Lovely!!

      6. preethi'scuisine

        Another interesting traditional recipe from
        Odisha. Would love to taste these delicious and healthy pitha from Odisha. So simple and healthy recipe.Beautiful clicks too.

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