RAJSHAHI, Nov16: With the approaching of winter, selling of some seasonal foods has also been started in Rajshahi city and surrounding areas. One of such foods is Bhapa Pitha, a traditional cake made with rice-powder through cooking it in steam.
At various footpaths of busy crossings like at Alupatty crossing, Zero point of Shaheb Bazaar, Laxmipur crossing, Rajshahi court area, Rajshahi Rail Station, Bus stand, Talaimari, Kajla and Binodepur areas scores of people, mainly women folk, are seen to prepare and sell Bhapa Pitha to their customers. These cakes are mainly consumed during evening, night and during morning. Many people have got rid of their financial constraints by taking the profession of making the Bhapa Pitha and selling those to the customers in city and surrounding upazilas during winter season.
Halima was seen to prepare Bhapa Pitha by sitting a road-side corner in Laxmipur area with an earthen cooking pot filled with hot water on a makeshift furnace made through mud. Boiling water from the earthen pot giving away hot steam on which she had been placing some wet rice powder mixed with molasses and cocoanut fragments in a pot. The hot steam helps to make rice and cocoanut to become soft, flavoured and tasty. A large number of consumers were seen to purchase the cakes from her.
She said each piece of the cake is sold at Tk 10 and she usually sells the item worth Tk 2,000 to Tk 2,200 daily. She said the sale will be boosted further with the decrease of day temperature. She used to maintain her four-member family by selling the cakes during the winter, she added.
Abdul Khabir with his wife was selling Bhapa Pitha at Feroz Chattar bazaar area of Godagari upazila. They have set up the shop of selling the pitha on a van. There is a furnace on the van and with rice powder, gur (date molasses) and cocoanut fragment they were making the pitha. Many people were seen to visit the van of Khabir to purchase the pitha from the evening.
Sohel, a customer of Bhapa pitha informed, Bhapa Pitha is a traditional food of winter in Rajshahi region. The hot, steaming Bhapa Pitha in cold weather gives a special dimension to enjoy the winter.
Another customer Shahin informed, now a days, most housewives do not know how to make a Bhapa Pitha. Even after knowing by someone, it seemed an extra burden and litigation to make Bhapa Pitha at home.
While talking to this correspondent Khabir informed, he has been selling Bhapa Pitha at Godagari during every winter for last seven years. People rushed to his make-shift shop to purchase and consume Bhapa Pitha every evening and the selling continued till 10.00 at night. His wife also helped him in preparing pitha and serving the customers. He sells per piece of pitha at Tk 10 only and in a night he can sell pitha worth Tk 1,800 to Tk 2,000 and he can earn Tk 700 to Tk 800 a night by selling the item. He was happy with his business.