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Vapa Pitha Recipe | Traditional Bangladeshi Steamed Rice Cake

About Vapa Pitha

Vapa Pitha is a delicious Bangladesh dish, you can call a traditional steamed rice cake have delightful flavors. Crafted from a blend of rice flour, grated coconut, and jaggery, this sweet treat is meticulously wrapped in banana leaves or parchment paper, then steamed to perfection. Embracing a soft, chewy texture and an enticing aroma, Vapa Pitha holds a special place in Bangladeshi cuisine often enjoyed during festive occasions weddings and cherished family gatherings.

Its distinct taste, coupled with the artful preparation involving age old techniques reflects the rich culinary heritage of Bangladesh inviting individuals to savor an authentic taste of tradition.

Gallery Vapa Pitha

Vapa Pitha (Steamed Rice Cake)


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup date palm jaggery (or regular jaggery)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • Water, as needed
  • Banana leaves or parchment paper (for steaming)


Prepare the filling

  • In a bowl, mix the grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamom powder thoroughly to create a sweet filling. Set aside.

Make the Rice Flour Dough

  • Take the rice flour in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water while kneading to form a smooth, firm dough. The dough should hold its shape.

Shape the Pithas

  • Take a small portion of the rice flour dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball into a small disc using your palms or a rolling pin.
  • Place a spoonful of the sweet coconut-jaggery filling in the center of the disc.
  • Fold the edges of the disc to cover the filling completely, shaping it into a semi-circular or crescent shape. Ensure the edges are sealed properly.

Prepare for Steaming

  • Cut banana leaves or parchment paper into squares to wrap each individual pitha.
  • Place each filled and shaped pitha on a piece of banana leaf or parchment paper.

Steam the Pithas

  • Heat water in a steamer or a large pot fitted with a steaming basket. Once the water is boiling, arrange the wrapped pithas in the steamer basket.
  • Steam the pithas for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through. You can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick or fork into the pitha; it should come out clean when they’re done.


  • Carefully remove the steamed pitha from the steamer.
  • Allow them to cool slightly before serving.


  • Vapa Pitha is often served as a sweet treat on its own or paired with tea or coffee.


  • If unavailable, parchment paper can be used as a substitute.
  • Ensure the pitha are sealed properly to prevent the filling from spilling out during steaming.

Prepare and relish these delightful Vapa Pitha, a beloved traditional Bangladeshi delicacy perfect for festive occasions or as a sweet indulgence!

Tips and Tricks for Making Vapa Pitha


Consistent Dough: Ensure the rice flour dough is well-kneaded and has a smooth, non-sticky consistency. This helps in shaping the Pitha neatly and prevents them from breaking during steaming.

Proper Sealing: Seal the edges of the Pitha properly to prevent the filling from leaking out while steaming. A well-sealed Pitha retains its shape and flavors.

Balanced Filling: Distribute the sweet coconut-jaggery filling evenly within the Pitha to ensure a consistent taste in every bite.

Steaming Techniques: Use banana leaves or parchment paper for wrapping the Pithas before steaming.

Steaming Time: Steam the Pithas for the appropriate duration, usually around 15-20 minutes, ensuring they are cooked thoroughly. Use a toothpick or fork to check doneness it should come out clean when inserted into the Pitha.

Banana Leaf Prep: If using banana leaves, soften them by briefly heating them over a flame. This makes them more pliable for wrapping the Pitha.

Even Steam Distribution: Arrange the wrapped Pitha evenly in the steamer basket, leaving enough space between them for proper steam circulation. Overcrowding may lead to uneven cooking.

Serve Fresh: Vapa Pitha tastes best when served fresh, so plan to enjoy them soon after they’re steamed. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.

Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to experiment with flavors. Some variations include adding nuts or spices to the filling or using different types of jaggery for a unique taste.

Practice Makes Perfect: Making Vapa Pitha may take a few attempts to master. Don’t be discouraged if your first batch isn’t perfect.

Nutrition Facts


The specific nutritional information for Vapa Pitha can vary based on the exact ingredients and proportions used. However, here’s an approximate nutritional profile for Vapa Pitha (per serving):

  • Calories: Around 80-100 calories
  • Total Fat: 1-2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 15-20 grams
  • Protein: 1-2 grams

Please note that these values are estimates and can differ based on variations in recipe ingredients, the size of the serving, and specific brands used. The primary ingredients, such as rice flour, grated coconut, and jaggery, contribute to the carbohydrate content, while the fat and protein content remain relatively low. For precise nutritional details, consider calculating based on the specific ingredients and quantities used in your recipe.

(FAQs) About Vapa Pitha

1. What is Vapa Bangladeshi Pitha?

Vapa Pitha is a traditional Bangladeshi steamed rice cake. It is made by filling rice flour dough with a sweet mixture of grated coconut and jaggery, wrapping it in banana leaves or parchment paper, and steaming until cooked.

2. What are the key ingredients used in making Vapa Pitha?

The main ingredients for Vapa Pitha include rice flour, grated coconut, jaggery (either date palm jaggery or regular jaggery), and cardamom powder for flavoring. Banana leaves or parchment paper are used for wrapping before steaming.

3. What is the significance of Vapa Pitha in Bangladeshi culture?

Vapa Pitha holds cultural significance in Bangladesh, often prepared during festivals, weddings, or special occasions. It represents the rich culinary heritage and is enjoyed as a traditional sweet delicacy.

4. Can I use substitutes for jaggery or coconut in Vapa Pitha?

While jaggery and grated coconut are traditional ingredients, you can explore alternatives like brown sugar for jaggery and desiccated coconut for grated coconut, but note that it may slightly alter the taste.

5. How do I steam Vapa Pitha if banana leaves are unavailable?

If banana leaves aren’t accessible, you can use parchment paper to wrap the Pithas before steaming. This helps retain moisture and imparts a similar aroma to the Pithas during the steaming process.

6. Can I store Vapa Pitha?

Vapa Pitha can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or refrigerated for a few days. Reheat by steaming or briefly microwaving before serving for the best taste.

7. Can I freeze Vapa Bangladeshi Pitha?

Yes, you can freeze Vapa Pitha for longer-term storage. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil, place them in a sealed container or freezer bag, and thaw/reheat before consuming.

8. What is the texture and taste of Vapa Pitha like?

Vapa Pitha has a soft and slightly chewy texture with a sweet flavor from the coconut-jaggery filling. The steaming process renders it moist and aromatic due to the use of banana leaves or parchment paper.

These FAQs aim to provide insights into Vapa Pitha, its preparation, cultural significance, and variations, allowing you to enjoy and appreciate this delightful traditional Bangladeshi delicacy.

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Hi My Name Is Shaheen Khatri! Inspired by my deep admiration for allrecipes I kicked off my blogging adventure in 2022. This culinary haven fueled my passion for cooking prompting me to share my gastronomic journey. Join me in exploring diverse flavors recipes and the joy that the art of cooking brings to our daily lives.

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