Pithas are a part of food tradition and food culture of Bangladeshi cuisine

Pitha, pithe or peetha is a Bangla word that refers to a indigenous food and food tradition of Bangladesh and spreading some parts of India specially Bangla speaking region of India. For pitha/peetha there is no similar word in English. To explain others in English we interpret pitha/peetha as a rice cake or pie. But it’s not like the traditional cake or pie what is common in the western world and in their food culture.
Pitha/peetha is a part of life and culture of the Bangali and Bangladeshi people. But it is not part of our daily menu. Most pithas/peethas are seasonal, specially prepeared in the winter season because of some ingredients which are available only in winter season. And pithas/peethas of the winter season are the most delicious – a special combination with the climate of winter cold. Besides, some pithas are strongly associated with harvest festivals such as Nabanna and Poush Parban. Some pithas are also made throughout the year. Most pithas are sweet and a few are hot.
Traditionally in Bangladesh pithas are prepared and served on special occasion, such as receiving bridegrooms or brides, entertaining guests and arranging special get together of family members, relatives or friends. Pithas are often eaten at small meals, such as breakfast or as a snack with tea, although there are many sweet varieties that are reserved for desserts.
The most common ingredients of pitha/peetha are unboiled rice or wheat flour, molasses/gur or sugar, coconut and oil. Meat and vegetables are also used in preparing some pithas/peethas such as Pooli pitha, Shabji(vegetables)  pitha, Bhapa(steamed)pitha, Jhal(hot)patishapta pitha and  Mangsha(meat)patishapta pitha. Sometimes fruits – mostly jackfruit, palm/palmyra, coconut and banana are also used. Date juice and molasses/gur prepared from date juice, palm syra, sugarcane molasses/gur are also some of desierable ingredients. These pithas are named after the name of the fruit they are made from. A special type of pitha is prepared by using tree leaves as covers and are named pata(leaf) pitha. Some pithas are named according to their size. A big size pitha is called ‘’Hati pitha’’, while one of the small types of pitha is named ‘’Khejur(date) pitha. Sometimes the same pitha has different names in different areas. Some pithas are nationally known and familiar to all.
Pithas are prepared by different ways and that give different test. Depending on the type of pitha being prepared, pithas can be fried in oil, slow- roasted over a fire, steamed or baked and rolled over a hot plate.
In 1991, the Shishu Academy of Dhaka, Bangladesh arranged an exhibition of pithas, where 106 categories of pithas were displayed. Pithas are popular all over the country and each area has its unique type of pithas. The most common and popular pithas that are well known throughout Bangladesh are Chitoi pitha, Patishapta, Pakan, Bhapa pitha, Andosha, Kulshi pitha, Pata pitha, Jhuri pitha, Muthi pitha and Roser pitha.
Now a days life is not so easy and simple like before. People especially those who live in urban areas don’t have much time to engage themselves for making pitha. It demands time and labour for pre preparation of pitha making. That is why, now a days cakes, pastry and other food items that are sold commercially are gradually replacing traditional homemade pithas, especially in urban areas. But pithas still continue to attract many, even in urban areas. Many specialized shops sell costly pithas and small vendors in street corners also make their living by selling cheap pithas.
S: en.wikipedia.org; banglapedia.org;  

                                     Vaja puli pitha

                                                                      Sundori pakon pitha

                                                                  Patishapta pitha

                                                                        Pata Pitha
Sanjer Pitha

                                                                    Siddho puli Pitha

                                                               Malpowa Pitha

                                                          Rosh Pitha

                                     Rashvori Pitha-Popular in Noakhali

                                            Shita Pitha-popular in Noakhali
Bini Pitha

Mug puli Pitha

Surjomukhi Pitha
Shemai Pitha

Jhinuk Pitha- local cuisine of Narsingdi
Chita Pitha/ Bhija Pitha
Khejur Pitha
Chitoi Pitha
Beni Pitha
Corolla Pitha
Dudh chitoi Pitha

Bhapa Pitha
Nakshi Pitha- local cuisine of Narsingdi
Jhal kushli Pitha
Jhikimiki Pitha- local cuisine of Narsingdi
Bibi khana Pitha/Pora Pitha -as known in Shariatpur/Munsiganj and in Noakhali
Teler Pitha/Pakan/Pakon Pitha
Jhal puli Pitha
Ross chitoi Pitha
Kata Pitha
Mowlko Pitha
Puli Pitha
Chonga Pitha
Mera Pitha/Mutha Pitha/choi Pitha - popular in Comilla, Tangail and Sylhet
Patisapta Pitha

All pictures of pithas have been collected from different blogs, flickr.com, and picasa.com .