Chunga pitha
Bamboo is burning to make sunga fita
Alternative namesChungapura pitha, sunga fita
CourseBreakfast and light refreshment
Place of originIndia India
Region or stateAssam
Sylhet region
Main ingredientsGlutinous rice and bamboo[1]
Similar dishesLemang, Daetong-bap, Sticky rice in bamboo

Chunga pitha (Sylheti: ꠌꠥꠋꠉꠣ ꠙꠤꠑꠣ), also known as chungapura pitha, is a traditional rice cake (pitha) originating in the Indian state of Assam and Sylhet region of Bangladesh.[2] Though its main ingredients are bamboo and glutinous (sticky) rice, it is also made with binni rice, milk, sugar, coconut, and rice powder.[3][4] This unique delicacy is prepared when sticky rice is stuffed inside young bamboo and smoke slowly.[5] It is popularly known as a distinct and traditional food in Assamese cuisine and Bengali cuisine.[6][7]

This traditional delicacy is also famous to the Assamese.[8] It is prepared at the time of Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu, a harvest festival celebrated in India's northeastern Assam.[9]


Fish bazaars have been very common throughout Bengal for centuries. People in the Sylhet region buy fish from these markets or catch big fish (rui, katla, chitl, gual, pabda, koi, magur) from the haors and rivers, and fry them to eat.[2] It was seen as a shame not to offer chunga pitha, fried fish, and coconut milk/sweets or murabba, to guests or a new son-in-law at the end of a meal.[10]

The various hill tribes of Sylhet had a tradition of cutting bamboo and putting wet rice inside it. Gradually, the food started to be popular from the hills to the Sylhetis living in the plains. In the course of time, this chunga (bamboo tube) dish came to be known as chunga pitha.[11]

Though atap rice is the main food of the people of Sylhet region, they prefer glutinous rice to make this delicacy.[12]



chunga fita on a dish

To make this rice cake, mulibash (a small type of bamboo) is required. This bamboo contains a special type of especially oily chemical that helps not burn the bamboo shoots in a fire. Sticky rice rolled with banana leaf is inserted into the bamboo tube.[11] Then it is burned with straw to make chunga pitha.[13] Due to the presence of excessive juice of the bamboo, the inner part of the tube is boiled in the heat of the fire.[6] This bamboo is used to make different types of rice cakes. In some places, baking is occurred with sticky rice, milk, sugar, coconut, and rice powder.[2]

Once the delicacy is prepared, the rice cake is shaped as a candle and separated from the tube.[14]


  1. ^ "Magh Bihu 2020 Special Sweets: Laru, Pitha, Doi-Sira, Enjoy These Assamese Traditional Dessert Recipes on Bhogali Bihu". 14 January 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "সিলেটের ঐতিহ্যবাহী চুঙ্গাপুড়া পিঠার প্রধান উপকরণ ঢলুবাঁশ হারিয়ে যেতে চলেছে". online (in Bengali). 13 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  3. ^ Mohammed Al-Khusaibi; Nasser Al-Habsi; Mohammad Shafiur Rahman, eds. (18 October 2019). Traditional Foods: History, Preparation, Processing and Safety. p. 132. ISBN 9783030246204. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  4. ^ "The Beckoning Beauty of Barak". BIT MESRAr. 21 December 2017. Archived from the original on 5 July 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Food for thought: Understanding Bangladeshi cuisine". The Daily Star. February 24, 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b "হারিয়ে যাচ্ছে সিলেটের চুঙ্গা পিঠার ঢলুবাঁশ". bhorer-dak (in Bengali). 13 December 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Bangladesh cuisine part I - delectable and diverse". The Daily Star. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Sunga Pitha". Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Sunga Pitha". Alamy. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  10. ^ "বিলুপ্তির পথে সিলেটের ঐতিহ্যবাহী ডলু বাঁশ". Sylheter Dak (in Bengali). 20 January 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2020.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b "ঐতিহ্যবাহী খাবার সিলেটের চুঙ্গা পিঠা". The Daily Ittefaq (in Bengali). Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  12. ^ "চুঙ্গা পিঠা : বাঁশ দিয়ে প্রাতঃরাশ". Sylheter Dak (in Bengali). 3 January 2018. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  13. ^ "বিলুপ্ত প্রায় ঐতিহ্যবাহী চুঙ্গাপিঠা". KristiKatha (in Bengali). 9 October 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  14. ^ "বাংলার ঐতিহ্যবাহী পিঠা". Sylheter Dak (in Bengali). 2 January 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2020.[permanent dead link]

See also