Pithali – Unique, Delicious Heirloom Beef Curry

Heirloom Bangladeshi Beef Curry | www.withaspin.com


Imagine all the handwritten notes on scrap papers that our great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, and aunts scribbled over the centuries. Each of the scrap papers is a piece of history. Some of the faded, smudged recipe cards that some of us inherited got lost over the years. Wouldn’t it be magical to be able to store those and pass along to the next generation?


Not all of us are lucky enough to still have our relatives around to ask them about their favorite meals and type them up to store! How great would it be to make it a project that is all about the sharing and teaching of heirloom recipes? Involving kids, friends and the foodies around you would be so much fun.

Pithali | Copyright © With A Spin


Heirloom recipes are passed down from generation to generation. These collections of recipes are delicious, full of flavors, and fun to make.  Along with traditions, heritage, faith, language, etc., I think it is very important to pass along recipes from grandmothers, mothers, and aunts. These are like family history and tell a family story through the ingredients and meals enjoyed by the previous generations.  I get goose bumps thinking about passing heirloom recipes to the next generation’s collection. The nostalgic recipes may come down from a family or they may be hometown or favorite to certain regions.


Bangladeshi Traditional Beef Curry | Copyright © With A Spin


The recipe I am sharing today, Pithali, is one such heirloom recipe. Pithali is one of the traditional dishes in greater Mymensing district in Bangladesh and usually prepared for wedding, religious milad a.k.a congregation or other cultural events. A dear friend, Rubina Huq Lora, shared this recipe. Her grandmother used to cook this delicious beef curry when Rubina and her family visited her every year. Her mom learned to cook pithali from her grandmother and eventually she picked it up from her mother. She is hopeful and wishes that one day, her 4 year old daughter with learn and preserve the recipe for the next generation.

Heirloom Beef Curry | Copyright © With A Spin


My plan for this year is to reach out to my family and friends to gather many Bangladeshi heirloom recipes.  Eventually cook them and share with all of you. I hope our next generation would treasure the many recipes.

Heirloom Beef Curry | www.withaspin.com


Wouldn’t it be a meaningful and amazing gift to our next generation – a collection of recipes that belonged to the previous generations?


What are your thoughts on heirloom recipes?




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    Lail, I actually feel quite honoured that you are sharing this with us! Like you, I think that heirloom recipes are so so precious. And of course they have been practised time and time again so they should be amazing taste-wise. I’m definitely pinning this recipe for later. It looks pretty simple to make as well which makes me really keen to have a go at it! :-)

  2. kitchenriffs says

    Heirloom recipes are so special, aren’t they? They always have memories, and they’re usually so, so good. This one sure looks as if it is! Terrific stuff — thanks so much.

  3. says

    It would be great, indeed. Those recipe are the best because they survived a generation or two, they’ve been tasted and tested again and again, perfected in time. I’d love to read more about recipe like this one!

  4. thecookingdoctor says

    thats such a good gesture to collect all the heirloom recipes, especially when they look as gorgeous as this one :-). I can’t wait to try this, when i can get the 5 spices :-)

  5. says

    Yes, heirloom recipes are the best things for someone who loves to cook. I have a hand written book written by my father-in-laws uncle when he left for UK. It’s a treasure to me. I always thought pithali is a type of pithe 😛

    • says

      You are right. There is a regional pithe called pithali as well, but this particular one is a curry famous in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Thanks you for pointing out.

  6. says

    I just found my grandmother’s recipes that she wrote. Unfortunately, they are in Danish, and I can’t read them. It’s sad, because she worked as a cook. I guess I will need to learn Danish!

  7. says

    I am so glad you were able to get your hands on this heirloom recipe and shared it with us. I just adore all of those spices in there. I just know this recipe will be delicious. What kind of cut of beef did you use so that it is tender? Thanks, BAM

  8. says

    looks delicious yes nothing like beef curry made by grandma :) I haven’t added rice flour to thicken the gravy although I have added roasted and ground rice along with coconut for crab curry to thicken it so I know it is delicious :)

  9. says

    Heirlooms are tried and true – you just know that some little old lady has made it a million times before, for her family and friends. I think the best food stories either come from the preparation ( i remember my old great aunties sitting in a circle, worshipping the sun, and cutting the ends of green beans and gossiping) or stories told around the table (more old lady gossiping :))
    Heirloomed recipes are the best.
    And this looks wonderful.

  10. says

    Never tried Bandladesh food before. But anything with beef and curry sounds good for me! I bet this dish is packed with flavors and perfect with rice. Thanks for sharing your amazing heirloom recipe with us.

  11. says

    That looks good! Agreed that recipes connect us with the past in ways that can’t be connected otherwise. Smart to keep them alive. I have recipe boxes from a great-Aunt and have been thinking about starting to make some of the recipes. You’ve given me another push to do so :-)

  12. says

    I never saw my grand mothers both maternal and paternal sometimes wish I had cos would have learned so many old recipes :). Your beef curry looks delicious

  13. says

    I totally agree with you Lail… however many of us are not lucky to know what our grandmothers cooked… Before I got married, my grandmother passed away and I feel sad that I don’t know the dishes that she makes, not does my mom… :( This curry looks really delicious… appreciate your efforts in bringing them into the forefront…

    • says

      I know what you mean, Rafeeda. I have never seen my paternal grandparents and that’s a huge loss in life. SO glad you appreciate the idea. There’s nothing wrong in sharing. I believe you are never empty by sharing. Thanks for the comment dear.

    • says

      Mouri na thakle ar ki kora, kine ante paren :)

      All jokes aside, the rice flour and panch foron gives this dish such a new dimension, I think you’ll still enjoy it without the fennel seeds. However, to get the most authentic experience, try it with fennel seed sometimes later. Let me know how you like it.

  14. ChilliMama says

    I wasn’t intending to make this tonight but I couldn’t find any fenugreek locally; however, I spotted a tub of panch phoron and then had to find a recipe to use it in! Yours seemed to be the most suitable for my spice-and-chilli mad teenagers, and they’ve just polished off the entire panful. I personalised it slightly as their dad isn’t quite so into hot and spicy curries, so a dash of coconut cream went into his portion.

    Many thanks and “Ramadan Mubarak” to you and your family.

    • says

      A belated Ramadan Mubarak. I hope you are having a blessed Ramadan. I am so happy to learn that your family enjoyed pithali. Thank you so much for coming over to let me know. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for trying. Hope you see you around soon again inshaAllah on the blog. xoxo