- The pits, prepared in the ground, are used for curing the tobacco leaves however, the method is not very common. Pit curing is mainly adopted in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- The tobacco grown in Jullundhar and Firozepur districts of Punjab is pit cured.
- In this method the pits are lined with tree leaves or dried straw in order to prevent mixing of leaves with soil. Then the wilted plants are arranged in layers into small heaps.
- In Firozepur a layer of Aak (Calotropis sp.) leaves are placed between the layers of tobacco leaves for increasing the pungency of cured leaves.
- The top of the heap is covered with a layer of straw and then with soil which should be about 10 to 15 cm above the ground level so that rain water does not percolate into the pit.
- It takes 6-8 days for curing after which they are twisted into ropes or made into bundles.
- The pits must be opened at right time as any delay in opening causes overheating and the leaves will get spoiled.
Sometimes leaves are placed in the first pit for 24 hour and then transferred to the second pit 48 hours and then back again to the first for another 24-48 hours. Thus a quick fermentation takes place and the leaves attain a dark brown colour and fruity smell.