I lived in Delhi but my native place is in Bihar. I have seen a lot of good Bihari recipes cooked by my mother. I want to share those recipes with all of you so that you can also enjoy these yummy and delicious recipes at your home.
In all the season, regular food items are rice, roti, achar, chatni, dals and milk products with some variation.
Mustard oil and zeera (cumin) or panchforan (literally “five seeds”), namely saunf, sarson, methi, ajwain and mangraeel (Kalaunji) used for “chhounkna”/”Tadka”(tempering) of some vegetables. There is a lot of light frying, called bhoonjnaa, in Bihari food.
One of the most remarkable things about this cuisine is “smoked food”. It refers to using smoked red chilli to infuse a strong aroma in food. It is used in preparing “chokhaa”, i.e. mashed brinjals/potatoes/tomatoes, either single or combined. Smoked chilli is also used in preparing Kadam (a common fruit sweet-sour in taste, technical name Anthocephalus morindaefolia) chutney.
Litti– Powdered roasted Chana is mixed with chopped onions, green chillies, lemon juice, coriander leaves, mango/bharwa lal mirchi pickle masala and oil. This mixture is filled inside atta and either made over cow dung(Upla) or deep-fried with oil or baked in gas tandoor. Best accompanied with Ghee and Chokha/baigan bharta.
Recipe: How to make Litti Chokha
Kadhi-Badi – these fried soft dumplings (Badi) made of besan (gram flour) are cooked in a spicy gravy of yoghurt and besan. It is served with Rice.
Khichdi – This is made with the mix of Rice, Dal and several Vegetables, steamed together to give a distinctive taste of different ingredients combined in one dish. It is often topped up with ghee. It is served with chokha, papad and pickles. There is a very famous idiom for this:
“Khichdi ke chaar yaar,
Chokha, papad, ghee aur anchaar”
Ghugni – It is a preparation made of black grams soaked (either lightly/overnight) in water and then sauted in mustard oil in a wok. All kinds of garam masala made the paste on a SIL is used for flavouring and chana is also ground to form a paste used as the thickener. This thickens the masala and makes gravy as per desire. After proper seasoning and bhunjana water is added to the mix for gravy as desired.
Pittha – It is known as Bihari momos. It is either in the shape of a semi-circular, ball or boat. It’s filling made of the paste of Channa Daal (soaked overnight and boiled), dry masala. It’s an upper-crust made of rice flour dough then steamed in the streamer or traditionally dip in the hot boiling water in any deep vessel.
Choora– beaten rice, used in fast food and main course. In the main course, it served with a creamy curd and sugar or jaggery. This is the main traditional food on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Another savoury dish made with Choora is Choora-Matar, Choora is roasted and accompanied with a thick spicy preparation made of peas and onions.
Sattu – powdered baked gram, high energy giving food and used all the season. In summer it is consumed as a drink mixed with water, It keeps your body cool. Sometimes, sattu mixed with spices is used to prepare ‘Litti’ and stuffed ‘chapattis’, locally called as ‘makuni roti’.
Dhuska– a deep-fried item prepared from a paste of soaked rice, Chana Dal and Urad Dal(dhuli) mixed with spices and then deep-fried in mustard oil/ghee. It is served with Aalu Chana sabji.
You can see my article on Bihari Sweets also.
You can try out some good Bihari food in the Potbelly restaurant Delhi.
Other useful links about Bihar:
List of notable personalities from Bihar, India.