What comes to your mind when we say ‘Bihari cuisine’? The most popular answer will be – litti chokha. We totally agree that litti chokha defines Bihari food culture to most of the world. But have you ever wondered what can be the probable reason behind the immense popularity? Let us elucidate it for you. Bihar has a rich culinary history that goes back to more than a thousand years. It is earthy, uncomplicated and has extensive use of local grains, pulses, vegetables and other produce. What manages to strike a chord with us every single time is the union of flavours in each of the dishes. And litti chokha is one of the best instances of the same. While litti is baked and dipped in ghee, chokha is a spicy mishmash of roasted vegetables, chilli, garlic and a pool of desi masalas. When combined together, the quintessential Bihari delicacy adds a burst of flavours and a rustic taste to your palate.
Also read: Litti Chokha, Bihari Handi Gosht And More: 5 Bihari Recipes You Must Try
Who Invented Litti Chokha? History And Origin Of Bihar’s Signature Dish:
As per legends, the first mention of litti was in the history of Magadha empire. It later rose to prominence during the era of Tantia Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai. “It was majorly because the preparation of litti involved less use of water and could stay fresh for two to three days,” explained Puja Sahu, owner of PotBelly Café in New Delhi. Further speaking about the history of this iconic dish, she mentioned, litti chokha was initially peasants and farmers’ food. “The dish is wholesome and includes several cooling properties that helped the farmers stay hydrated throughout the summers. Besides, the meal was fairly cheaper than other dishes, which added to its popularity among a section of people,” Puja added.
Over the years, the signature Bihari delicacy gained a dedicated fan base across the country. And the major reason behind the same is the chokha that comes by the side. Conventionally, litti – baked sattu stuffed dough ball – comes with three types of chokha, namely aloo chokha, baingan chokha and tamatar chokha. Some people like to enjoy each of these side dishes separately, while some mix it all while serving. Each of these chokhas are spicy, flavourful and can be paired with a whole of dishes, besides litti.
Here, we bring the recipes of all the three classic Bihari chokhas for you to decide how you want to go about it! Sounds perfect? Let’s take a look.
Also read: 5 Bihari Snacks Recipes To Have A Delightful Tea-Time Experience
How To Make Bihari-Style Aloo Chokha?
To make this dish, you need boiled potato, onion, coriander and a handful of spices. All you need to do is mix them all together with generous amount of mustard oil and salt. The recipe hardly requires any cooking and the best part is, you can pair it with any dish you want. You can have aloo chokha with rice and dal, roti, litti puri and even add as a filling to your sandwich.
How To Make Bihari-Style Baingan Chokha?
This recipe is much like aloo chokha and includes almost the same spices, in the same ratio. All you need to do is, roast baingan and garlic on gas stove, de-skin and mix well with onion, green chilli, coriander leaves, and spices. And yes, do not forget to add a generous amount of mustard oil in the recipe. You can also pair baingan chokha with roti for a wholesome meal.
How To Make Bihari-Style Tamatar Chokha?
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that tamatar chokha (or tomato chokha) is more like freshly pound chutney. It is aromatic, flavourful and elevates our meal experience in seconds. To make this dish, roast tomato, garlic, green chilli and then mix it all together with salt, lemon juice, roasted jeera powder and, of course, good amount of mustard oil. Sounds scrumptious?
So, what are you waiting for? Prepare these three classic Bihari chokhas at home and pair with litti for a delicious meal. And if you do not have litti, substitute it with roti or paratha and enjoy. Do let us know how you liked it. Bon Appetite!