Bihar state is famous for its rich history as much as it is known in India for accommodating its simple and straightforward masses who love a variety of foods. The inhabitants of this state are therefore realistic and of course, known in the country for a sense of hospitality. This distinction doesn’t end here. They always love good food. In fact, Bihari cuisine is famous in the entire northern region of the country due to it being distinct in many aspects. As the state is culturally vibrant its food varieties are vividly known in the country. Its extensive richness in agriculture and various other resources are known to the world but equally do marvel state’s diverse food culture.
A unique feature of Bihar’s food or multi-cuisine is that it maintains simplicity yet remains one of the most appealing food choices in the country. Its freshness and goodness in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods always give a mouth-watering feeling to everybody willing to taste food that any food lover admires and can’t ignore. As the rich culture and tradition of this region prevail for many centuries, inhabitants of Bihar always like the nutritious diets of their choice. It is worth noting that people usually prefer vegetarian food as much as they explore other varieties from the array of non-vegetarian dishes they love to eat.
Famous Dishes of Bihar
The food culture of this state is mainly of vegetarian nature when it comes to portraying traditional Bihari food habits. No matter what dish you choose from the Bihari cuisine, you can easily analyze that they are very much simple, still popular, and full of taste and most importantly it takes no additional effort for their preparation. Equally, are Bihar’s dishes satisfying for food lovers exploring variety because they all don’t have any type of complex ingredients? Such meals bring a sense of satisfaction to a person who feels fuller after eating them. Some of the notable dishes of Bihar are as follows:-
Litti – Chokha
The lip-smacking taste of Litti Chokha, savored by one and all, needs no introduction. It is your grand welcome to the food of Bihar, in all its ghee-dripping glory. It consists of wheat and sattu with spices, kneaded into round spicy balls, and dipped in ghee. The texture of Litti along with the crunchy crust makes it a foodie’s delight. Chokha is prepared by mashing boiled vegetables (most common being potatoes, brinjal, tomatoes), adding spices and chopped onion, garlic, etc, and served with Litti as a complimentary delicacy.
Sattu drink or sattu ka namkeen sharbat is a very popular traditional summer drink, that originated in Bihar.
Kadhi Bari is again an exclusive dish from Bihar. This is served with steamed rice and not usually with roti. Besan or gram flour is the main ingredient. You can have this dish any time of the year, but it is mostly eaten in summers. Accompaniments should be some dry sabzi or pakoras, even dry baris or fritters which are not dipped in the gravy or kadhi can accompany this dish. Top the kadhi with achaar and some sweet chutney and exclusive Bihari khana is ready.
Chana Ghugni is a spicy-tangy evening snack item from the food of Bihar. Extremely common yet equally delicious, this mouth-watering snack is prepared in almost every household in Bihar. Boiled chickpeas, fried with onion and spices along with “Chuda ka bhuja” (flattened rice) make it a perfect answer to satisfy your hunger! Flattened and dried gram is also used to make other salty snacks.
When the talk is about Bihari cuisine, one cannot forget the laddoo of Maner. Laddoo is a ball-shaped sweet made of gram flour, sugar, and ghee. Though it is sold in every sweet shop, the laddoo made in Maner, about 30km west of Patna, is famous and the best.
Tilkut is a sweet made in the Indian state of Bihar. This is also known as “Tilkatri”. It is made of pounded ’tila’ or sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) and jaggery or sugar. The best tilkut is said to be from Gaya. References to this dry sweet are found in Buddhist literature as palala.
Kheer Makhana (Darbhanga)
If you have come to Bihar and not tasted Kheer-Makhana, then your trip is as good as incomplete. It is a sweet dish prepared with milk, sugar, and makhana, considered to be a specialty of the Darbhanga region of north Bihar.
Silao Khaja (Nalanda)
Silao village situated 25km from Bihar sharif and 8 km from Rajgir, is known for its ancient tradition of khaja making. A sweetmeat prepared with maida (wheat-flour), sugar and ghee, it is available in many varieties – chandshahi, round, palvidar, and Gandhi topa. Amongst these, the one with a rectangular shape is the most popular.
Barh, a small town in Patna district that lies between bakhtiyarpur and mokama is famous for laai, a ball or cake-shaped sweet that is prepared with ‘khobi’ or ‘ramdana’ seeds, ‘khoa’, and sugar. Ramdana or Amaranth in English is nowadays getting popularity worldwide as one of the superfoods, however, this superfood has been present in Bihari cuisine since time immemorial.
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