Food special: Binge on traditional Bihari cuisine

Feb 28, 2015, 08:13 IST | Krutika Behrawala

From ghee-soaked Litti to coriander fritters and yam chutney, here’s all you need to know about Bihari cuisine, as Mumbai hosts its first ever pop-up from the state

After Anurag Kashyap introduced us to the womaniyas, warring families and the rustic culture of Bihar-Jharkhand in Gangs Of Wasseypur, home chef Dolly Singh will give city patrons a taste of the region’s cuisine as a part of the Hungry Traveller Chef Showcase food pop-up this evening.


A Bihari by birth, Singh’s schooling years in the northern state made her accustomed to the traditional home-cooked Bihari cuisine, and most of the dishes she has grown up eating and cooking will be part of the pop-up, which she says, will be the first Bihari cuisine pop-up in Mumbai.


“Called ‘Khana and Batiyaana’ (food and conversation), this pop-up is an attempt to introduce the flavoursome cuisine of Bihar. Traditionally, this cuisine is more of a community eating experience than fine dining. The food is usually cooked over fire and the dishes are heavy on meat, pulses and flours of different kinds,” informs Singh.

Home chef Dolly Singh
Home chef Dolly Singh

Sharing borders with West Bengal, many dishes are similar to Bengali food, she reveals, adding, “Sometimes, the masalas and ingredients are the same, we might just tweak the way of cooking slightly. For instance, Biharis too eat their fish in mustard gravy but we don’t add sugar.”

Khada Masala Chicken
Khada Masala Chicken

B to Z of Bihari food

Sattu: Flour made fromroasted Bengal gram, sattu is integral to Bihari cooking. An energy booster, it is often mixed with water or milk.

Litti Chokha: One of the most traditional Bihari dishes, Litti is a stuffed dough ball made from wheat flour, filled with sattu. These are fried or roasted and served with Chokha, which literally means mash. “It can be a mash of potatoes, tomatoes, brinjal or even parwal (pointed gourd). I sourced sattu and ghee from my home in Bihar,” says Singh, who will be serving this dish as part of the pop-up.

Bajka: Like Mumbai’s iconic Kanda-Bhaji, Bajkas are an assortment of fried fritters made using cauliflower, brinjal, bottle gourd and coriander leaves that are coated with besan (gram flour) batter and deep fried.

Khada Masala Chicken: In this dish, the chicken is slow-cooked with whole spices and pods of garlic along with their covering are immersed in the gravy to add flavour.

Matar Daal: A curry made from boiled green peas, traditionally slow cooked on fire.

Malpua: This variation of the Bengali dessert, is made from refined flour, and is coated in sugar syrup.

Suran chutney: Also known as Ol in North India, suran (yam) is boiled, mashed into a paste and fermented in mustard oil along with garlic and green chillies for three to four days. It is tangy in taste.

Thekua: Resembling a cookie and brown in colour, this fried sweet contains a hard upper crust and soft filling. A dough consisting of wheat flour, dry fruits and ghee is prepared and then shaped into cookies using moulds.

On Today, 8 pm to 11 pm 
At 50-
A, Huma Mansion, opposite Ahmed Bakery, Chuim Village Road, Khar (W).
Cost Rs 1,100 (for veg), Rs 1,200 (for non-veg)

The pop-up menu
>> Litti served with Aloo Chokha and Baigan Chokha, Ol chutney, tamatar chutney and ghee
>> Bajka
>> Matar Daal
>> Ol Chutney
>> Bhaat
>> Aloo Gobhi Tarkari
>> Malpua

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