LITTI CHOKHA – THE EMOTION OF BIHAR
Culinary Journey- Patna, Bihar, India (Chapter 1)
Compiled by: Chef Subhash Jana
BIHAR and IT’S CUISINES
Before we explore anything and everything about Litti Chokha let me give you a brief introduction of The Cuisine which has invented this extraordinary, low cost and high on nutritious value dish. Bihar specifically undivided Bihar along with Jharkhand (which was separated from Bihar in Nov, 2000) has Magahi Cuisine, Bhojpuri Cuisine and Maithil Cuisine under its umbrella. People of Bihar had a great influence of Buddhist and Hindu values of Non-violence, thus Magahi and Bhojpuri Cuisine predominantly serves vegetarian cuisine. Maithil Cuisine is mostly non-vegetarian and has a great significant usage of meats and fishes as proximity to its rivers. Across globe food travelled with people as they travelled from one part to another. Bihari Cuisines has incredible influence on West Bengal, Nepal, Orissa, Eastern Uttar Pradesh as Bihari community travelled to.
The most connected dish of Bihar which is famous worldwide. There are several myths regarding its origination nut most common stories are 1. Farmers used to carry Dry Sattu (Roasted Chickpea flour) to field, then they used to consume it by roasting in field. 2. In ancient days Soldier used to carry dry Sattu along with them, which used to be most healthy diet in versatile situation. Soldier used to consume (several forms of sattu which eventually transform into litti) litti after long hours of physical work. Necessary protein, carbohydrate and other minerals are supplied from Litti which had a minimum shelf life of 2 days.
The rustic yet emotionally elegant LITTI is a soft dough ball which is made of whole wheat flour then stuffed with sattu mixture (Roasted chickpea powder mixed with ginger, green chilly, dry spices and onion) then slow roasted over open flame of cow dung or coal or wood. Once these Litties are cooked then break and add ghee. CHOKHA is a traditional accompaniment of Litti which is a vegetable preparation made of roasted aubergine, tomatoes and boiled potatoes. Roasted vegetables along with boiled potatoes are mashed and then cooked, tempered with mustard oil (for pungent flavour) and cumin seeds or nigella seeds.
There are more to the most remarkable Bihari Cuisine than Litti Chokha. Kachoori, Ghugni, Pittha, Kesar peda, Lai, Chora, Bhajiya, Dhuska, Sattu Paratha, Samosa, khadi bari, Choora, Dal muri are a few to mention. Will try to throw light in each and every integral part of the Famous Bihar Cuisine in coming days. For more related study follow my page Culinary Journey with Chef Subhash
Apart from being popular, low cost and highly nutritious dish Litti Chokha has several other benefits, a few are mentioned below:
- Sattu (Dry chickpea flour) drink helps in cooling the body heat and thus it is an amazing drink during summer.
- The diet/ dish is full of protein, fibre and rich in minerals, which provides balanced nutrients to human body.
- Eating sattu makes one drink more water as it creates a demand for water in human body, thus it helps to maintain a great balance of water.
- It increases metabolic rate and energise the human body.
- It is very easy to digest and is a complete whole meal.
RECIPE TO HAPPINESS CALLED LITTI CHOKHA