Cook's Hideout: Bihar -- Litti Chokha

April 04, 2014

Bihar -- Litti Chokha

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 4
State:Bihar
Dish: Litti Chokha

Bihar is a state in northern state. The name 'Bihar' means 'abode' in Sanskrit. Bihar plain is divided into two by the river Ganges that flows through the middle from west to east. This endowed Bihar with fertile Gangetic alluvial soil with abundant water resources. This makes Bihar's agriculture rich and diverse. Rice, wheat and maize are the major crops of Bihar, while toor, urad, moong are some of the pulses cultivated in Bihar. Bihar is the largest producer of vegetables, especially potatoes, onions, brinjal and cauliflower.

Cuisine: Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because traditional Bihar society, influenced by Buddhist & Hindu values of non -violence, did not eat animal products. But there is also a tradition of meat-eating, especially fish because of the number of rivers in Bihar. Bihari cuisine has many similarities to other North Indian cuisines but is also influenced by the other East Indian states like West Bengal.
Staple Food: Roti, dal, Rice, Vegetables etc.,
Specialties: Kadhi Bari (soft dumplings made of besan cooked in a spicy yogurt based gravy), Ghughni (boiled black chickpeas cooked in mustard oil with spices), Sattu (powdered roasted gram -- a high energy food), Litti etc.
Bihar -- Litti Chokha
Today's Dish: I decided to make a very traditional Bihari dish today, Litti-Chokha. These can be served for breakfast or snack. Littis are baked balls of wheat and are stuffed with spiced sattu flour (called pitthi) and served with lots of ghee. They are served with Chokha or spiced mashed eggplant or potatoes.
Littis are stuffed with roasted gram flour called Sattu flour. Thankfully I found the flour in Indian grocery which saved me the trouble of making the flour at home. Sattu flour is widely used in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is said to be very nutritious because of the high fiber and protein content. It is used to make sattu ke paratha, sattu ke laddoo etc. With the bag of sattu flour carefully stashed in the fridge, I'm hoping to try my hand at making these delicacies in the future.
Update: Just found out from Valli's post that Sattu flour is nothing but ground roasted gram or putnalu. I thought it was an exotic ingredient that takes forever to make. But apparently putnalu or roasted gram is not sold in Bihar and they make it in clay post at home there. So save yourself some trouble and just grind store bought roasted gram to make satttu flour.
Bihar -- Litti Chokha
I made Baingan/ eggplant chokha and Aloo/ potato chokha to go with the littis. One of the interesting addition to the chokha is raw mustard oil, this gives the dish a very distinct pungent taste. When served with some melted ghee, this is a very very filling meal.

Recipe Courtesy: Nisha Madhulika & Nupur @ UK Rasoi
To make Littis:
Ingredients:
For the Dough:
Atta (wholewheat flour) - 2 cups
Ajwain (Carom seeds) - ½tsp
Ghee (clarified butter) - 2tbsp
Yogurt - ¾cup 
Baking Soda - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

For the Stuffing (Pitthi):
Sattu flour - 1cup
Ginger - 1" piece, grated
Green chili - 2, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Ajwain (Carom seeds) - 1tsp
Cilantro - ½cup, finely chopped
Mustard oil - 1tsp
Lemon/ Lime juice - 2tbsp
Salt - to taste

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl. Add warm water little at a time to form a soft pliable dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Make the Stuffing/ Pitthi: Combine all the ingredients for the stuffing in a mixing bowl, mix well. Add 1~2tbsp water to form a crumbly mixture.
  • Make the Littis: Divide the dough into 6~8 equal sized balls. Take a dough ball and flatten it out on your palm into 3~4" diameter circle. Place 1~2tsp pitthi in the middle of the circle and wrap up the dough to completely cover and close the stuffing from all sides. Pinch the top to close and flatten slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough and pitthi.
  • Place the littis on a baking tray, bake for 30~40 minutes, flipping midway to evenly brown the littis on both sides.
  • Serve hot with Chokha and lots of melted ghee.
Litti

Ghee
Baingan Chokha:
Eggplant - 1, halved
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Green Chilies - 2~4, finely chopped (adjust the quantity as per taste)
Ginger - 1" piece, finely grated
Mustard Oil - 1tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - 1tbsp, finely chopped

Method:
  • Bake the eggplant on a baking sheet until very tender. This will take about 30~40 minutes. Towards the last 15 minutes of baking, put the tomatoes on the baking sheet and bake them along with the eggplants. Once done, let both the eggplant and tomatoes cool till easy to handle.
  • Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant into a bowl. Peel off the tomato skins and mash them coarsely along with the eggplant.
  • Add grated ginger, green chilies, salt and mustard seeds, mix well. Serve garnished with cilantro.
Aloo Chokha
Aloo Chokha
Potatoes - 2 medium, boiled and mashed
Tomato - 1 medium
Garlic - 3~4 cloves
Green Chilies - 2~4, finely chopped (adjust the quantity as per taste)
Ginger - 1" piece, finely grated
Mustard Oil - 1tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - 1tbsp, finely chopped

Method:
  • Roast the tomato and the garlic cloves for 10~12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until easy enough to handle.
  • Mash the tomatoes and add to the mashed potatoes. Next add all the other ingredients and mix well. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Baingan Chokha


Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.




Linking this to Fabulous Feast Friday# 9 being hosted by Mir & Sandhya.
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21 comments:

  1. loved this litti chokha!!! nice clicks!!

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  2. Baingan n aloo chokha with litti, dont bother to invite myself to ur place Pavani, those chokhas are just fingerlicking.

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  3. i really am warming up to the litti chokha combo.. I'll have to make it someday. yours look divine

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  4. Love the lithi chokha combination, goes so well together. The dishes look delicious Pavani and the pictures are lovely.

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  5. Yeah, same pinch. Why I am not surprised, you also made baigan chokha.. :) Yeah, even I baked them in the oven but cooked one on the stove top. Stove top was soft and melted in the mouth. But it is extra work, unlike the oven baked ones.

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  6. I know this was to made by some one in the group ;) litti chokha is looking so inviting and i wud love to indulge them without saying a word :) looks fantastic pavani and fabulous post !!

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  7. Super tempting combo,wonderful clicks...being a eggplant lover like you drooling over the baingan ...

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  8. what a gorgeous spread. you made it look perfect and am sure they taste as delish too.

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  9. Lovely spread, Pavani! those littis look tempting.

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  10. i make this often as since i made it first for one of the BMs we are stuck ...love this

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  11. I so love this combination. Looking at all the snaps. I am drooling here...

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  12. We loved it too when I made them for BM , the whole setup looks delicious !

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  13. Such a lovely spread Pavani...and litti chokha is something I am yet to make..:)..thanks for the update in your post..will be glad if somebody got benefited from it..

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  14. Mmmmmmmm! I want them Pavani. Wish I can grab them off the screen.

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  15. What a lovely spread pavani! Loved your Baingan chokha...Should try it sometime!

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  16. everything - except the eggplant:) looks so yummy and I haven't had my lunch yet

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  17. i m in love with baingan chokha, oh my it looks absolutely delicious!!! Awesome clicks pavani, your pictures make me soooo hungry!!!

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  18. Awesome looking dishes.. They look tempting.

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  19. I am yet to make this combo and seeing this is tempting me all the more.Nice clicks Pavani...

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  20. They are looking yummy. I haven't tried them yet and your images are tempting.

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