Bihari cuisine (Hindi: बिहारी खाना, Urdu: بِہاری کھانا) is eaten mainly in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, as well as in the places where people originating from the state of Bihar have settled: Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji, some cities of Pakistan, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Jamaica, and the Caribbean. Bihari cuisine includes Bhojpuri cuisine, Maithil cuisine and Magahi cuisine.
The cuisine of Bihar is largely similar to North Indian cuisine but has influences from other East Indian cuisines (for example Bengali cuisine). It is highly seasonal; watery foods such as watermelon and sharbat made from the pulp of the wood-apple fruit are consumed mainly in the summer months, while dry foods such as preparations made of sesame seeds and poppy seeds are consumed more frequently in the winter months.
There are numerous Bihari meat dishes, with chicken and mutton being the most common. Fish dishes are especially common in the Mithila region of North Bihar due to the number of rivers, such as the Sone, Gandak, Ganges and Koshi. Dairy products are consumed frequently throughout the year, including dahi (yogurt), spiced buttermilk (known as mattha), ghee, lassi and butter.
Dishes for which Bihar is famous include Bihari kebabs, litti chokha, Bihari boti, Bihari chicken masala, sattu paratha (parathas stuffed with roasted gram flour), chokha (spicy mashed eggplant and potatoes), fish curry and posta-dana ka halwa.
For the frying and tempering (chhounkna / tadka) of certain vegetable dishes, Bihari cuisine makes use of vegetable oil or mustard oil and panch phoron — literally the "five spices": fennel seed (saunf), black mustard seed (sarson), fenugreek seed (methi), cumin seed (jeera) and nigella seed (kalonji or mangraeel). There is a lot of light frying (bhoonjnaa) in Bihari cuisine.
One remarkable tradition is "smoked food", referring to the use of smoked red chilli to infuse a strong aroma in food. Smoked chilli is used in preparing chokhaa, i.e. mashed brinjals / potatoes / tomatoes, either single or combined. Smoked chilli is also used in preparing kadam chutney (the kadam is a common fruit that is sweet-sour in taste).
The distinctive Bihari flavour of non-vegetarian cooking finds mention in the memoirs of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who found it quite tasty. Forms of kebabs, mutton preparations and dishes prepared from various fowl and birds have a distinctive flavor. Biharis are quite famous for their Bihari kebabs, another typical Bihari non-vegetarian dish. This dish was traditionally made from mutton and is eaten with roti, paratha or boiled rice. The region of Champaran is famous for a grilled mutton dish called taash. Recently, in fast food restaurants, Bihari kebabs are also sold as Bihari kebab rolls, which are essentially kebabs wrapped up in a paratha.
There is a large variety of traditional sweet delicacies in Bihar. Unlike Oriya and Bengali sweets, which are soaked in syrups made of sugar and are therefore wet, Bihar's sweets are mostly dry.
Aloo gobi (pronounced [aːluː ɡɔːbʱiː]) is a vegetarian dish from the Indian subcontinent made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gob(h)i) and Indian spices. It is popular in Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and Nepali cuisines. It is yellowish in color, due to the use of turmeric, and occasionally contains kalonji and curry leaves. Other common ingredients include garlic, ginger, onion, coriander stalks, tomato, peas, and cumin. There are a number of variations and similar dishes, but the name remains the same.Balushahi
Balushahi is a traditional dessert originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is popular sweet from the Indian subcontinent. Balushahi is similar to a glazed doughnut in terms of ingredients, but differs in texture and taste. In South India, a similar pastry is known as badushah.Chaat
Chaat (Hindi: चाट, Nepali: चाट, Odia: ଚାଟ୍, Bengali: চাট, Urdu: چاٹ) is a savory snack that originated in India, typically served as an hors d'oeuvre at roadside tracks from stalls or food carts across the Indian subcontinent in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, India, chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of the Indian subcontinent. The word derives from Hindi cāṭ चाट (tasting, a delicacy), from cāṭnā चाटना (to lick), from Prakrit caṭṭei चट्टेइ (to devour with relish, eat noisily).Chapati
Chapati (alternatively spelled chapatti, chappati, chapathi, or chappathi), (pronounced as IAST: capātī, capāṭī, cāpāṭi), also known as roti, safati, shabaati, phulka and (in the Maldives) roshi, is an unleavened flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent and staple in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, East Africa and the Caribbean. Chapatis are made of whole wheat flour known as atta, mixed into dough with water, edible oil and optional salt in a mixing utensil called a parat, and is cooked on a tava (flat skillet).It is a common staple in the Indian subcontinent as well as amongst expatriates from the Indian subcontinent throughout the world. Chapatis were also introduced to other parts of the world by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, particularly by Indian merchants to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean islands.Chinese bhel
Chinese bhel is an Indian fast food originated from Northeast India. Basically a variation of chop suey, it is widely popular in Mumbai.Dahi vada
Dahi Vada is a snack originating from the Indian subcontinent and popular throughout South Asia. It is prepared by soaking vadas (fried flour balls) in thick dahi (yogurt).Ghugni
Ghugni is an evening snack in Eastern India (Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Odisha). Black gram (kala chana), dried yellow peas, or dried white peas are cooked with gravy in the traditional eastern Indian style. It is then served with puffed rice (kurmura) and at times with hot onion pakoda or bhajiya. It is also served with poori. Some versions include meat, such as lamb. It is a common and affordable food in Kolkata. Mangsher ghugni has been described as a "Kolkata trademark".Gulab jamun
Gulab jamun (also spelled gulaab jamun) is a milk-solid-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal (where it is known as Lalmohan), Pakistan, the Maldives (where it is known as gulaabujaanu), and Bangladesh (where it is known as golap jam), as well as Myanmar. It is also common in Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, Malay Peninsula, and the Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from Khoya, which is milk reduced to the consistency of a soft dough. Modern recipes call for dried/powdered milk instead of Khoya. It is often garnished with dried nuts such as almonds to enhance flavour.Handia (drink)
Handia (Also handi or hadiya) is a rice beer in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh and West Bengal states of India.The making involves the use of ranu tablets, which is essentially a combination of about 20-25 herbs and acts as a fermentor. The ranu tablets are then mixed with boiled rice and left to ferment. The drink is generally ready within a week. It is served cool and has lower alcoholic strength than other Indian country liquors.Kachori
Kachori (pronounced [kətʃɔːɽiː]) is a spicy snack, originating from the Indian subcontinent, and common in places with Indian diaspora and other South Asian diaspora. Alternative names for the snack include 6, kachodi katchuri and fried dumpling.
Kachoris were popular in old Indore, even before samosas gained popularity after the partition of India. Banarasidas, the author of biographical Ardhakathanaka, has mentioned buying Kachoris in Indore in 1613. For seven months, he bought a ser of Kachoris daily, and owed twenty rupees.Khaja
Khaja is an Indian dessert and Nepali sweetKheer
Kheer is a rice pudding, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made by boiling with milk and sugar one of the following: rice, broken wheat, tapioca, vermicelli, sweet corn, etc. It is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios, almonds or other dry fruits and nuts. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. It is also known in some regions as meetha bhaat, payasam, payasa, and phirni.Laddu
Laddu or laddoo (laḍḍū, lāḍḍū) are sphere-shaped sweets originating from the Indian subcontinent, its name originating from the Sanskrit word Lattika. Laddus are made of flour, ghee/butter/oil and sugar, with other ingredients that vary by recipe, like chopped nuts or dried raisins. They are often served at festive or religious occasions.Mattar paneer
Mattar paneer, also known as matar paneer, and mutter paneer is a vegetarian North Indian dish consisting of peas and paneer in a tomato based sauce, spiced with garam masala.
It is often served with rice and an Indian type of bread (naan, paratha, poori, or roti depending on region). Various other ingredients are often added, such as "aloo" (potato), corn, yogurt or cream.Pakora
Pakora (pronounced [pəˈkoːɽaː]), also called pakoda, pakodi, fakkura, bhajiya, bhajji, bhaji or ponako, is a fried snack (fritter), originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular snack across the Indian subcontinent; it is served in restaurants and sold by street vendors. It's also often found in Pakistani and Indian restaurants in the Western world.Paratha
A paratha (parāṇṭhā) is a flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent, prevalent throughout areas of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh where wheat is the traditional staple. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta, which literally means layers of cooked dough. Alternative spellings and names include parantha, parauntha, prontha, parontay (in Punjabi), porota (in Bengali), palata (pronounced [pəlàtà]; in Burma), porotha (in Assamese), forota (in Sylheti) and farata (in Mauritius, Sri Lanka and the Maldives).Raita
Raita is the common name of a condiment, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made with dahi (yogurt, often referred to as curd) together with raw or cooked vegetables, more seldom fruit, or in the case of boondi raita, with fried droplets of batter made from besan (chickpea flour, generally labeled as gram flour).
The closest approximation in western cuisine is a side dish or dip, or a cooked salad. It is often referred to as a condiment, but unlike traditional western condiments like salt, pepper, mustard and horseradish that make dishes more spicy, a dish of dahi or raita has a cooling effect to contrast with spicy curries and kebabs that are the main fare of some Asian cuisines. In Indian cuisine, some type of flatbread may be eaten together with raita, chutneys and pickles.
The yogurt may be seasoned with coriander, roasted cumin seeds; mint, cayenne pepper, chaat masala and other herbs and spices.Rumali roti
Rumali roti is a thin flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India and in Punjab, Pakistan. It is eaten with tandoori dishes. The word rumal means handkerchief in many north Indian languages, and the name rumali roti means handkerchief bread. In Punjab, it is also known as lamboo roti. Lamboo simply means long in Punjabi. It is also known as dosti roti in the Caribbean.
This bread is extremely thin and limp, and served folded like a handkerchief. During the Mughal period, rumali roti was used like a cloth to wipe grease off the hands at the end of a rich meal.
Rumali is usually made with a combination of whole wheat atta flour and white wheaten maida flour (atta) and cooked on the convex side of a karahi.
A variaton of rumali roti from Bannu and surrounding areas of Waziristan is a much larger version called paasti or paosti chappatai, which means soft chappati. They are served as part of a meal known as penda, (Punjabi: پینډه) usually prepared for a large gathering. Paosti is baked on a batt, which is a 55-gallon drum split in half length-wise and inverted over coal or wood fire.Sattu
Sattu is a flour from the Indian subcontinent consisting of a mixture of ground pulses and cereals. The dry powder is prepared in various ways as a principal or secondary ingredient of dishes.