Bihari cuisine

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,[1] 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.

Bihari thali

As the seasons change so does the Bihari thali, every 3–4 months. The constants are rice, roti, achar, chatni, dals and milk products, with some variation.

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).

Traditional cuisine

  • Kadhi-bari[2] - These fried soft dumplings made of besan (gram flour) are cooked in a spicy gravy of yogurt and besan. They go well with plain rice.
  • Khichdi[3] - A mix of rice, dal and several vegetables, steamed together to give a distinctive taste of different ingredients combined in one dish. It is often topped up with ghee.
  • Ghugni - A preparation made of black grams soaked (either lightly or overnight) in water and then sautéed in mustard oil in a wok. All kinds of garam masala made as paste on a sil is used for flavouring; chana is also ground to form a paste used as thickener. This thickens the masala and makes gravy as per desire. After proper seasoning and bhunjana, water is added to the mix for gravy as desired.
  • Pittha - A sort of dumpling that can be either salty or sweet. It is a semi-circular or ball-shaped preparation whose crust is made of soft rice flour and filled with preparations made of channa daal lentil paste, or poppy seeds and gur (jaggery), then steamed in water or milk and allowed to thicken.
  • Choora - Beaten rice, served with a coat of creamy curd and sugar or jaggery. In winters, this is mildly baked and accompanied with a thick, spicy preparation made of peas and onions.
  • Sattu - Powdered baked gram, an energy-giving food usually mixed with water or milk. Sometimes, sattu mixed with spices is used to prepare stuffed chapattis, locally known as makuni roti.
  • Dhuska - A deep-fried item prepared from a mixture of powdered rice and ghee, and salted.
  • Litti - Powdered baked gram is mixed with chopped onions, green chillies, lemon juice, and coriander leaves. This mixture is filled inside atta and either barbecued over coal or deep-fried with oil. Best accompanied with ghee, curd and chokha and baigan bharta.

Vegetarian cuisine

Non-vegetarian cuisine

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.[7] 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.


  • Parauntha[9]
    • Aalu parauntha
    • Sattu paratha
    • Piyaz parauntha
    • Posta-dana kaa paratha - filling of a paste made of poppy seeds soaked overnight in water and then ground with spices, particularly red chilli.
  • Dal puri[10]
  • Makuni
  • Makai ke roti
  • Naan



Bihari fast food

  • Litti - Can be prepared with minimum of utensils. It is a ball-shaped dish of the size between a table tennis and a lawn tennis ball, baked in mild fire (it can be baked in an electric oven or microwave oven, but would lack the distinct flavour infused by fire). The crust is made of a hard dough made of wheat flour and filled with a dry, amorphous preparation made of sattu (gram flour) and spices. It is accompanied by chokhaa (mashed potato or brinjals, green chilli and coriander leaf. Dill is an essential ingredient for brinjal chokhaa).
  • Chokha - Pulsed and mashed vegetables with mustard oil and spices.
  • Bajka[12]
  • Bhurta[13]
  • Bhunjia - Sautéed vegetables cooked in spices, usually containing potatoes. Has no gravy and usually goes well with rice and lentils or chapatti.
  • Samosa
  • Kachori
  • Samosa chaat - Basically samosa sweet chatni, curd, namkeen mixtures with chura, onion and other garnishing ingredients.
  • Bhunja - Commonly eaten in the evening.


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.

  • Khaja - This may be compared to the Greek baklava. Famous ones are from Silao, Nalanda and Pipra, Supaul.[14]
  • Tilkut (Til Burfi) - Made of sesame seed and is available only in the winter. A thick hard base of sugar the size of a tennis ball is rolled in copious amounts of sesame seed and then hammered to roll it out in a round shape. Though available all over the state, the one from Gaya is famous.[15]
  • Malpua[16]
  • Rabri
  • Kheer[17] - A special form of kheer called Rasia is prepared during the Chhath festival.[18]
  • Thekua[19]
  • Khajur[20]
  • Laktho
  • Churma
  • Balushahi - Famous one is from Harnaut, NathNagar (Bhagalpur)
  • Anarasa - A traditional cuisine of Mithila[21]
  • Motichoor ka Ladoo - Famous one is from Maner
  • Gulab jamun
  • Kala jamun - Munger, Bhagalpur and Banka Districts are known for Kala Jamun.
  • Pantua - Same as kala jamun but the shape is elongated. Famous one is from Barahiya, Begusarai. Also called "Atom Bomb".
  • Peda - Famous one is from Kesaria
  • Khurma - Found only in southwest Bihar
  • Parwal ki mithai - Made of pointed gourd (botanical name Trichosanthes dioica). The fruit is scrapped to remove the skin, sliced longitudinally, deseeded and boiled to make it tender and then filled with khoyya, a preparation made of condensed milk and dry fruits. It is then imbibed with warm sugar syrup. Silver foil may be added after it cools off.
  • Khubi ka lai - Famous one is from Barh
  • Belgrami
  • Padokkia
  • Murki - Famous one is from Koelwar
  • Pirikya - Made from flour and khoya, etc. It is famous in Basopatti and villages nearby.
  • Khurchan - This is made of layers of scrapped condensed milk. Available in Patna city (old town).
  • Postaa-dana kaa Halwa - A sweet pudding made of poppy seeds soaked overnight in water and then ground to a paste and sautéed in ghee (clarified butter) in a wok. This is generally prepared in the winter season.
  • Kasar - A dry sweet prepared of coarsely ground rice during the Chhath festival.[22]
  • Lai - There are several varieties of lai available in Bihar, including lai from Gaya. The main component of this lai is ram dana seeds. These ram danas are processed and mixed with khoya and sugar to create a disk-shaped sweet.[23]
  • Dangra ka Tilkut - Made of sesame seed and available only in the winter. A thick hard base of jaggey (gur/mittah) the size of a tennis ball is rolled in copious amounts of sesame seed and then hammered to roll it out in a round shape. Though available all over the state, the one from Dangra village in Gaya is famous.
  • Paan peda - The famous one is from Mohiuddin Nagar, Madudabad, Kalyanpur Basti area. It is a heart-shaped peda with a completely different taste from the common peda available in the market.
  • Gaja - A sweet which is cubical in form and made out of maida.[24]
  • Makhana kheer - Kheer made with makhana which is known as fox nut (lotus flower seed); it has medicinal and health benefits and it is not very sweet.

See also


  1. ^ Neha Bhatt. "Beyond 'litti chokha'".
  2. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Kadhi-Bari". Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  3. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: 'Chaar Yaar' Wali Khichdi (Chaar Yaar: Four Friends)". Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  4. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Saag Dishes". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  5. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Koftas". Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  6. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Bharwan Karela". Archived from the original on 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  7. ^ Bisma Tirmizi (September 25, 2015). "Food Stories: Bihari Kabab". Dawn Images.
  8. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Prawn Fish Dishes". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  9. ^ "Aaloo Ka Paratha recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  10. ^ "Dal-puri (to be served with Kheer)". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  11. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Chatni". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  12. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Bajka (Pakoras) Dishes". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  13. ^ "Bihari Cuisine by Mohita Prasad: Bharta Dishes". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  14. ^ "Khaja recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  15. ^ "Til Burfi recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  16. ^ "Maal Pua recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  17. ^ "Kheer recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  18. ^ "Patna Rasia Recipe". 2010-11-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  19. ^ "Thekua recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  20. ^ "Khajur recipe". Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  21. ^ "Maithil Cuisine". Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
  22. ^ "Kasar Recipe for Chhath Festival". 2010-11-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2014-11-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Gaja". Archived from the original on 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
Aloo gobi

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 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 (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 (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 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 (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 is an Indian dessert and Nepali sweet


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 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 (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.


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 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 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.

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