Litti Chokha is a popular, delicious and nutritious dish of Bihar, where it originated. Litti is a traditional dish, which is eaten with Chokha. Bihar, the eastern state of India has a very rich culture and traditions. So is Bihar’s cuisine. The cuisine of Bihar is not only eaten in the state of Bihar but in neighbouring states Jharkhand, West Bengal and eastern Uttar Pradesh also. Besides these, the Bihari food, especially Litti Chokha is popular in foreign countries from south Asian nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mauritius to South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Suriname, Jamaica, and the Caribbean.
It is common street food in these regions, and it is often sold by vendors on roadside food stalls and eateries, who roast the Litti over a coal fire. It is available in fine-dining restaurants also. The dish is also made at home, especially during festivals and special occasions.
Litti Chokha is a Bhojpuri cuisine
Bihar has different traditions, cuisine and culture in different regions of the state. Bihari cuisine is mainly divided into three types namely, Magahi cuisine, Bhojpuri cuisine and Maithili cuisine. Litti is a popular dish in the state. But, it is mainly a Bhojpuri cuisine and hence more popular in the Bhojpur region of Bihar. However, it is also popular in other parts of the country and world, as stated above. The Litti Chokha is generally available on roadside food stalls and eateries in Bihar. It is available in fine-dining restaurants also.
How is Litti prepared?
Litti is a whole wheat flour dough ball which contains Sattu (gram flour). The dough ball is stuffed with a filling of roasted gram flour, spices, and herbs. The dough ball is then roasted over a coal fire or in an oven until it is cooked through and has a crispy outer crust. It is traditionally cooked on a cow dung fire.
One of the unique aspects of litti is the use of roasted gram flour as a filling. This gives the dish a nutty flavour and a slightly grainy texture. The spices and herbs used in the filling vary depending on the region and personal preference, but common ingredients include garlic, cumin, coriander, and ginger. Some people also add vegetables such as onions, potatoes, or peas to the filling for added flavour and nutrition. After baking it is deeply dipped in desi ghee (Clarified butter).
Traditionally, Litti is served with Chokha, which is a mashed preparation of roasted brinjal (eggplant), tomato, and potato. The vegetables are roasted over a fire or in an oven until they are soft and tender, and then they are mashed together with spices such as garlic, cumin, and chilli powder. Chokha is a flavorful and spicy accompaniment to Litti, and it helps to balance out the richness of the dough ball. Chokha is known as Bharta or Bhurta. Some people prefer to eat Litti with Aloo Bharta (Smashed Potato), Curd, Papad and Achahar also.
Nowadays a new fried version of Litti has been developed. People make Litti by deep frying in oil. Generally, this new version of Litti is eaten with meat. The fried Litti has a different taste and it is not as healthy as the one roasted and cooked on cow dung or charcoal fire. Since fried Litti gives a different taste, it has reached many parts of the country. Both versions of Litties have their own taste and nutritional value.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Litti Chokha is its convenience. The dough balls can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until they are needed. They can be cooked over a fire or in an oven, making them versatile snacks that can be enjoyed at home or on the go.
In addition to being tasty and convenient, Litti Chokha is also nutritious. The wheat flour and roasted gram flour used in the dough ball provide protein and fibre, while the vegetables in the Chokha provide a range of vitamins and minerals. The dish is a good source of energy and can be a filling meal on its own, or it can be served as a snack or appetizer.
Although many a time, people get confused Litti with Baati. Baati is a traditional dish of the western state of India, Rajasthan. The shape and size of both dishes may be similar, but these two dishes are completely different in terms of taste, texture and preparation.
Overall, Litti Chokha is a delicious and nutritious dish that has a rich history and cultural significance in the Indian state of Bihar and the Nepali Terai region. It is enjoyed by people of all ages and is a popular street food and home-cooked meal in these regions.