Located in Eastern India, Jharkhand’s cuisine has many hidden delicacies. Plenty of seasonal vegetables are harvested every winter in the state for staple eating. Many of these seasonal dishes remain under cover, away from exploration. Bamboo shoots, chilka rotis, and arsa are some dishes that bring warmth to every family.
Jharkhand remains one of the most mysterious states when it comes to cuisine. Though they are neighbouring states, the staple foods of Jharkhand are very different from that of Bihar and West Bengal. The people of Jharkhand enjoy tropical seasonal vegetables uniquely found in the state and harvested for daily bread.
There are also unique dishes made from simple ingredients, giving a unique identity to the state cuisine. Most of Jharkhand's population is influenced by tribal culture. Hence, some dishes can be made with forest-harvested wild bamboo shoots and dried mahua from mahua trees. The cuisine of Jharkhand reflects a well-balanced taste that is salty and sweet at the same time.
Similar to Gujarat's ragi roti, Jharkhand cuisine has different kinds of chilka roti made from Ragi as a staple food. Aarsa and rose cake are also uncommon but famous in Jharkhand. These dishes are made predominantly during special occasions such as the Tusu festival and Christmas.
If you want to explore more of these delicacies, then make sure to read through and follow the top dishes that you want to try when you visit the state of Jharkhand. Jharkhand's winter delicacies are one of India's most popular and loved delicacies. Don't miss out.
Before making Arsa, as a tradition, a little bit of rice flour is thrown into the fireplace or gas stove to show respect. It is to symbolise that fire is now our alliance to cook perfect dough balls to serve. The oil is heated in a pot, and that oil is later mixed into the rice flour. Kneading begins immediately with hot oil and rice flour.
Once they are ready and sugar syrup is added proficiently with a properly balanced mix, they are fried to crispy perfection. The taste of these balls is delightful and crisp. The inside texture is glutinous and sticky, being soft. On the other hand, the outer surface is hard and hints at cumin. It is best eaten hot, but one can store it for more than three months in a cool, dry place as a snack.
2. Rose Cake
Rose cake has the same batter as arsa. The only difference between them is that one is soft and crispy, and the other is similar to papadam but is sweet and made in the shape of a flower. The batter is dipped in a specific utensil of a particular form and then fried to crisp until the batter leaves the spoon.
Rose cake is also served when hot but can be stored in a cool, airtight box for more than five months. The texture is very creamy and light. At the same time, it gives a little hint of caramelised salt, but the overall flavour is sweet and flaky.
3. Bamboo Shoot
The bamboo shoot is a very spicy dish that is different from what is served in other states. It is either served as pickles infused with garlic or made into thin strips as a curry with lots of coriander and tumeric. Shoots are hand-picked when they are young and soft. It is then soaked in water for a few hours before cooking and boiling.
The shoots are fried, and the gravy is made. It can have various versions of bases such as garlic, tomato, and coriander. It is best served with rice or roti. Similarly, the pickle can also have a lemon zest texture. The pickles can be stored for more than a year.
4. Chilka Roti
Chilka roti can be either sweet or savoury, according to preference. The choice of grain is grounded into a powder, preferably rice, after soaking it for 24 hours. The rice is mixed with warm water and a pinch of salt and sugar to make the chilkas.
Chilkas are very soft and porous in texture and are usually served hot with different kinds of chutney, such as date or tomato chutney. Other types of grains are mixed with rice flour to enhance the taste. It is a quick and easy snack that is a staple of Jharkhand and can also be cooked with butter or ghee to enhance the flavour.
Dhuska is the upgraded version of fried pakoras. It is hollow in the middle, but it is deep-fried to crunchiness and made with chickpea flour seasoned with salt and different spices to make it stand out.
One can also use lots of nuts and coriander powder to elevate the taste. Dhuska can be eaten with lots of side dishes and chutneys. Making it is relatively simple; hence, it is one of the most popular street food snacks for the people of Jharkhand. Most people have it with ghugni, a popular chickpea curry with lots of tamarind and green chutney.
6. Mahua Masala
Mahua is a kind of fruit with sweet syrup, and when fermented, it can be turned into alcohol. Mahua masala is a filling made with dried or soaked mahua fruits. The taste is very savoury and sweet. The small fruits burst into the mouth when bitten, just like raisins.
The masala can be used for various kinds of fillings, such as Chilka roti, and it can also be used as a kachori filling. The masala can be used to cook mahua bhurji too. If you want to try some of the delicacies of mahua, this masala will serve as the base of every delicacy of this fruit.
7. Dhubni Roti
Dhubni roti is also very popular in Jharkhand and is also eaten as a staple food. It is similar to Chilka, but it is made with wheat flour. Instead of kneading the wheat flour into roti dough, a batter is created with lots of sugar, a pinch of salt, and water. This roti is eaten as a snack with pickles or chutney.
The roti is very soft in texture and has a very mild, sweet taste. It is served warm and can also be served with a pinch of honey. Eating this roti in winter can be a perfect breakfast and a healthy pancake alternative.