7 Traditional, Lesser-Known Bihari Dishes You Should Know About
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In the heart of Northern India lies the ancient state of Bihar, a region steeped in history, culture, and a culinary heritage that dates back centuries. The traditional cuisine of Bihar is more than just food; it is a reflection of the state's illustrious past, its multiculturalism, and the ties that food forges amongst its citizens.  In order to preserve the essence of heritage on our plates while modern cuisine develops, there is a growing movement to rediscover and cherish Bihar's traditional dishes. 

A Glimpse into the Past 

The history of Bihar's cuisine is weaved together from numerous historical, geographical, and cultural strands. Bihar has been a mingling pot of tastes and influences from neighbouring regions and far-off nations because it is a city located along old trade routes. The city's food has incorporated flavours from several centuries, including the Mughal dynasty and British colonial administration, creating a treasure trove of traditional recipes

Preserving the Legacy: Why Classic Recipes Matter 

It's significant to appreciate the value of conserving traditional recipes in a world where culinary innovation is occurring at a rapid pace.  

These recipes hold the history of generations, the development of cultures, and the customs that link communities together, so they are more than just a collection of ingredients and methods.  

Reimagining Classics for Modern Palates 

While maintaining tradition is crucial, the current era also calls for some innovation. Bihar's chefs and home cooks are coming up with creative methods to update time-honoured dishes while keeping their originality.  

They are building a link between the past and the present by incorporating modern presentation techniques, experimenting with unusual flavour pairings, and sourcing premium, locally produced ingredients, appealing to both nostalgia and the adventurous spirit of today's food enthusiasts. 

There are many such dishes which go way back in time in Bihar’s Cultural History. But people in 2023 are still fond of those dishes because they represent immense culture, love, and earthiness of the Bihari Tradition. 

Peetha: These are savory, spicy as well as sweet dumplings made from rice flour dough stuffed with spiced lentil paste, poppy seed paste, or khoya. There are different varieties and innovations in Peetha. They are also boiled in milk if sweet for the comforting and sweet flavour of milk. Commonly they are spicy and yummy to eat. They can be steamed or boiled and are often served with chutney or ghee. 

Thekua: A popular Bihari sweet snack made from wheat flour, jaggery, and ghee. The dough is shaped into intricate designs and then deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture. Thekua is a significant sweet of the holy festival Chhath in Bihar. People worship Suryadev offering a Prasad of thekua and fruits.  

Chana Ghugni: This dish features brown gram cooked in spicy onion gravy, usually made with mustard oil. It's a flavorful dish often enjoyed with Rice, Puri, Chiwda, or as a standalone snack. Often, scrambled eggs and cooked mutton or chicken mince are also added to the dish to make it more filling and flavourful. 

Khichdi: A warming rice and daal meal that is frequently spiced with cumin seeds, ghee, and other herbs and spices, Khichdi is a regular lunch or dinner dish for the Bihari people. A simple and filling supper, it is popular throughout Bihar. 

Bhoochak Beguni: It is a traditional Bihar cuisine from the Vaishali district that consists of deep-fried, battered slices of unripe green bananas. It's a distinct and delectable nibble which people enjoy merrily as a snack.  

Posto Rice: Often used to make a creamy, thick curry with vegetables like potatoes or ridge gourd, Posto Rice is a meal created from poppy seeds and rice by steaming and adding a few spices in them. One distinguishing feature of this meal is the nutty flavour of the poppy seeds. It is often praised by the people who belong to Bihar and eat it after a long time.  

Malpua: A delicious dessert and a staple sweet dish made particularly on Holi is Malpua. It is made with a batter of flour, milk, and mashed ripe bananas. Deep-fried pancakes made from the batter are then covered with sugar syrup and served sweet and syrupy. 

Passing down the Flame 

A kind of cultural transmission that unites generations is the custom of preparing and exchanging tried-and-true recipes. In Bihar, families still pass down family recipes from grandparents to parents and kids, making sure that the flavours of the past endure into the present. Cooking together turns into a way of connecting, sharing stories, and preserving a tradition that is intricately linked to the identity of the city. 

The quest of rediscovering the traditional dishes of Bihar extends much beyond the sense of taste. It's about establishing a connection to the past, accepting cultural diversity, and valuing life's modest but significant joys. We embark on a culinary journey that nourishes not only our bodies but also our souls as we savour the flavours of Peetha, Ghugni, Thekua, and other traditional delicacies, enabling us to feel the timeless essence of Bihar's legacy on every dish.