Chhath Puja 2023: 8 Traditional Dishes Of Bihar
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In the state of Bihar, one of the biggest celebrated festivals is Chhath Puja. It's a four-day festival where the sun god or Surya Dev is worshiped along with Chhathi Mai to show gratitude. In 2023, this Vedic-origin festival will be celebrated from the 17th of November to the 20th of November. During this period, worshippers will take holy baths when the first ray of sun will be seen, and they will also follow strict fasting on some of the four days. 

And yet, without food, Indian festivals are incomplete and believe it or not, a number of traditional Bihari cuisine dishes are relished during Chhath Puja in Bihar and beyond every year. Now you may already know about the most famous Bihari cuisine dishes like Litti Chokha and Champaran Mutton, but these aren’t the only dishes enjoyed in the region. In fact, during and after Chhath Puja, a number of traditional dishes are shared and eaten across  Bihari homes. 

Here are some such amazing Bihari cuisine dishes that should be relished during Chhath Puja. 

1. Thekua

This Indian dessert originated in the state of Bihar. In this case, jaggery, wheat flour, and ghee are mixed together into a dough and transformed into small cookie-sized pieces, stamped and decorated, and then fried until they turn brown and crispy. Cardamom and anise seeds are added to Thekua making it flavorful. Such crunchy and delicious pieces provide an important ingredient during Chhath puja and other celebration times; each one offers a wonderful sensation of sweetness with a light texture.

2. Kasar laddu

Kasar laddu is an Indian traditional sweet made out of grated white pumpkin mixed with sugar and ghee. The Kasar laddu is especially relevant in the Chhath Puja, an old Hindu festival for the Sun God. These delicious sweets are offered to the Sun god by his devotees as a show of gratitude, wishing him good health and blessing of abundance of yield or wealth. These Laddus are sweet, fragrant and form a crucial part of the ritual, representing the heat and vitality of the Sun God.

Video Credit: Youtube/Kabita's Kitchen

3. Dudhauri

Dudhauri is a sweet dish that is quite similar to the north Indian sweet, Gulab Jamun, though the shape is a bit oblong rather than round. This primarily consists of rice, ghee, milk, sugar and sugar syrup. First the rice is cooked in milk until the milk dries and creates a mush. Later it is blended in a blender to have a smooth texture. After giving it a finger-like shape it is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. It is a very popular festival dish that is widely relished.

4. Parwal Ki Mithai

Pointed gourd dessert parwal ki mithai has specific relevance as part of the Hindu festival Chath puja. In this dish, the gourd is slit, deseeded and then boiled in sugar syrup and then it is stuffed with a delightful combination of khoya (thickened milk solids), dry fruits and sugar. While serving it is usually garnished with pistachios and other nuts. This delicacy has its own emotional significance and flavors in the Bihari culture.

5. Kusi Kerao Ke Saag

Kusi Kerao Ke Saag is an important part of the Chhath Puja rituals as well as those during the Jitiya festival in Bihar. It is prepared during Chhath Puja with delightful green Malabar spinach or poro saag (known as pui saag in other Eastern Indian states) and a type of dried pea called kusi kerao. The dish is mildly spiced and represents purism and nourishment, especially during the winter season that Chhath Puja stands as a gateway to.

6. Tisi Ki Chutney

Flaxseeds are not only locally grown and relished in Bihar in the form of a nutty snack and flour, but are also cooked up in the form of a delicious chutney during Chhath Puja and other winter celebrations. Flaxseeds are soaked and ground up with garlic, green chillies, mustard oil and lemon juice to make this unique chutney that is relished with snacks like Phulauri and Pakodis. The dish is both delicious and nutritious with a nutty flavour.

7. Rasiyaw

Rasiyaw is a traditional offering made on Chhath Puja that has cultural as well as spiritual implications. Rasiyaw or rasia is almost like payasam, payesh or kheer but it is compulsory to add jaggery to this dish. During Chhath puja this dish is very relevant because it is tradition to break the Chhath Puja fast this dessert on the day of Paaran. 

8. Dahi Chuda

Did you know that rice is one of the most important grains in Bihari cuisine and no festivity is complete in the region without a number of rice dishes? So while you have the sweet Rasiyaw on the one hand, on the other is Dahi Chuda made with flattened rice or poha and fresh yoghurt. The flattened rice are washed and rinsed in water to get their rawness off, then mixed with freshly whisked yoghurt on top. Many people like to add sugar or molten jaggery on top before consuming Dahi Chuda to break the Chhath Puja fast.