Jhingni Badi: A Must-Try Vegan Delight From Bihar

Boasting an impeccable blend of North and East Indian cuisines, Bihari dishes are lip-smacking. From sattu-filled litti to khichdi made by cooking rice, vegetables, and lentils, foodies can dive into the depths of the state's regional cuisine. People mostly use seasonal vegetables, fish, meat, and rice to create sumptuous delicacies. While frying is among the most prominent styles of cooking in Bihar, a few recipes are made with just a tablespoon of oil. One such regional and lesser-explored dish is jhingni badi.

Video Credit: Anita Ji Ka Kitchen/ YouTube

Much like most traditional delicacies, the flavours in the regional delights of Bihar are added using spices. However, jhingni badi is made with just a handful of spices. In many regional cuisines, one can find various varieties of badi. Some use gram flour while others use lentils, but mostly make badi by deep frying the batter or thick mixture.

One of the best aspects of making jhingni badi in the spring and summer seasons is that it is a lightweight dish. The badi is cooked in the steam, and the minimum use of spices makes this vegan dish a perfect addition to people struggling to manage their weight, cholesterol, and other health ailments. 

It is later paired with rice, much like any vegetable mix. If you are tired of eating rice with dal, curry, or kadhi, jhingni badi will help you connect with roots and give you a new pairing for steamed rice. 

Jhingni Badi Recipe

To make jhingni badi, you won’t need to spend hours. You can prepare this delight in under 30 minutes if you have soaked lentils at home. You will need,

  • 1 cup of soaked moong dal
  • 2 roughly chopped green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 2 cups sponge or ridge gourd (jhingni)

Also Read: Ponkh Ki Chaat: The Hurda Or Jowar Grains Special You Must Try This Winter

How To Make Jhingni Badi

  • Soak dal overnight or at least for 4-5 hours and grind it with garlic, green chillies and salt. Keep the consistency of the paste thick and coarse because it will add a chunky flavour to the badi, and it would be easier to place them on a sieve.
  • Take a kadhai and heat mustard oil in it.
  • Prepare the tempering by adding cumin seeds, bay leaf, and finely chopped green chillies (optional).
  • Once the seeds start to splutter, add onions and stir them until translucent.
  • Now add, gourd either chopped in concentric circles or diced as long sticks. Add only half a cup of water because gourd leeches water upon cooking.
  • Keep the flame low, place a bowl in the middle, and top it with a sieve. Now gently place badi using a tablespoon of the lentil mixture. 
  • Cover the lid of the kadhai and let badi cook in the steam released from vegetables cooking under the sieve. It will also add flavour to the badi. You can cook the badi separately in a steamer as well.
  • Once badis have hardened, keep the sieve aside and add turmeric powder and red chilli powder to the vegetables. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
  • To a hot place of rice, add badi and jhingni mixture, and enjoyed it with pickles.