In Bihar, the people celebrate this festival with good food and entertainment, attaching great significance to the festival of crops and harvesting. Baisakhi coincides with other regional festivals such as 'Vishu' in Kerala and 'Bohag Bihu' in Assam.
The Baisakhi festival, which marks the beginning of the traditional New Year across the states of India, is celebrated with great fervor and fun. It is celebrated on the first day of Baisakh, the first month of the Hindu calendar, and marks the harvest time of Rabi (winter) crops. In Bihar, the people celebrate this festival with good food and entertainment, attaching great significance to the festival of crops and harvesting. Baisakhi coincides with other regional festivals such as 'Vishu' in Kerala and 'Bohag Bihu' in Assam. Here are the 10 top dishes that are a must-have during the festivities.
1. Litti Chokha
Litti Chokha is a popular dish from Bihar that is enjoyed by many due to its delicious taste. It is a traditional dish that is well known and doesn't require any introduction. The dish consists of spicy round balls made of wheat and sattu, dipped in ghee. It has a unique texture and crunchy crust that is loved by food enthusiasts. Chokha, on the other hand, is made by mashing boiled vegetables, such as potatoes, brinjal, and tomatoes, and adding spices, chopped onion, and garlic. It is served as a complementary dish with Litti.
2. Dal Peetha
The people of Bihar prepare a traditional dish called Dal Peetha, which is similar to dumplings or momos. To make this dish, lentil paste, spices, and pickles are stuffed into a rice flour covering. The dumplings are either steamed or fried and make for a nutritious breakfast. There is also another type of dish called Dal-Puri, where lentil paste mixed with spices is rolled into chappatis.
3. Chana Ghugni
Chana Ghughni is a popular and flavorful snack from Bihar's cuisine, typically enjoyed in the evening. This delectable dish is a household staple in Bihar due to its widespread popularity and delicious taste. It is prepared by boiling chickpeas and frying them with onions and spices.
4. Mutton Kebabs and Reshmi Kebabs
Bihar is well-known for its delicious non-vegetarian delicacies, particularly the Mutton Kebabs in Patna, which have a long and illustrious history. The enticing aroma emanating from a small store in Kadamkua is irresistible and draws you in, where you will meet Mahgu, whose great-grandfather was once a chef in the British court. Mahgu's Mutton Kebabs are a mouth-watering delight that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
During festivals in Bihar, a traditional dessert called laung-latika is made. While it may resemble other stuffed desserts, what sets it apart is the clove located in the center of its crispy crust. When combined with the sweet filling and dipped in sugar syrup, the clove's pungent flavor creates a unique taste experience that is exclusive to Bihar.
The popular Bihari snack, Khajuria, is made by combining wheat flour and jaggery, then deep-frying the mixture. This delicious treat is perfect for satisfying hunger cravings. For variety, one can substitute rice flour for wheat flour and sugar instead of jaggery. This delicious treat is very much a part of any religious or festive occasion in Bihari homes.
Naivedyam, or Prasad, has its origins in the Tirupati Balaji Temple of Andhra Pradesh and is made using a combination of ingredients such as besan (gram flour), sugar, cashews, raisins, green cardamoms, Kashmiri saffron, and other flavorings. It is then cooked in ghee and shaped into a ball. This unique prasad is said to be a divine delicacy that melts in your mouth, leaving you feeling content and ecstatic.
8. Chandrakala/ Pedakiya
Chandrakala, a dessert from the cuisine of Bihar, is a sweet treat similar to Gujia. The ingredients for making it are sweetened khoya, coconut, cardamom powder, and dry fruits. The dessert is then dipped in sugar syrup, making it a heavenly delight for those who have a sweet tooth. Rest assured, Chandrakala is a dessert that will surely gratify your taste buds!
Khaja, a delicious snack from Bihar, has been around for approximately 2000 years and is not unlike baklava. It's made from wheat flour, sugar, and mawa, then deep-fried in oil, resulting in a crispy texture that melts in your mouth. Belgrami is another variation of Khaja made from milk solids, sugar, and ghee.
10. Kesar Peda
Despite being divided into separate states, Bihar and Jharkhand share a common culture and heritage that is deeply cherished by their residents. The traditional sweet dish of pedas from Devghar, which is now located in Jharkhand, is a significant part of Bihar's cuisine. People flock here to buy Kesar Pedas, which are a must-have on the occasion of the traditional New Year.