Bihari Kebab: Mere Eastern Cousin Of Boti Kebab Or More?
- Sushmita Sengupta
Updated : September 17, 2022 04:09 IST
Bihar is replete with many traditional recipes that are a meat-lover's dream come true
If you are anything of a history nerd, you are perhaps aware of what makes the region of Bihar so important to world history. The ancient kingdom of Magadha was situated in the region of Bihar, it was around here where the religion of Buddhism took birth, it is also where Goddess Sita was born, and yet, the cuisine of the region remains criminally underrated.
The Meaty Side Of Bihari Cuisine
If you want to explore ‘Bihari cuisine’, it is very important to steer clear of stereotypes and general notions. Chief among which is the idea that most Bihari food is vegetarian. The astounding popularity of litti chokha, chura bhuja, sattu ka paratha, suran ki chutney may have contributed to the notion, but let’s not forget the iconic Champaran meat also hails from this very region, just like the delectable Bihari kebabs.
The Origin Story
Primarily a Muslim recipe, Bihari kebab, rather the whole idea of making kebabs and grilling meat on coal was brought to Bihar in the medieval age upon the entry of people of Turkish, Persian or Arabic descent. Kebabs were a popular dish in Arabic and Turkish camps. However, the kebabs, such as Bihari Kebab are distinctly different from the ones you will find in the middle-east. The marinade, the choice of cooking oil, the rustic scent are all defining features of this Bihari Kebab, that makes it so inherently desi.
Along with Bihar, the kebabs are incredibly popular in Bengal, and why not. Their affinity to mustard oil, is no less than that of Biharis. Yes, mustard oil is one of the core ingredients of this kebabs. The tenderising agents like raw papaya gives this kebab a melt-in-your-mouth texture, which is remarkably different from the mildly chewy kebabs of middle-east.
The Magic of Masalas...
These kebabs are also super rich and savoury. They are often infused with garam masalas, yogurt, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, black pepper etc. They are also allowed to rest in this marinade for hours so that the spices seep inside the meat. This is another very Indian style of making kebabs, that is not just peculiar to Bihar and Bengal but also Lucknow and Delhi. The marinade is so rich, that the ‘meat to spice’ ratio often becomes a point of contention among food connoisseurs, dividing the room in two.
Bihari kebabs, uses boneless chunks of meat that is put sedulously on the skewers. Now which kind of meat you ask? Beef used to be a popular choice, even traditionally, lighter meat like chicken were not considered ‘kebab-worthy’. But with time of course, you can find many households and shops preparing chicken or lamb version of the kebab.
Bihari kebabs are a popular Eid specialty, but since when did we require a special occasion to indulge in our favourite kebabs, right?
We have got a perfect recipe of Bihari kebab for you all to try at home. This Kebab uses chicken, and can be made easily using the oven at your place. Do try and make it soon and let us know how you liked it.