No matter in which part of the world I am, Bihari food is what I always crave. Thanks to my taste buds that were only exposed to Bihari foods for the first 22 years of my life. One of the special and peculiar things about Bihari cuisine is the use of dal in most of the food items. This cuisine is similar to East Indian and North Indian cuisines. If we talk about a traditional vegetarian Bihari thali, it would be different for each season bared a few items including rice, roti, dals, chokha, home-made pickles and some milk-based dessert. Most of the non-Bihari population thinks that Litti Chokha is what Bihari cuisine is all about but that’s not true at all.

A typical Bihari thali is simple and usually contains food items that a common man would eat daily. Want to order one? Well, that’s not possible? You ask why? That’s because if you go to any restaurant in Bihar and would ask for a Bihari thali, you would most probably get a strange look from the server as nothing such as a Bihari thali actually exists. If you wish to know the taste of Bihari foods you need to either invite yourself to a Bihari’s house on some Sunday (usually a feast day, at least which was the case in my house) or ask a hotel chef to bring a few authentic Bihari items. What those items will be? Read on to know.

Chana Dal or Kadhi Badi

In most of the Bihari households, Chana dal is made on some special occasion. Everyday dal includes masoor or arhar dal. Chana dal actually goes well with basmati chawal along with tarua (potato fritters). Its taste is enhanced by adding desi ghee ka tadka to the dal.

Kadhi badi is similar to kadhi that North Indians eat. It is a delicious dish in which dumplings made of chickpea flour are dunked into the yogurt and besan-based curry.

Tamatar Ka Chokha

You may have heard of aloo ka chokha or aloo sanna but not everyone is aware of tamatar ka chokha. It used to be and still is a must-have side dish in my house during winters. Also known as the Indain version of salsa, tamatar ka chokha is prepared by roasting tomatoes and then crushing them to get a mushy consistency. After that, mustard oil, green chilli and salt are added to it to enhance the flavor of this yummy dish. 

Aloo Ka Bhujiya

No, we are not talking about that snack you buy from the market and call bhujia. This is different. To make aloo ka bhujiya, you simply need to cut potatoes finely and saute them after adding turmeric and salt till the potatoes turn light golden brown. Yes, it is that simple.

Palak Ka Saag

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I just love palak ka saag. Not because it is rich in protein and other important nutrients but because it tastes heavenly with rice. Believe me, it does! Biharis make palak ka saag in the simplest way you can imagine. Firstly, cut the spinach and put them in a kadhai. Add salt and keep the flame low and cover the utensil. Check the spinach after 10 minutes. Add a tadka of mustard oil, red chilli, and methi seeds. Voila!

Plain Youghurt

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Any vegetarian Bihari meal would be incomplete without a bowl of dahi especially the one made at home along with sugar. Nothing else is required to end for a fulfilling meal. This is what any Bihari would probably say.