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Cuisine of Bihar

Bihari cuisine is eaten mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji, some cities of Pakistan, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago as these are they places where Bihari people are present.

Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because traditional Bihar society influenced by Buddhist and Hindu values of non-violence did not eat eggs, chicken, fish and other animal products. However there is also a tradition of meat-eating and fish dishes are especially common due to the number of rivers in Bihar such as the Sone, Gandak and the Ganges. There are also numerous Bihari meat dishes with chicken and mutton being the most common.

Dairy products are consumed frequently throughout the year, with common foods including yogurt known as dahi and also buttermilk known as mattha, ghee, lassi and butter. The cuisine of Bihar is similar to a great extent to North Indian cuisine but has an influence from other East Indian Cuisine (for example like Bengali cuisine).

It is highly seasonal, with watery foods such as watermelon and Sherbet made of pulp of the wood-apple fruit being consumed mainly in the summer months and dry foods, preparations made of sesame seeds,poppy seeds in the winter months.

Some dishes which Bihar is famous for, include Sattu Paratha, which are parathas stuffed with fried chickpea flour, Chokha (spicy mashed potatoes), Fish curry and Bihari Kebab,Postaa-dana kaa halwaa.

Bihari Thali
As the seasons change so does the Bihari thaali, every 3–4 months. The constants are rice, roti, achar, chatni, dals and milk products with some variation.

People use both vegetable oil or mustard oil and zeera or panchforan (literally "five seeds", namely saunf, sarson, methi, ajwain and mangraeel(Kalaunji) for "chhounkna"/"Tadka"(tempering) of some vegetables. There is a lot of light frying, called bhoonjnaa, in Bihari food.

One of the most remarkable thing about this cuisine is "smoked food". It refers to using smoked red chilli to infuse a strong aroma in food. It is used in preparing "chokhaa", i.e. mashed brinjals/potatoes/tomatoes, either single or combined. Smoked chilli is also used in preparing kadam (a common fruit sweet sour in taste, technical name Anthocephalus morindaefolia) chutney.

Traditional Cuisine
Kadhi Bari - these fried soft dumplings made of besan (gram flour) are cooked in a spicy gravy of yogurt and besan. It goes well over plain rice.

Khichdi - Mix of Rice, Dal and several Vegetables; steamed together to give a distinctive taste of different ingredients combined in one dish. It is often topped up with ghee.

Ghugni - It is a preparation made of grams soaked (either lightly/overnight)in water and then sauted in mustard oil in a wok.

Pittha - It is something like momos. It could be either salty or sweet.It is either a semi circular/ball shaped preparation made of crust made of soft rice flour and filled with preparations made of Channa Daal lentil paste, or Poppy seeds & Gur (Jaggey). and then steamed in water/ milk (allowed to thicken).

Choora - beaten rice, served with a coat of creamy curd and sugar or jaggery. In winters, this is mildly baked and accompanied with a thick spicy preparation made of peas and onions.

Sattu - powdered baked gram, a high energy giving food usually mixed with water or with milk. Sometimes, sattu mixed with spices is used to prepare stuffed 'chapattis', locally called as 'makuni roti'.

Dhuska - a deep fried item prepared from a mixture of powdered rice and ghee but is salted.

Litti - Powdered baked gram is mixed with chopped onions,green chillies,lemon juice,coriander leaves. This mixture is filled inside atta and either barbecued over coal or deep fried with oil. Best accompanied with Ghee,Curd and Chokha and baigan bharta.

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