The fourth day pit stop is at Bihar and we are going to taste a delicious dish form the Bihari cuisine. Bihari cuisine is seen predominantly in the regions of Bihar, Jharkhand,Eastern Uttar Pradesh. I was amazed to read that it is also seen the neighboring countries of Pakistan and Nepal and is also seen in countries like Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago because of the Bihari settlers there.
Bihar is one of the states in the Eastern regions of India and is in the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size.This state is divided into two parts by the river Ganges that flows from west to east.
Magadha,which is in the South West Bihar region was the seat of learning in ancient India.Several dynasties flourished in this land in ancient times.
The national aquatic animal of India – The Ganges river dolphins aka Sois is found in Bihar!
Bihar was divided and the state of Jharkhand was born on 15th November 2010.
Bihari cuisine is said to have been influenced both by the Hindu and Buddhist values of non violence and hence it is a vegetarian one. However there is also a division that eats fish and other meats as well.
The Bihari cuisine is famous for its ‘smoked’ dishes . This cuisine boasts a large number of dishes in all the categories and is said to be flavorful in its own rights.
This cuisine makes use of seasonal ingredients that are treated to simple techniques. The vegetables or other main ingredients shown their presence without being masked by the over use of spices.That does not mean spices and masalas are not used here. They are used in a very subtle way.
Some of the very famous dish are the Litti Chokka, Sattu parathas, bihari kebabs etc. I did not want to make these so hunted for a different recipe and arrived at this gravy.
The dishes on a thali change with the seasons and mostly these varieties of foods can be seen – Rice , Roti, dal, tarkari /vegetable dish,and dahi accompanied by.Achar/pickle, chatni,papad and sometimes salad.
Today I am presenting to you a side dish to go with Roti / Chapathi made with puffed lotus seeds.
Behind the scene:
I usually cook for the blog when my lil one is asleep in the afternoon and the day I cooked this was no exception. That day hubby was at home and was watching me impatiently as I was clicking pics for this one. He was hovering around and muttering something that I chose not to lend a ear to. Finally, he could tolerate it no longer and asked me when I was going to serve this. I told him ,this was for dinner. He looked sullen and said he thought this was for lunch. So the lunch sat on the kitchen counter untouched while we feasted on this curry and chapthi. And if you are wondering how long my photo shoot lasted, it was just 10 minutes or so. The color and flavor was so good that he could not wait to taste it!
Puffed lotus seeds- 1 cup
Green peas,blanched- 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder- 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
For the white paste
Melon seeds-2 teaspoons
Poppy seeds- 2 teaspoons
Coriander leaves to garnish
Heat oil in a pan and fry the lotus seeds till they turn little brown.Drain and keep aside. Soak the ingredients for the white paste for half an hour and grind to a smooth paste adding a little water. Blanch the tomato, remove the skin and puree it. Keep aside.
Heat a little oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add onions and saute till it turns brown. Add the ground paste and mix.
Immediately add the tomato puree and half a cup of water. Mix well.Add salt, coriander powder, cumin powder.
Cook till it thickens a bit and the raw flavor of the masala powders goes off.Add the blanched peas and red chili powder.Add around 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Put in the roasted lotus seeds and mix well. After a minute remove from heat.
Serve garnished with coriander leaves.
This gravy thicken after a while, so make it a bit watery or add some hot water and heat and then serve.