By Nandini Bhushan*
From Vat Savitri to Chhath Puja, and from humble litti chokha to the traditional dal pitha, Bihar is blessed with all the flavour and spirit of pomp and splendor. Eddie Kennyson rightly said, “when opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.” In these columns I shall not only be tell something about my native state Bihar through the window of its festival and food, but shall also offer the recipe so that one can try it oneself.
Bihari cuisine, I believe deserves its long overdue credit, as it is one of the most unexplored and under rated food today despite being full of flavours and among the most palatable cuisines. In today’s world of marketing and flamboyance, we seriously need a makeover of the sumptuous Bihari food to find its rightful niche in the gastronomical world. We need to present our recipe to the global audience, and being a food enthusiast myself, it is my humble attempt to present a traditional Bihari food with an interesting variation.
The crispy and thin moong dal and rice chilka is a power-packed protein rich and high fibre breakfast recipe. It is a simple recipe with minimal preparation and is very popular in Bihar and Jharkhand. Chilka, I believe is our very own Bihari take on the exotic crepe recipe where dal and rice is soaked overnight and blended into a smooth batter along with a handful of spices. Its peel like texture makes it distinct from the similar chilla recipe. Combine it together with garlic and green chilli chutney to experience the tantalizing taste and flavours from Bihar. Indeed a perfect way to kick start a perfect day.
Moong dal : 1 cup
Rice : 2 cups
Ginger : 1 inch
Garlic : 4 pods
Green chilli : 2
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp
For the chutney
Garlic : 15 pods
Green chilli : 10
Lemon juice : 1 tsp
Sugar : a pinch
Salt : 1 tsp
Wash and soak the rice and dal overnight.
Make a smooth batter with rice, dal, ginger, garlic, green chilli and salt . Once the batter is done add the cumin seeds and give it all a good mix.
Coarsely grind the green chilli, garlic, sugar, lemon juice and salt and the chutney is ready.
In a medium hot tawa or griddle spread the batter with the help of a ladle. Drizzle a spoon of oil over it and let it cook until they turn golden brown and crispy.
Flip and cook on the other side. Serve it hot with chutney.
*Nandini Bhushan is a well-known food blogger