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 telling 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.
Dal Pitha : Guiltless and Righteous Bihari Dish!
Dal pitha is all about less oil and high protein …… the very essence of the modern day guiltless and righteous food. Known by diverse names like dal pitha, dal dokhli, dal ki Dulhan, it is a highly popular wholesome meal across the country. This dal pitha is my sister-in-law’s recipe who lovingly shared it for the readers. I am thankful to her for helping me in taking these small steps towards carving the jewel named bihari cuisine. Dal pitha is comfort food from bihar where a flowery shaped wheat dumplings is simmered in hot lentil soup. Enjoy this ultimate Bihari low fat nourishing food.
Read also: Make yourself Bihari cuisines Part 2: Dhuska
Masoor dal : 250 gms
Turmeric powder : ½ tsp
Red chilli powder : ¼ tsp
Salt as per taste
Water : 2 litre
Aestofatida : a pinch
Ginger garlic paste : ½ tsp
Bay leaf : 2
Red chilli whole : 2
Garlic pod : 5 to 6
Jeera : 1 tsp
Wheat flour : 150 gms
Mustard oil : 1 tsp
Ghee : 1 tsp
Boil the dal in a thick bottom pan along with water,ghee, turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, bay leaf, salt and mustard oil.
In the meantime, knead a soft dough with flour and water like you do for roti.
Make small balls from the dough and roll it flat like a roti. Next cut it into 1 ½ inch square and join all the four ends together giving it the shape of a flower. Sprinkle dry atta over them as this will prevent the dumplings from sticking to each other.
Once the dal is cooked add the dumplings into it and let it cook in the dal for another ten to fifteen minutes stirring occasionally.
For the tampering, in a medium hot ghee add hing, garlic, jeera and red chilli and fry them until the masala splutters.
Once the dal and pitha is done add the tadka and enjoy the traditional bihari dal pitha.
*Nandini Bhushan is a well-known food blogger