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
Kathal ka achar
Have you ever noticed that a piece of pickle changes the entire narrative of an Indian thali. There are a wide variety of pickles and jackfruit or kathal ka achar is one among them. Jackfruit is often used to prepare a variety of dishes like curry, biryani, cutlets but very few of us know that because of its fibrous texture kathal is an absolutely delightful ingredient for achar too. Although kathal is available mostly during the summer season, one could easily relish it’s taste all throughout the year in the form of pickle. This traditional tangy and spicy recipe is easy to make but requires a little more time to mature but can be stored for a longer period of time.
Kathal : 250 gms
Mustard seed : 2 tsp
Saunf : 1 tsp
Methi seed : 1 tsp
Asafoetida : ½ tsp
Turmeric powder : 1. Tsp
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp
Ajwain : ¼ tsp
Kalonji : ¼ tsp
Vinegar : 2 tsp
Mustard oil : 150 gms
Peel the kathal and cut into medium size pieces. Add
haldi and salt and mix them well.
Deep fry the kathal until golden brown. Drain them out in an absorbent paper.
Coarsely ground the sarson, methi dana, saunf, ajwain and mangrail. In a dry utensil, put the ground masala along with salt, Black salt, hing, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and oil. Add the fried kathal and mix it well with the masala.
Transfer the pickle in a sterilized jar and tie a cotton cloth over the top. Place it under the sun for at least a week . The pickles should be submerged in oil as it would prevent it from getting spoilt.