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 splendour. 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.
A sweet and tangy raw mango relish namely guramba is a quick and easy recipe to spice up your summer. Bihar Is one such blessed state with a wide variety of mangoes available during the summer and guramba is made at almost each and every household during this season. Made with Gur (Jaggery) and raw mango this flavourful relish can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator and can be served with puri, paratha and even plain rice and dal. Such was my dearest mother in law’s love for it that throughout the summer time she would just have it as a staple food along with roti and paratha from breakfast, lunch to dinner.
Raw mango : ½ kg
Jaggery : ½ kg
Panch foran : ½ tsp
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp
Salt : a pinch
Oil : 2 tsp
Fennel powder : 1 tsp
Dried red chilli : 2
Wash and peel the raw mangoes. Cut it into medium sized pieces.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Once hot add the panch foran and let it splutter. Next put the dried red chilli and add the sliced mangoes.
Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix them all together. Reduce the flame and cover the pan with the lid.
Once the mangoes become soft add the Gur and cook them together.
When the Gur syrup coats the mango pieces and reaches the desired consistency, sprinkle the saunf powder and switch off the flame. Let it cool down and transfer it in a sterilized jar and store it in the fridge.
*Nandini Bhushan is a well-known food blogger