Bihari cuisine – As traditional Bihari society is influenced
by the Buddhist and Hindu values, they are predominantly vegetarians. However
unlike Gujarat and other communities of the South, non-vegetarian food is quite
acceptable in few traditional homes of Bihar.
Some section of the Brahmins, like the Maithil Brahmins have
traditionally eaten few varieties of fish. Interestingly Mutton or Goat meat is even
used as Prasad in some type of pujas. like Devi puja and many Kayastha families
in Bihar, who are generally considered great lovers of non-vegetarian food, are
vegetarian in Bihar.
There are numerous Bihari meat dishes prepared with Chicken
and Mutton. Diary products are consumed frequently throughout the year, with
common foods including Yoghurt known as Dahi and Buttermilk known as Mattha,
ghee, lassi and butter.
The staple food of Bihari food are the Bhat, dal, roti,
tarkari and achar. Traditionally Mustard oil has been the main cooking medium.
“Khichdi”, the broth of rice and lentils, seasoned with spices served with
several accompaniments like curd, chutney, pickles, papads, ghee and chokha
(boiled mashed potatoes & seasoned with chopped onions, green chillies)
constitutes the lunch for most people of Bihar
Sweet delicacies - Unlike Oriya and Bengali sweets which are
soaked in syrups made of sugar and are therefore wet, sweets of Bihar are mostly dry. Some of them are Laktho, Khurma, Balushahi.Anarasa,
Khaja, Motichoor ka
Ladoo, Kala Jamun, Kesaria Peda, Parwal ka Mithai, Khubi ka Lai, Belgrami,
Tilkut, Thekua and Chena Murki. Some of them owe their origin to towns in the
vicinity of Patna: Khaja from Silao Nalanda,
Ladoo from Maner, Kala Jamun from Vikram, Khubi ka Lai from Barh, Tilkut arid
Kesaria Peda from Gaya
.balushahi from Harnaut and Chena Murki from Koelwar. Descendants of the
original family members of the cooks, called halwais in the local language,
have migrated to urban Patna
and authentic sweet delicacies are now available in the city itself.
Other traditional snacks and savouries - There are several
other traditional snacks and savouries:
- Pua - prepared from a mixture of
powdered rice, milk, ghee (clarified butter), sugar and honey and its
- Pittha - steam cooked, mixture of powdered rice.
- beaten rice, served with a coat of creamy curd and sugar or jaggery.
(a kind of water fruit) is prepared from lotus seeds and prepared with
milk and sugar.
powdered baked gram, is a high energy giving food. It is taken mixed with
water or with milk. Sometimes, sattu mixed with spices is used to prepare
stuffed "chapattis", locally called as "makuni roti"
a fast food item that can be prepared with minimum of utensils by people
on tour. It is prepared with Sattu and Wheat flour and taken with mashed
potato and brinjals.
Non-vegetarian food - The distinctive Bihari flavor of the
non-vegetarian cooking finds mention in the memoirs of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
who found it quite tasteful. Biharians are quite famous for their Behari Kebabs another typical
Bihari non vegetarian dish. This dish was traditionally made from mutton and is
eaten with Roti, Paratha (sort of pita) or boiled rice.
The Bihari culture and their cuisines can be seen quite
distinctively in Karachi where they are in quite a large number Later on few of
them immigrated to US and Canada, taking with them their culture and cuisine.