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Friday, 29 December 2017

Litti Chokha Recipe

Litti Chokha is the signature dish of Bihar. Litti is a baked dish made from whole wheat flour dough that is stuffed with pitthi (a mixture of Sattu (roasted gram flour), spices and lemon juice.) Litti is tossed in ghee and served with chokha , a vegetable preparation made from roasted and mashed vegetables mixed with mustard oil , lemon juice , spices and onions. Litti Chokha is a traditional dish eaten mainly in Bihar and Jharkhand but it is also popular in parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh as well as Nepalese state of Madhesh. Litti Chokha can be served at lunch time ,as brunch or even at dinner.


Litti may look similar and is often confused with the closely related Rajasthani dish - Batti ,but it is a completely different dish in terms of taste , texture and preparation. Litti are traditionally baked over a cow dung fire , but it can be deep fried or baked in oven too. My first encounter with this delicious Bihari dish was at the 9th Chandigarh National Crafts Mela , held in Kalagram , Chandigarh last month. Apart from the exhibition cum sale of beautiful handicrafts , there were  many food stalls displaying popular food from different Indian States at the fair. From Bihar stall , we ordered Litti Chokha. The litti were broken in two, smeared with ghee and topped with egg plant chokha and a green spicy chutney. My family just loved the dish . It tasted so good , back home my little one was behind me to make this dish for him at home since then.

Luckily for this month on Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge we have Bihar Cuisine as our theme. I was paired with Sujitha Ruban who is a talented blogger and blogs at sujithaeasycooking.com . She gave me mustard oil and lemon juice as my 2 secret ingredients and i knew i had to make no other dish than this delicacy from Bihar, Litti Chokha. Browsed many recipes , made some changes as per the availability of ingredients and finally settled with this recipe. I did not get sattu , so powdered the roasted Bengal gram and used instead in the pitthi (stuffing). Also the pitthi is spiced using pickled spices, i used the my red chili pickle instead (without the chili pieces). The litti turned out very well  and i served it with baingan (eggplant) chokha and a potato chokha.

For those who would like to more about this cuisine, Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian because traditional Biahr society, is influenced by Hindu and Buddhist values of non- violence. However, there is also a tradition of meat-eating, and fish dishes are common in the Mithila region due to the number of rivers . Dairy products are consumed frequently throughout the year. The ingredients that commonly feature in a Bihari household are mustard, panch phoran , khada masala, garam masala, mustard oil, chura or flattened rice (popularly known as poha), rice flour and all things seasonal - veggies and fruits. Sattu ( a mix of ground pulses and cereal) is one of the most commonly used ingredients in Bihari Cuisine. Source: Wikipedia

Now coming over to the dish, lets quickly look at the ingredients and step wise method to make Litti Chokha.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves : 5

Ingredients for covering of Litti :

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon of ghee / oil
  • 1 teaspoon Carom seeds / Ajwain
  • Salt to taste
  • Warm water as required to knead the flour

Ingredients for Pitthi (Stuffing of litti):

  • 1/2 cup sattu ( i powdered the roasted Bengal gram)
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger piece, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, pounded
  • 1/4 teaspoon black salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickled spices
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Salt to taste


 Ingredients for Baingan Chokha:
  • 1 large eggplant 
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch ginger piece
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

1. Take whole wheat flour in a mixing bowl. Add melted ghee, salt , carom seeds to it and mix well using fingers .

 2. Using little warm water as required, knead the flour to a stiff dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, we can prepare the pitthi for the litti. Take roasted Bengal Gram dal in a grinder jar and pulse for 2-3 times to get a powder. If you have sattu , use it instead. In another mixing bowl take all the ingredients under the list of Pitthi. Mix them together. Use little water if needed to make it bind well. 


 4. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. After 15-20 minutes knead the dough gain for 2-3 minutes. Divide it into 10 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a disc of poori size using a rolling pin. Similarly divide the pitthi Stuffing)also in equal portions. Stuff each poori with pithi , gather the ends , pleat and join the edges. Pressed the joined part and lightly roll the stuffed dough balls between palms to get a round shape.This stuffed dough ball is ready to be baked. Prepare all the dough balls similarly. Keep the dough balls covered with a moist muslin cloth while working to prevent it from drying out.

 5. Arrange the prepared dough balls on a greased baking tray , brush them with melted butter or ghee. Bake them for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until they turn golden brown.

 6.  After 20 minutes of baking, my littis were golden in color. I flipped them and baked for another 10 minutes. But i wanted to have brown spots on them so i just grilled them for another 5 minutes on a high rack. This step is optional. On baking the crust should look done. The liitis are ready to serve. Break the littis, dip them in ghee and serve with chokha.

Method for preparing egg plant Chokha :

  1. Rinse one large eggplant in water. Pat dry and apply little oil all over the surface of eggplant. Roast it over direct flame . Keep turning the eggplant after 2-3 minutes on the flame , until it gets cooked evenly and is tender. Remove the eggplant and keep it in a covered bowl. Allow it to cool down completely.

 2. On cooling , peel the eggplant and chop it finely. In a mortar and pestle take 2 green chilies, 1/2 inch ginger piece, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and salt. Pound it well. Add this to the chopped eggplant.

3. Add finely chopped coriander leaves, finely chopped onions , mustard oil and lemon juice. Mix everything very well. Taste the chokha and add more salt or lemon juice if required. The Baingan Chokha is ready to serve.

  For Aloo Chokha, pressure cook 2-3 potatoes. While they are warm, peel and mash them well. Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped green chili, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon mustard oil, 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. Mix well , taste it , add more seasoning if required and our aloo chokha is ready to serve.


 Serve the Bihari style litti chokha with Baingan and aloo chokha and a bowl of ghee. Break the litti , dip it in ghee and eat it with the chokha. You can also top the littis with ghee instead and serve.

If you like the recipe , do try out and share your feedback with us. Follow me on #Facebook ,  #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and updates. Have a great weekend and a happy new year to all my readers. Will be back with another recipe next year, till then eat healthy and stay fit !

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Plum Bundt Cake - Christmas Special Recipe

 Plum Bundt Cake is a delicious Christmas fruit cake filled with healthy goodness of nuts and dry fruits. This is an egg -less , butter-less , alcohol free cake recipe which is very healthy as it is refined flour and refined sugar free too ! This plum bundt cake is another addition to my healthy bakes. The recipe is instant one, as it does not require pre -soaking of nuts and dry fruits . I have soaked them in a mixture of apple and orange juice for 2-3 hours. The recipe calls for use of whole wheat flour and a little semolina. The beautiful color of the cake comes from the caramelized jaggery. The orange and lemon zest add in to the taste and aroma , making every bite of this cake a blast of flavors. I have made few changes in my previous version of Plum Cake and come up with this recipe.

This plum bundt cake turned out super yum, with a spongy and soft texture , mildly spiced, aromatic, flavorful and perfectly baked . My family loved it to the core and i made it twice in this one week. The cake tastes great on its own, but you may sprinkle powdered sugar , or coat it with chocolate sauce if preferred. The cake can be served at brunch with some vanilla ice-cream to make it a real festive treat . It also serves as a great tea time snack. Kids can enjoy it as a healthy snack at any time of the day. I have recently bought a silicon bundt cake mould and there could not be any other perfect occasion to try it out. I was a little worried as the silicon mould is very wobbly and i doubted whether the cake would come out in good shape, but the results were far better than my expectations. The silicon bundt cake mould does not require any greasing, is very easy to handle, and the cake easily pops out of the mould . I placed the silicon bundt cake mould on a baking tray to make easy handling.

Sending this plum bundt cake recipe to the #124th #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #Christmas . Do check out my fellow bloggers posts as well for some innovative recipes on this theme. 

Preparation time: 2-3 hours
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients: Measurements used , 1 cup =200 ml

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon spice powder ( grind 2 cloves, a small piece of cinnamon stick , nutmeg and dry ginger to make the spice mix.)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts and dry fruits ( i have used , candied apricots, cherries, cranberries, dates, tutti frutti , black raisins, golden raisins, walnuts, cashews, almonds )
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Chop the nuts and dry fruits in to uniform sized chunks. I have even chopped the raisins , i know it sounds tedious, but it ensures you do not end up filling your mouth with raisins with each bite of the cake.  

2. Add the apple , orange and lemon juice  to the chopped nuts and allow it to soak for at least 2 hours.

3. While the nuts are getting soaked, we will prepare the jaggery caramel. For that, in a sauce pan add the jaggery powder and start the pan to heat on low flame.  Now add 2 tablespoon of water to the jaggery and allow the jaggery syrup to cook for 1-2 minutes more while continuously stirring, to prevent it from catching the bottom.

4. Once the jaggery changes its color and thickens a bit, put off the flame. Immediately strain the jaggery to remove the impurities if any.

 5. To this caramelized jaggery syrup , add milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix well .Our wet ingredients are ready.


 6. When the nuts are soaked for 2 hours, preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius . In another mixing bowl, sift the whole wheat flour, spice powder, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the orange and lemon zest to it and mix well. Our dry ingredients are ready.

 7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, in batches and blend well with a spatula. Add the soaked nuts to the batter and blend again . The batter is not very runny .

 8. Spoon out the batter into the bundt pan and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. To check the done-ness , insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean , the cake is perfectly baked, if the tooth pick is sticky, bake the cake for another 5 minutes. Allow the cake to cool down on a wire rack completely, before cutting it.

  • You may use grated jaggery if powdered one not available. You may even use regular sugar as a sweetener if preferred.
  • I have soaked the nuts and dry fruits only for 2 hours at room temperature. If you wish to soak the fruit overnight, keep it in the refrigerated or else it will turn bitter because of the added apple juice.
  • I have used freshly extracted orange and apple juice. You may use store bought.
  • Do not skip the orange and lemon zest , as it makes the cake all the more aromatic and flavorful.
Wishing a very happy and blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all my readers !!

I hope you would love to try out this healthy plum cake recipe, if you do so, would love to hear from you. Feel free to share your feedback with us.
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