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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
Method:

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 !


15 comments :

  1. Hi Poonam...thank you for this recipe... suggest some substitute for eggplant...as my husband hate ...but me really want to make this

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  2. Gonna give this recipe a try for sure :)

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    Replies
    1. Do try out Ravneet and share your feedback with us ..happy Cooking !

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  3. Your Litti Chokha looks awesome. Ineed, a tasty dish. :)

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  4. This is on my list .. will make it soon.Really want to taste it.

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  5. Wow! Fabulous share! Drooling! :)

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  6. Delicious looking Litti Chokha Poonam!Loving it!

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  7. Poonam, the photos of the preparation look so tempting... craving for some litti chokha though I had it just 2 days ago :0

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