Bihar- a place on my bucket list for a multitude of reasons. Had a few friends who really I haven’t caught up in a long while. …..
When I got the invite to do the “Shhh cooking challenge ” I was thrilled. Researching and creating a Bihari recipe with Mayuri who blogs at this beautiful space as my partner was really fun.
From Mayuri, I received black gram and mustard oil as my secret ingredients. Being SouthIndian… Black gram was friendly to me, but the mustard oil was new to my pantry.
Mustard oil is predominantly used in the cuisine from the Eastern part of India. I fell in love with the pungent smell of mustard oil as I was cooking.Seriously glad that my household liked it too. A check on the benefits of mustard oil… highlighted some very interesting points.
- Heart-healthy as it helps to raise HDL cholesterol over LDL.
- Being a natural stimulant mustard oil enhances digestion and improves appetite.
- Selenium in the oil reduces inflammatory effects.
- Omega 3 fatty acid content in the mustard seeds boost health and hair growth
- Reduce bacterial infections in the colon through their antibacterial properties
- The antibacterial and antifungal properties help in promoting oral hygiene
So, with that sorted, I moved on to figuring out what best way can I showcase these two elements.
Bihari cuisine is well known for the unique combinations of spices. The tadka or chaunk is the characteristic “panchphoran“- A mix of cumin, fenugreek, mustard, caraway and nigella seeds. It’s truly fragrant and it breezes through the mustard oil…..
As I was looking for ideas I did chance upon the steamed pitha with channa dal. Yumm.. Now that what I wanted to do . I have followed the recipe (nearly) from here.
To enhance the fibre content I have used whole black gram..in the filling and have no channa dal at all.
As I was making the recipe, I realised the outer covering is similar to the ” kozhakkatai recipe we do in the south and the steaming process too. But, have to say the filling is more sumptuous and fragrant.
I did the rice flour dough the way we do kozhakkatis and did not start with the elaborate one from raw rice.
I froze some of the filling and completely made ones to see the results. The filling was perfect upon thawing and the prepared pitha needed steaming again.
Nevertheless, a good choice for lunch box and a filling guiltless addition to my menu
Am glad I tried this one… Now really more confident with the panchphoran and mustard oil.
Try it, am sure you will like it too
Do try the Dahi chura as a dessert…
Now, that’s a well completed weekday meal with a bit of prep on the weekend.
hope you could try too.
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Dal pitha from the Bihari cuisine
For the dough
- 2 cups Raw rice flour
- 4 cups drinking water
- 1 tsp mustard oil
- salt to taste
- 1 cup Black gram dal whole skinned one
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 tsp Panchphoran
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves
- Soak the black gram in water for four hours.
- Drain the gram of all the soaked water
- Coarse grind the soaked dal.
- Warm up the mustard oil in a pan. Add the panchaphoran.
- Add the dal mixture when the mustard splutters.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin seeds, asafoietida and chilli flakes.
- Saute the coarse mix till it is cooked. Add the coriander leaves. Leave it to cool.
- Boil 4 cups of water, add salt and 1 tbsp oil.
- Add one cup to the boiling hot water to the rice flour. Mix well with a spoon. cover with a lid and leave for 10 minutes.
- Knead after 10 minutes into a smooth dough with excess of the water or a bit of dry rice flour.( these changes occur based on the type of rice flour you use)
- Divide the dough into the desired number of parts and make smooth balls.
- Flatten each ball, with hands or by rolling, and fill the daal mixture.
- Fold it to make semicircle shape. Work the seams with oiled hands so as to seal the seams
- Steam these pithas in a greased steamer till the daal filling gets cooked and knife comes out clean
- Take out the pithas from the steamer and serve hot.
Leftover pithas can be frozen and used in cut forms with tadka
Sodium: 3mgSugar: 1gFiber: 5gPotassium: 156mgCalories: 153kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.5gFat: 4gProtein: 6gCarbohydrates: 28g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!