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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