Litti Chokha is a traditional savory snack that is often prepared in most homes in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. This Litti Chokha is traditional evening snack of Bihar served with chokha made out of potato , brinjal and tomato. Litti is a popular evening snack served with chokha which is made of brinjal (eggplant), tomatoes and onion that are charred, skin peeled off and crushed in a pestle and mortal along with other aromatics to make pleasant, spicy, tangy chutney. The hot litti is dipped in ghee for few seconds, removed and served hot accompanied with chokha. Litti is quite similar to the Bati (small bread balls) in appearance but is slightly different in taste, texture and preparation.
These are small sized breads in shape of buns made with whole wheat flour adding ajwain seeds, ghee, yogurt and a pinch of soda, kneaded, made into ball shape and baked either over hot sand or over a dried cow-dung fire (traditional style of cooking) or in the oven. The stuffing which is commonly known as Pitthi is made with gram flour (sattu) added with some mustard oil, kalonji, cumin seeds, chopped ginger and garlic, spiced with green chillies, earthy flavor from coriander leaves and boiled and mashed potatoes, all mixed well together, stuffed in the litti and baked until nicely browned and crisp.
Recipe: Litti Chowka
Ingredients For making the dough:
- Wheat flour - 1 cup
- Soda - pinch
- Ajwain seeds - ¼ tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Yogurt - ½ cup
For the Stuffing (Pitthi):
- Chana dal, roasted - ½ cup
- Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
- Kalonji - ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
- Garlic, chopped - 3 nos
- Ginger, chopped - 2” piece
- Green chillies - 3 nos
- Coriander leaves - ½ bunch
- Potatoes, boiled - 150 gms
- In a bowl, add wheat flour, soda, ajwain, salt, ghee, yogur and mix. Add required quantity of water and knead to make a soft dough. Cover and rest aside.
- For Stuffing: Heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil, add kalonji, cumin seeds, finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies, and onions. Add salt to taste and mix well. Switch off the flame.
- Add chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, roasted gram flour or sattu and mix well.
- Now divide the dough into equal portions and make it small patty. In the center of the patty, fill with the stuffing and close it from all sides.
- Place all the litties on a baking tray and bake till one side of the litti is brown, then turnover and bake for few minutes until both sides are browned.
- For Chowka: Heat a pan and add coriander seeds, dry red chillies and dry roast. Put them in the ding chik (pestle). Add garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves and crush nicely.
- Take a big eggplant, two tomatoes, two onions and roast over medium flame on both sides until they become soft.
- Peel off the burnt skin of brinjal, tomatoes and onions.
- Add the brinjal, tomatoes and onions in the pestle and crush to coarse paste.
- Take a bowl and add the mixture, little salt, boiled and mashed potatoes, chopped coriander, lime juice and mix well. The chowka is ready.
- Dip the litties in the ghee and serve with chowka.
Sattu is a fine powder made from roasted Gram flour called by various other names such as fried chana dal, daliya or putnala pappu. Roasted chana dal is generally used in southern India. It is added in preparing chutneys, season curries and spice mix. It gives a mild sweetness and nutty taste. Roasted chana dal is power packed with protein, dietary fibre, iron etc. It is also considered as a high energy food and is stomach filling hence added to make parathas and littis.
Most often this fantastic and delicious Litti is served accompanied with Chowkha which looks similar to a salsa dish or with a chicken curry (korma). This chokka is tangy, spiced and highly flavorful. It has a nice, exceptional smoky flavor that complements well when eaten litti. The chokka is a vegetable preparation made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes and onions that are charred over the fire, skin peeled and then either ground in a dingchik or mixie. Boiled and mashed potatoes are added to it along with lemon juice and freshly chopped coriander leaves that gives an amazing tangy, refreshing taste.
This is an excellent comforting and filling food to eat, having rustic flavors to delight your palate. Bihari food is generally vegetarian. Their staple food is bhat (rice), dal, roti, tarkari and achar. Often Khichdi accompanied with several items like curd, chutney, pickle, papad, ghee and chokha constitutes the lunch for most people of Bihar on Saturdays. Do try preparing this awesome dish and enjoy different flavors and taste from different regions of India. Enjoy cooking and eat healthy and hygienic homemade foods.
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