Features of Jharkhand Cuisine
Jharkhandi cuisine is traditional and combination of various localities in Jharkhand Region. Most of the Dishes of Jharkhand are traditional and some are adopted from mixed culture of adjoining areas. However, the Famous cuisines of Jharkhand, used in all the seasons are Rice, Roti, Daal, Tarkari and sweets, and much more. The food of Jharkhand is generally very light on the stomach and easy to digest. The native folks of Jharkhand have absorbed this fact very well, as showed by the food habits of Jharkhand people
. Various Delicacies of Jharkhand
The staple diet of Jharkhand includes Urad Dal, Rahar Dal, Rice Marua Roti, Chilka Roti and Kanda. Kanda is the name for sweet potatoes which are eaten boiled with tea as breakfast. Other items used are: Konhra phool, Barri, Phutkal, Joki - Moringa oleifera, Saakhin, Khukhri and Sandhna. Sandhna are the bamboo shoots. They are cut into small size and made into a pulp which is added to as well as made into pickles. Jack fruits, Gourd, White pumpkin, Flat Beans, Long beans, Lady Finger are used in the dishes.
Dhuska: Dhuska is one of the most popular items in Jharkhand and is a part of every household. The journey to Jharkhand is incomplete without tasting Dhuska. It is usually consumed as a breakfast item and d is prepared from rice and lentil batter, which is fried later. It is normally served with traditional ghugni, which is a simple curry made with black chickpeas.
Rugra : Rugra is a kind of rare mushroom that found in Jharkhand. Its cultivation begins during the onset of monsoon season as its productivity grows in the course of this season. These mushrooms are found deep under the soil near the Sal trees.
Bamboo shoots: Bamboo shoots are the edible parts of the bamboo. Its soft and tender flesh are cut and boiled so that any toxins if present are removed. It is often pickled, curried, or fermented and can be cooked in many different ways. Older shoots need more of boiling as compared to the young shoots. Young shoots are locally called Karil and stored shoots are called Shandhna
. Litti Chokha: Jharkhand is a state which is replete with religious people. This makes the cuisine being dominated by vegetarian dishes. Since this state is adjacent to Bihar, many of its food items have a Bihari touch to it. Litti is a very famous food item in the State and savoured by the locals. It is eaten with Yoghurt, Baigan Bharta (Chokha), Alu Bharta or Papad.
Aloo Chokha: Aloo Chokha is a north Indian dish which is specially prepared in the state of Jharkhand. It is considered to be one of the most popular and cherished culinary delights making up the staple of Jharkhand. It is generally prepared with mashed potatoes, fried onion and spices, and eaten as a side dish with roti or rice.
Pitha: A very famous dish not only famous in Jharkhand but also in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, and Kerala. It is typically made of rice flour or wheat flour both. It is a type of rice cake which is filled in between with sweet ingredients or grated dry fruits like cashews, pistachios, and almonds.
Chilka Roti: Jharkhand is an eastern state that was a part of Bihar up until 2000 and like Bihar, rice is a staple dish in this state. Chilka Roti is one of those dishes which are prepared using rice flour and besan. It is quite similar to Dosa prepared in South India, yet has a distinct flavour.
Pumpkin Curry: Pumpkin is another natural item that is easy to make and prepared in different ways especially enjoyed as pumpkin curry. It may be taken with chapatti, paratha or rice depending on one’s choice.
Snacks and Pickles from Jharkhand Cuisine
Some of the common snacks are: Samosa, Aloo Chop, Baiganee Chop, Vegetable Chop, Pyaji, Dhuska, Pakauri and Thekua. The pickles and chutneys used for meals include Bamboo shoot pickle, Dhhepa chatni, Tomato chatni, Phutkal achhar, Imli chatni, Kaccha aam ka chutney, Dhania ka chutney, Kathal ka achar, Ool ka achar, Ool Ka chutney and Nimbu ka Achar. Lastly, a famous tangy dish golgappa which is so very famous and loved among the people that people have innovated and tried it in many different ways. They call it ‘Gupchup’.
Leafy Dishes of Jharkhand Cuisine
Some of the popular saags include Munga saag, Gandhari saag, Koinar saag, Sarla saag Chench saag, Beng saag, Chimti saag, Katai saag and Golgola saag. The items made during occasions are: Arsa, Nimki, Pitha, Kasar Larua and Murhi Larua.
Koinar Saag: It is a wild leaf often cultivated by local people during monsoon. This is more famous among tribal parts of Jharkhand where along with Koinar saag, they also make use of Colocasia esculata ( kachchu patta) and Crotalaria juncea (Sanai ka Phool). Nutritionally, they are high in fiber and rich in protein.
Munga Saag: This is another recipe made out of natural by-products of drumsticks. The curry is mixed with potatoes sometimes, which is a very common dish among people. Further, its leaves are even cooked and taken as saag.
Sanai Ka Phool Ka Bharta - It's a recipe from rural Jharkhand made of Sanai (Crotalaria juncea) flowers.
Desserts of Jharkhand Cuisine
Most of the dishes from Jharkhand includes sweet dishes that is made by people from there on festive occations.
Anarsa: Often during festivals, people of Jharkhand makes a sweet dish named Anarsa, which is made out of sugar or jaggery. This dish is a dish of special occasion often relished during festivals like Diwali or Holi, which can be packed for picnics or can be one of the items for the menu of kitty party.
Til Bugga: Another traditional food is Til Bugga or Til Barfi, which is enjoyed in special occasions. It is a sweet item taken as dessert. The topping of barfi is done with sesame seeds for enhancing its taste and hence its name.
Mitha Khaja: It’s made of maida or refined white flour, ghee, and sugar makes it a very tasty delight. Firstly the batter is fried deeply until crisp and then soaked in the sugar syrup. The final prepared khaja is dry from outside while the inner part is full of sugar syrup. Khaja is a sweet often used during festive occasions as a holy offering, especially to Lord Jagannath.
Malpua: The desi pancake or the Malpua is synonymous with Holi in Jharkhand. There is not a single household in Jharkhand where the sweet smell of malpua fills the air on the eve of Holi
. Thekua: A very famous delicacy and an important holy food offering of hindus made specially during chhath puja and also throughout the year as sweet cookies, made of jaggery, whole wheat flour and grated cashews, cardamoms and fennel seeds for enhancing taste.
Beverages and Drinks of Jharkhand Cuisine
As far as drinks are concerned tea is common. It is taken without milk. Jaggery or salt is used. There are some alcohol based drinks that were invented by the local tribes in Jharkhand.
Mahua: A traditional drink named Mahua is a very special and traditional drink of Jharkhand. Especially the tribal men and women consume Mahua on special occasions and they consider it a holy thing as it has the medicinal properties to cure ailments.
Handia: Another famous tribal drink is Handia, which is a fermented rice beer. Karma Puja is an occasion of paddy harvesting and this sacred drink is celebrated by the tribal. It is not only famous in Jharkhand but also in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh. It is the most accepted sacred drink of Munda and Santhal tribes.
Jharkhand is a fast pace developing state which beliefs in holding on with its root and welcoming the development. It provides 40% of mineral resources over the country and only state to provide Pyrite, Uranium, and coking coal. As people are close to nature and natural things, so the forest is considered holy and worshiped as a god.