One of the things that I love about blogging is that it helps me learn a lot about food from other parts of the country and the world. A few days back, I would not have know what sattu is or what a thekua is. But today, thanks to the blogging marathon theme of Bihari cuisine, I am actually able to write a post on a very typical, rustic dish that is commonly made in Bihari households.
Let me give you a little background on how I came upon this recipe. Having decided that I was going to cook Bihari food for a week, I spoke to my colleagues about it. One of them is from Bihar and the other 2 had friends in Bihar and so, were familiar with the food. So, we got talking and kept talking for well over an hour and to say that our stomach were all growling by the end of the hour, would be an understatement. So, we decided to cook a typical Bihari meal together for lunch that day. The next few hours were nothing short of absolute, pure fun and a really, really unforgettable lunch.
Today, I will be sharing with you the recipe of one of the dishes we cooked called a chokha. A chokha is basically a side dish which is made up of fire roasted and mashed vegetables. Commonly used vegetables are potato, tomato and brinjal. These can be used separately or in combination. In this recipe, all three have been used together.
What you need:
Eggplant/brinjal - The large, Japanese variety - 3
Tomato - 6 large
Potato - 8 or 9, medium sized
Onion - 3, finely chopped
Ginger - a large piece, julienned
Garlic - 15-20 cloves, chopped fine + a few more
Green chillies - 8-10 (adjust to taste)
Hing - a few pieces
Corriander - a handful, chopped fine
Mustard oil - 1/4 cup
Juice of 1 lemon
Make 5-6 small slits in the eggplant. Insert a clove of garlic and a small piece of hing into each slit.
Roast the eggplant over a low flame turning from side to side frequently to make sure that all the sides get evenly cooked.
This will take a good 15 minutes. You will know the eggplant is done when the skin starts peeling off as your are turning it and when a knife can be easily inserted into the eggplant. Remove and set aside to cool.
Once cool, mash the brinjals and keep aside in a bowl.
Similarly, roast the tomato over the flame. Use tongs to turn the tomato from side to side to ensure even cooking and to avoid burning.
Once the skin turns black and starts peeling off as you turn the tomato, remove from the flame and allow to cool.
Remove the charred skin, mash well and keep aside.
Potatoes, my friends tell me, are also usually cooked over coal, but we chose to wrap them individually in foil and then bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
They were beautifully cooked by then and were mashed and set aside.
Now mix together all the three mashed veggies in a large mixing bowl. Add in chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, corriander, salt, lemon juice and mustard oil. Mix well.
Serve with parathas. (Recipe for sattu paratha coming up next)
Note : This recipe makes a huge quantity of chokha - enough to feed 12-15 people. The recipe can be easily modified to make smaller quantities.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#11