Holi, the festival of colours, happiness and spring, includes Holika Dahan, Gulaal and indulgence in delicious food. Every state celebrates Holi with same fervour and charm, but Bihar is famous for its ‘Kurta phad Holi’. The celebration begins on the eve of Phagun Poornima when people burn bonfire that includes araad, dung cake, grains from the fresh harvest and dried wood and leaves. This day is also called “Choti Holi”. The morning time of Holi in this state is dedicated to wet colours, while the evening is all about gulal and traditional delicacies.
Like every state, Bihar has its own range of delicacies that are flavourful and are made in a particular style. Have a look at these mouth-watering dishes and the way they are made in Bihar.
Holi is incomplete without Thandai. This variant of Thandai has a hint of bhang to cherish and kick start the kurta phad Holi. Prepared with milk, dry fruits, with hints of gulab and gulkhaira (rose and hollyhock) flowers, this drink is very refreshing, and a perfect summer cooler. Bhang is also mentioned in ancient Hindu texts like Atharvavedaas an anxiety reliever and stress-buster, and a tool to ward off evil. Cannabis in general is strongly associated with Shiva. At major Shiva temples, bhang is offered as prasad. The consumption of marijuana is often regarded by Shiva bhakts as a surrender of all worldly intoxicants to him.
For non-vegetarians, Holi is all about mutton. Slow Cooked Bihari Style Mutton Curry has a lot of raw spices and is made in mustard oil and ghee. It is best served with Malpua.
Made with refined flour batter, pistachios, desi ghee and sugar syrup, this suger dripping sweet dish is a must-have on Holi. Some of the food historians consider it to be one of the oldest desserts of the subcontinent. Legend has it that several Vedic scriptures noted of ‘apupa’, which is said to be the earliest form of Malpua.
Kele ka Pua
While Malpua is an exotic version of the dish called ‘Pua’, the desi version of it can be seen in the state of Bihar and is called ‘Kele ka Pua’. As the name suggests, it has a lot of mashed bananas and is served best with kathal ki sabzi for vegetarians and Mutton curry for Non vegetarians.
Kathal ki Sabzi
Kathal ki Sabzi also known as Jackfruit Curry cooked with a variety of masalas and spices like chilli powder and simmered with tomatoes to make a thick gravy, this sabzi boasts of simple flavours and great taste. This tastes best when served with malpua, kachori and poori on Holi.
Dry fruit mixture
Mixture of dry coconut, anise (saunf), dry dates (Chhauhara), bettle nuts (supari) cashews and raisins are offered to the visiting guests along with gulaal in the evening of Holi.
Dahi Vada, also called Dahi Bara is the undisputed king of all the food items served during Holi. This dish is prepared with urad dal paste, shaped and deep fried in form of dumplings and then dipped in sweet curd. The final dish is topped with masala and tamarind chutney. Dahi Vada are devoured in the evening hours on the day.
Pedukiya Pedukiya popularly known as Gujiya in other parts of India is a sweet dumpling-like dessert which is also relished as a snack during Holi. The outer covering of this dessert is prepared with maida and the stuffing is made of semolina, sweetened khoya and a lot of dried nuts.