Hello World! Food from Mithila

Some Dishes from Mithila in Eastern India

Mithila in eastern India shares its cultural traits with Assam, Bengal and Orissa. However, there are also many variations in these regions which are specific to each of them. I talk about only some of the Mithila dishes here.

Bagia – There is a dish made of rice flour that is specific to Mithila and not well-known outside – called Bagia. Rice flour is kneaded into a dough with warm water and elongated cylindrical pieces are cut out of it, boiled and eaten with salt or sweet and sour tomato chutney. Orissa, Bengal and Bangladesh have a variation on this – they fill the rice ball with jaggery and call it Pitha. Incidently, the picture above is of Pitha, not of Bagia. Litti-chokha, a ubiquitous Bihari dish has now acquired fame outside Bihar and is being served at high tea and parties, but Bagia remains unknown outside Mithila. Traditionally, both Bagia and litti used to be the sumptuous food for the travellers in the days when there were no automobiles and people travelled by bullock carts for days together. Mithila folklore has many tales of such travellers stopping by during their jouney to have Bagia or Litti. These dishes didn’t get spoilt for severa days and provided nourishment to the travellers.

Dal-Puri– Eventhough called Puri, this is really a variation on paratha, the north Indian version of pancakes, which involves flattening balls of wheat flour and shallow frying on flat pan. Dal Puri involves filling the balls with boiled and pounded masur dal (pulses) mixed with diced onions, green chilly, garlic, ginger and salt. Dal Puri is eaten with yoghurt and is the special dish prepared during the festival of Charu Chan ( derived from Chaturtha Chandra and celebrated in Maharashtra as Ganesh Chaturthi) sometime before Diwali. In the evening, people go to the rooftop, look at the rising moon with a fruit in hand, come down and have Dal Puri with yoghurt. This is a harvest festival in Mithila.

Pirukia– Called Gujhia in other parts of India, Mithila makes this sweet especially during Holi the spring festival of colours and the filling is different in Mithila from other places. Here, Pirukia is made of wheat flour balls or refined rice flour balls, filled with condensed milk, grated coconut and sugar, deep fried and dipped in sugar solution. This is in contrast to the other places, where Gujhia is filled with fried rawa and sugar.

Kheel-Batasha– This combination is distributed in most parts of India during Diwali, the festival of lights. Kheel is a kind of flaked paddy, while Batasha is a sweet made of melted and solidified sugar. Diwali too is a harvest festival, so freshly harvested paddy is used for making Kheel, which is offered along with Batasha to the Goddess or to Lakshmi-Ganesh, depending upon the part of India and then distributed. In Mithila, both tradition are common, while in Bengal the Kali worship is the norm during Diwali, eventhough the Goddess cult is very strong in Mithila as well.

6 Responses to “Hello World! Food from Mithila”
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  4. raushan jha says:

    Hm hotel mgt graduate chhi aur hm maldives me rhi rhal chhi .hmar especialisation kitchen ai as an italian chef lekin hm mithilanchal food ke outside side india aan chahai chhi aur kuno ehn food competition hebak chahi kuno mithilanchal tv channel par. Se please aha sab kuno upay btao aur hmra support karu

  5. Anand Thakur says:

    Ha jaruri aich mithilak food ke bachabak lel. Anand Thakur… Journalist

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