Bihari cuisine, just like the state's culture, has a rich history of its own. Bihar's food culture is a union of different traditions and cultures. It is an amalgamation of three sub-regional cuisines - Bhojpuri cuisine, Maithili cuisine and Magahi cuisine. Bihari cuisine is also said to have a strong influence of North Indian and East Indian (especially Bengali) style of cooking. Bihar's gastronomy is highly seasonal and has wide usages of its local produce. Although the dishes in a Bihari thali change with season, some of the year-round constants are rice, chokha, dal, chutney and a few dairy products.
Speaking about chokha, it is an integral part of traditional Bihari cuisine. Chokha, which means 'mashed', is somewhat similar to bharta. It can be made with different fruits and vegetables, but the most common ones are aloo chokha, baingan chokha and tomato chokha, which are best enjoyed with the very popular litti.
Here we bring you the recipe of tomato chokha or tomato bharta, which works as a quick substitute when you run out of chutneys to accompany your meal. What makes this dish unique is the usage of mustard oil! The strong aroma of mustard oil makes this dish taste unique.
Also Read: Everything You Should Know About the Bihari Delicacy Litti Chokha
Chargrill the tomatoes for a smoky flavour in the dish
Here's The Step-By-Step Recipe Of Tomato Chokha:
Tomato- 3-4 (medium-sized)
Onion- 1 (finely chopped)
Green chilli- 2 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves- 1 teaspoon (freshly chopped)
Roasted jeera powder- 1.5 teaspoon
Salt/black salt- as per taste
Sugar- a pinch
Mustard oil- 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Clean the tomatoes and roast them till they are well charred. You can roast it on grill rack or directly on stove top. However, roasting on grill rack brings a smoky flavour to the dish.
Step 2. Check with a knife or fork whether the tomatoes are well roasted or not. The fork/knife will pass through easily if the tomatoes are well cooked.
Step 3. Take the tomatoes off the flame, cool them down and peel the charred skin.
Step 4. Mash the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and add chopped onion, green chilli, coriander leaves, lemon juice, roasted jeera powder, salt/black salt, some sugar and the most important ingredient mustard oil.
Step 5. Mix them well to get a chokha/bharta of semi-liquid consistency.
You may also find some similarity between the tastes of tomato chokha and the salsa dip. Try it at home today and let us know how you liked it in the comment section below.