Let’s head for another destination that is known for its varied and magnificent culinary oeuvre spanning thousands of years. We are going to visit Bihar where the traditional cuisine has a rich history and is a melting pot of diverse culinary influences across thousands of years.
In ancient times, the tribal people of the Chhotanagpur region used locally available spices and other ingredients to create exciting flavours that are still around, even after the passage of many millennia. Later, Bihar became a part of the powerful kingdom of Magadha and as the kingdom flourished, the culinary arts were elevated to new heights. In the centuries that followed, the advent of Awadhi and Mughal influences introduced an extended range of fascinating variations in the recipes.
Rice was the staple food of this region and the quality of the rice produced here was legendary. In his writings, Hiuen Tsang mentions a variety of rice that he was served when he visited Nalanda. It was called Mahasali and each grain of this aromatic rice was the size of a bean! Abul Fazal, the official chronicler of Emperor Akbar’s reign, wrote in Akbarnama that the Bihar region had such a dazzling variety of rice that if a single grain of each variety were collected, they could fill a large vase.
So today let’s make a dish from this sparkling culinary rainbow of Bihar. This is a Bihari Egg Curry made with Mustard Oil, mustard seeds and a simple set of spices that have been used in the region for thousands of years.
Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Onion: 1, medium-sized
Tomato: 1, medium-sized
Garlic (Lasun): 4 cloves
Red Chillies: 4
Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoons
Mustard Seeds (Rai): 1 teaspoon
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: Half a teaspoon
Coriander (Dhania) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Salt: to taste
The quantities mentioned above are for a single serving. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.
Peel, wash and cut the onion into small pieces.
Coarsely chop the tomato.
Peel and wash the garlic.
Place the onion, tomato and garlic in a blender. Add the red chillies, mustard seeds and coriander seeds. Add a little water as required and blend the ingredients into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Boil the eggs, peel them and keep aside.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point, wisps of aromatic white smoke will rise from the surface of the oil. When this happens, reduce the flame to Low.
Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the spice paste and cook on a Low flame for around three minutes.
Add enough water to make gravy of the desired consistency. Typically, the traditional version of this dish (the way it is made in Bihar homes) has gravy that is rich and thick. Now add salt to taste, increase the flame to Medium and bring the mixture to a boil.
Slice each boiled egg lengthwise into two halves and add them to the pan.
Continue to cook for another two minutes or so and then turn the flame off.
Your traditional Bihari Egg Curry is now ready in all its deliciously spicy glory. Serve it hot. As mentioned earlier, this dish is traditionally eaten with steaming hot rice. And as you enjoy the tantalizing, tingling effect of this Egg Curry on your taste buds, do remember – you are savouring the very same flavours that have enchanted the kings of Magadha and the kingdom’s common people for thousands of years!
You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/