Bihari distinctive flavour of non-vegetarian dishes finds mention in the memoirs of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who found it quite tasty. Several forms of Bihari-kebabs, mutton preparations and the dishes prepared from various fowl and birds along with mustard-flavoured fish have a distinctive taste in Bihar. Champaran region of Bihar is famous for mutton grilled dish called Taash.
The culinary tradition of Bihar has evolved parallel with the cuisines of the regimes that ruled this region from time to time. Despite the significant impact of Buddhism on Bihar’s cuisine culture in the form of vegetarian food, a significant size of Bihari population remains non-vegetarian. Maithili Brahmin community loves fish as much as any non-vegetarian lover does in the country. Mutton preparation is mandatory among non-vegetarians during festive seasons like Holi and Dussehra. Though no more readily available now in the open market, fowl, quail and partridge birds – called Bageri, Titar, Bater, and Chaha locally – are exotic preparations for Biharis any day. In addition, Bihar has an old tradition of offering the sacrifice of goats during Navratra to Goddess in shakti-puja and its meat is distributed as maha-prasad among devotees. Fish and Mutton are two regular non-vegetarian delights of Bihar handed down by generations. Moghul regime – and the Nawab of Bengal – cultivated the culture of Kebab, biryani, fowls and birds. The invaders like Turks, Afghanis, Persians, and much later Mughals and the Europeans had logically deep influence on the culinary tradition of Bihar. The fusion of the native kitchens of Mauryan and Gupta era got blended with the exotic aroma of invaders’ kitchen. Thus Bihar became the melting pot of cuisines, handed down to us by generations of varied regimes.Bihari distinctive flavour of non-vegetarian dishes finds mention in the memoirs of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who found them quite delicious. Several forms of Bihari-kebabs, mutton preparations and the dishes prepared from various fowl and birds along with mustard-flavoured fish have a distinctive taste. Champaran is famous for mutton-grilled dish called Taash. Bihari Kebabs wrapped up in a paratha called Bihari kebab rolls is gastronomic delight for nonvegetarians in Bihar. Mithilanchal has a number of natural ponds and lakes and that enables Maithils to easy fish farming and fish eating. Mithila region is known for its unique mustard-powder fish recipe.
Bihari Kebab: Indigenously originated in Middle Eastern cuisine, Kebab is most loved dish among nonvegetarians. Bihari variant of kebab is juicy chunks of chicken or meat marinated in the flavors of yoghurt and poppy seed paste and then barbecued till it turns golden. The uniqueness of the Bihari kabab is in its texture, marinade and spice content. T he use of kabab chini, poppy seeds, nutmeg, mace and papaya makes it remarkably tender. Bihari Kebab is best served as wrapped in paratha with a twist of lemon juice.
Champaran Handi Meat: A shade of cuisine culture of Champaran-Betia belt of the state, Handi meat has gained the fame for its unique method of cooking and its vital ingredients. The distinct way of cooking the famous Champaran meat makes the dish special in taste. Meat is not fried with onion, grinded spices and other items as we do in regular mutton-recipe. Entire mixture of mutton, onion, grind spices and important ingredients with mustard oil are placed into the earthen pot on mild heated charcoal. Also, the pot is sealed with wet flour after putting the mixture inside. It is cooked for over one hour on low heat without opening the seal to stir. Instead, entire pot is shaken from time to time. This makes the dish special as no water is added from outside. The steam generated tenders the mutton without much loss of the flavour of the species.
Fish-curry: Bihari fish-curry, especially the Rahu variety, with mustard paste, is a gastronomic delight for non-vegetarian foodlovers. A typical way of cooking fish with mustard powder in Bihar is what makes Bihari fish curry different from other parts of the country.The secret of this mouth-watering fish-curry is the important ingredients that include mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, cumin, red chili roasted lightly before grounding. After frying the pieces of rohu fish, this power of masala is sauté and water is mixed to boil the fried pieces of fish. This gives the awesome taste and flavor that is served with rice. As the region of Mithila has matured pisci-culture tradition since ages, machh-bhat has become the trademark of Mithila’s cuisine. Therefore, most Maithil Brahmins are non vegetarian by tradition. Rohu, naini, bhakur, singhi, pothi are typical verities of fish cultivated in Mithila. Fish curry, fried fish, fish-egg pakora, fish pickles are some traditional delicacies in a Brahmin household of the region.
Prawn curry: This is also special to Bihari cuisine. Jhinga (prawn) does not require as much complex recipe as rohu fish does. Put the prawn in pan and add garlic paste, red chilli powder, mustard paste, poppy seed paste, turmeric powder, salt and mustard oil and mix well. Add about ½ cup of water and let it cook for 15 minutes on low flame. It is mostly served with roti.
Potiya Machhli: Fresh small fishes from the ponds and rivers are deep-fried with local masala. It is the roasted form of fish which is best served with paratha or roti.
Bihari seekh kabab: An important part of Moghul menu, Bihari variation of seekh-kabab is an infusion of mutton, raw papaya, garlic, ginger, onion and mustard oil. All ingredients are mixed and kept marinated for half an hour. Set in the skewers and roast in an oven a suitable roasting temperature till the water dries up and the kababs turned well-browned. Garnish with onion slices and green chilies and enjoy Bihari seekh-kabab.
Bihari Boti: The recipe goes same like Kebab with one difference that this is made of boneless meat. Bihari-Boti is also quite famous among non-vegetarians. Bihari boti can be cooked in pan or barbeque or even in oven.
Fowl-flesh: In non-vegetarian menu, Bihar has a rare tradition of enjoying the flesh of birds like fowl, quail and partridge. Such birds are kept in household for its eggs and flesh. These birds are locally known as Teetar and Bater and are found, non-farmed and fed on natural products. The recipe is almost identical to mutton curry and is served with rice, better known as Bageri-Bhat.