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Exploring the Diverse Culinary Flavours of Chhattisgarh

Author – Dr Himanshu Talwar is an industry veteran with various articles, columns, travelogues, and write-ups published specifically on Tourism, Hospitality, and Aviation to his credit

Nestled in the heart of Central India, the state of Chhattisgarh is a food lover’s paradise. Chhattisgarh, is known as the ‘rice bowl of India’ due to its extensive rice cultivation. Rice, maize, and sorghum are the staple grains of Chhattisgarh, forming the foundation of many traditional dishes. Rice is typically consumed with lentil-based curries, while maize and sorghum are used to make bread like roti and bhakri, enjoyed with vegetables and chutneys.

Dal (lentils) holds a central place in Chhattisgarhi cuisine, with various dal-based curries being prepared across the state. From the simple and comforting dal fry to the spicy and tangy chana dal, dal dishes are a staple in every Chhattisgarhi household. The locals have a preference for protein-rich meals. Visitors are often attracted to the diverse range of lentils offered to them. Additionally, Chhattisgarh also boasts a wide array of sweet delicacies to indulge in.

Here’s a list of some famous delectable food of Chhattisgarh-

  • Farra is a traditional snack made from rice flour dough stuffed with a spicy mixture of lentils, spices, and herbs. The stuffed dough is then either steamed or deep-fried until golden brown. It is typically served with chutney or yogurt.
  • Bore Baasi is a popular dish among tribal communities in Chhattisgarh, especially during festivals. It is made by soaking rice and lentils overnight, grinding them into a coarse paste, and then steaming it. Bore Baasi is savoury and nutritious, often served with chutney or curry.
  • Poha, or flattened rice, is a beloved breakfast dish in Chhattisgarh. It is prepared by sautéing flattened rice with onions, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and turmeric. Poha is often garnished with sev (crispy noodles) and fresh coriander leaves.
  • Chila is a savoury pancake made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is seasoned with green chilies, ginger, and cilantro, then cooked until crispy and golden brown on a griddle. Chila is typically served with chutney or curry.
  • Bara is a traditional snack made from soaked and ground black gram lentils mixed with spices and herbs. The batter is then fried into small, crispy fritters. Bara is often served with chutney or as a side dish with meals.
  • Faraa is a steamed snack made from rice flour dough stuffed with a spicy mixture of lentils, spices, and herbs. It is similar to Farra but has a different preparation method. Faraa is usually served with chutney or yogurt.
  • Khurmi is a sweet delicacy made from dough strips fried until golden brown and soaked in sugar syrup. It is often flavoured with cardamom or saffron and garnished with nuts like almonds or pistachios. Khurmi is enjoyed as a festive treat.
  • Anarsa is a deep-fried sweet rice cake made from rice flour, jaggery, and poppy seeds. It is typically prepared during festivals and special occasions, offering a crunchy texture and sweet flavour.
  • Rakhia Badi is another sweet dish made from lentil dumplings soaked in sugar syrup. The dumplings are made from ground lentils mixed with sugar and flavoured with cardamom. Rakhia Badi is enjoyed as a dessert or festive treat.
  • Sattu ka Sharbat is a refreshing drink made from roasted gram flour mixed with water, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. It is popular during the summer months for its cooling properties and nutritious benefits.

The cuisine of this region is a delightful blend of indigenous ingredients, age-old recipes, and diverse cultural influences. Chhattisgarh’s cultural diversity with its various indigenous tribes and communities has played a significant role in shaping its culinary heritage. Whether it is savoury snacks, hearty curries, or sweet treats, Chhattisgarh’s cuisine represents its richness and warm hospitality.

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