Here comes my next recipe from my Bihari [bɪˈɦaːri] cuisine repertoire that is a ‘no cook’ one actually. I have been posting a series of Bihari food recipes since February and also in the past years of blogging and the intention is to upload at least one recipe a month. I also wish to bring up Bihari food to the status that it rightly deserves amongst the various regional cuisines of India. But one thing that I missed telling you guys earlier is that the cuisine from the state of Bihar is similar to that of Jharkhand since they were 15 years ago one consolidated state. And there are also some parallels with eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and Oriya & Bengali food. However, I plan to bring to you the distinctive dishes that have been synonymous to the state.
Chewda / Chewra or Chivda / Chiwda refers to flattened/ beaten rice that is often used to make namkeen mixtures (savory trail mixes) and also a dish called Poha which is a Maharashtrian breakfast and snacking dish. However, I avoid having the trail mix since it is deep fried (to make it crisp). Before my marriage, my only introduction to Chiwda was via Poha. However post marriage I was somewhat taken aback seeing my husband and his family enjoying chiwda uncooked for their breakfast meal. It is actually a staple for a Bihari family. It is eaten unfailingly on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, which is a harvest festival however it is typically eaten for breakfast and only two ingredients are usually added to it before consuming – yogurt and some sort of sweetener (honey or palm sugar). Since I have never enjoyed sweet lassi or sweet yogurt, this sweetened yogurt chiwra breakfast was a complete no-no for me. My husband, meanwhile, can have this for breakfast every day of the year…yes 365 days. Unbelievable! Isn’t it? Yet, I am not complaining since it is a no cook breakfast dish, so it makes hectic mornings easy:)
Well, I don’t mind having it with a fruit compote or pureed fruit mixed into yogurt (sort of flavored yogurt). To me it feels similar to granola or oats parfait. And chia seed parfait is quite popular too, so why not a Chivda Parfait – it looks chic and appetising and what’s better, it is gluten free. This easy to digest breakfast dish keeps your tummy cool and satiated during the suppressing summer heat thereby makes it ideal for toddlers and elderly. Chewra should be easily available at Indian grocery stores since it is a popular ingredient used by many Indians.
One key point that needs a mention here is that unlike other chewra dishes that one gets to see, in Bihar people essentially use the basmati chewra and not the thin flattened chewra used to make trail mixtures and poha. The chewra is washed and soaked in water for just a few minutes to soften it a bit before it is added to the yogurt but my husband does not enjoy the ‘soft and soggy’ texture (his words) and he prefers to have it straight away with yogurt so he can enjoy the crunchy texture. Feel free to use nuts or seeds or raisins for texture if you wish to. For this simple and nutritious no cook breakfast you would need the following.
1 Cup Chiwda
¾ – 1 Cup Yogurt (or as required)
1 cup Mangoes (diced)
1 Cup Strawberries (hulled, washed and chopped or sliced)
2 tbsp mixed Nuts (optional)
Honey / Sugar / Palm Sugar to sweeten the yogurt
Rinse the chiwda twice and then drain excess water using a big sieve or colander. Keep it aside for approximately 2 minutes or till the chiwda is soft. Fluff the chiwda using a fork.
Transfer the chiwda to a mixing bowl and add gently whipped yogurt (adjust the amount).
Meanwhile take the glasses in which you intend to serve the dahi chiwra and start layering as desired. I started with dahi chiwda mix at the bottom and topped it with chopped mangoes. Then, again a layer of dahi chiwda and topped with chopped strawberries. Sprinkle nuts on the top if using.
Note: Feel free to use fruits of your choice.
Note: Add some nuts for texture and some healthy goodness.
Note: Preferably serve it chilled
Note: I drizzled over some strawberry compote and its juices (instead of simple chopped strawberries) over the Dahi Chiwda and it tasted fabulous. Do try it!!
Try some of these recipes made with yogurt…
Dahi ke Kebab (Yogurt Patties)
Doi Maachh (Fish in Yogurt Sauce)
Paalak Patta Chaat (Spinach Fritters w/ Spiced Yogurt & Tamarind n Green Chutney)
Thanks for visiting and see you soon again