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Bhojpuri cuisine is a style of food preparation common among the Bhojpuri people of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh in India, and also the Terai region of Nepal. Bhojpuri foods are mostly mild and tend to be less hot in terms of spices used. The cuisine consists of both vegetable and meat dishes.[1]


Various kinds of breads are consumed in Bhojpuri cuisine. Roti or chapati is prepared almost every day and eaten in all three meals. Millet breads are also cooked occasionally, depending upon the season.

Paranthas (also called paraavathas) in western districts of Bhojpur region) are prepared for breakfast. Paranthas are usually stuffed with vegetables, chhena, dal, or sattu. Sometimes, layered paranthas with spices like ajwain are also prepared.

Occasionally, deep-fried breads like puri, dalpuri (also called dalahipuri), lichui, suhari, and kachori are also prepared. Puas (sweet pancakes) are also commonly cooked in monsoon season or on religious occasions.

Special breads exclusive to the region include:

On special occasions, breads like tandoori roti, stuffed naan, and rumali roti are also prepared.

Rice dishes

Rice is one of the staple foods of the Bhojpur region. Plain-boiled rice is eaten almost every day with lentil soups, bean gravies, and curries.

At ceremonies or on special occasions, Polao is commonly prepared in the region, which is a aromatic rice dish cooked in oil or ghee. Polao, along with Kadahi gos (a traditional mutton curry dish prepared in kadahi) or Kadahi murg (chicken curry), is a complete meal which is called Polao gos.

Other common rice dishes include:

Lentils and pulses

Peas and beans


Vegetable preparations

Preparation methods

Common vegetable dishes

Panchphodan kohda is a special Bhojpuri preparation

Leafy vegetable preparations

Yoghurt-based dishes

Staple diet

Wheat (ganhum गँहूम्) and rice (chaaur चाउर) are the staple cereal. Maize (makai मकई), barley (jau जौ), and pearl millet (bajra बाजड़ा) are also often consumed in Bhojpuri cuisine.

Lentils (daal दाल), beans (lobiya लोबिया, rajma राजमा), green vegetables (tarkari तरकारी), leafy vegetables (saag साग), paneer (पनीर), fish (machhari मछरी), and meat (sikaar सिकार) are major constituents of the average diet. Mutton, lamb and chicken are eaten; beef and pork are avoided.


A heavy breakfast or a brunch is traditionally called kalewa while a light breakfast is called jalpaan. Breakfast in the region is bread-based and includes a variety made up of whole wheat or refined wheat flour such as roti, puri, parathas, especially sattu paranthas, chhena paranthas, and vegetable-stuffed parathas. These are served with saag-bhaaji, dahi (yoghurt), or raita. Breakfast is often accompanied with yoghurt-based drinks like mattha, chhachh, or banarasi lassi.

Makuni (or berahi) – this is a sattu-stuffed wheat bread somewhat between kachori and litti. Typically eaten for brunch.[1]

Dhuska – a fried bread made from fermented batter of rice and lentils. It is accompanied with chickpea-based dish like aloo ghugni or aloo chhole.[3]

Chana chabeni or bhuja / bhunjna – another typical breakfast of Bhojpur region. This dish is prepared on a big makeshift stove locally called a bhadsar. There is also a Bhojpuri song that mentions this dish:

Chana Chabeni, Ganga Jal jo devai karta
Kashi kabhu na chhodiye, Baba Vishwanath bhavan

One who makes available Chana Chabeni and Ganga Jal (holy water of River Ganga) easily, no one should leave the court of Baba Vishwanath (Lord Shiva), the Lord of the world

— Upadhyaya[20]

Chiura matar or matar ka bhuja – a popular winter breakfast in Bhojpur region and is prepared by frying chiura (flattened rice) and matar (peas) separately and then mixed.[3]

Matar chiura is a popular winter breakfast in Bhojpuri cuisine

Dahi Chura with Gud – flattened rice is eaten with thick yoghurt. Some gud (jaggery) is also topped in the dish. It is specifically prepared on Makar Sankranti.[21]

On special occasions lapsi-puri, kheer/sevai-puri, pua-dahi, or chhola-puri are commonly served as breakfast. A more common breakfast served as street food includes puri bhaaji, chana, kachori, and jalebi.


Lunch is rice-based and includes dal (split lentils cooked with water, turmeric powder, and salt), sabzi korma (vegetable or meat cooked in rich but mildly-spicy and balanced gravy), chokha (boiled, roasted, and mashed potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes mixed with several herbs and seasoning), chutney (dhaniya ka chutney or coriander chutney is the most traditional chutney of the region with rich flavours of coriander, green chilli, garlic, lemon, and mustard oil), bhujia (pan fried potatoes cut in finger shapes), pickles, and maybe roti instead of rice. On special occasions, several rice dishes like pulao or biryani are served.


Generally served with tea in the evening. Most snacks are deep fried and salted. A common substitute is a handful and generous amount of dry fruits like kishmish (raisins), badam (almonds), khajur / chohara (dates), zameeni badam / chinia badam (peanuts), akharot (walnuts), chillgooza (pinenut), kaju (cashews), pista (pistachios), and anjeer (dried figs) soaked in milk.


Dinner is also roti-based and is eaten with different vegetable preparations, such as:

Sometimes, roti is broken into a bowl of hot milk (can be sweetened) and then eaten; this is called doodh-roti. Sometimes, litti is grilled over charcoal or is baked in a clay oven and then eaten with chokha or murga (chicken korma). Dinner could change at special occasions and can be replaced by meat dishes like korma (meat with gravy), kebab, or kofta (meat balls with spicy gravy) and is served with tandoori roti (harder than the usual pan baked roti) or naan and salaad (salad).

Satvik khana

There is a tradition of eating satvik khana (sentient food) in the holy city of Banaras. It is a lacto-vegetarian diet and excludes the uses of garlic and onion.


Since ancient times, peoples of this region have consumed non-vegetarian dishes along with vegetarian diets. Non-vegetarian dishes were also influenced by Muslim rulers in Bihar. Non-vegetarian dishes are seen as delicacies and are eaten with great relish. It has always been a custom to serve guests a non-vegetarian dish at least once during their stay.

After the arrival of British, poultry became popular and now has become one of the largest contributor in meat-yielding animals. Still, mutton is regarded as the superior meat over poultry and fish.

Fish have also been popular since ancient times due to a large number of big and small rivers flowing through the region. Freshwater fish and small freshwater prawns also form a good proportion in total meat consumption.

Some non-vegetarian dishes popular in Bhojpuri cuisine include:


Spices and condiments

Panch phodan: the five spice mix used in Bhojpuri cuisine

Spices are common but are used in moderation; sometimes dishes just contain two or three kinds of spices. This imparts a balanced aroma and taste without overloading the spices and making the dish very spicy and hot.

Panch phoran is a mix of five spices commonly used in Bhojpuri cuisine. The five spices are jeera (cumin), radhuni (a strong spice), methi-dana (dry fenugreek seeds), saunph (fennel seeds), and kalaunji (nigella seeds).[26] This spice mix is the essence of the Bhojpuri dish panch phoran kohra, a sweet and spicy pumpkin-based curry flavoured using these five spices.[27]

Other spices used in Bhojpuri cuisine include:

Herbs, oils, and nuts

Tools and techniques

Common vegetables

Festival delicacies

Regional festivals are celebrated by preparing several delicious dishes, which are shared with all communities irrespective of religion or caste.

Khichdi / Sekraat

Tilkut is prepared on the festival day of Makar Sankranti

Also called Makar Sankranti or Tilkut Sankranti, it is the first festival of the year. On this day, at morning, people eat til ke laddu, tilwa, tilkut, and laai. At lunch time, the combo of chura, dahi, and gud is eaten. And at evening, special khichdi is served along with melted ghee, pickles, papar, chokha, chutney, and dahi.

Vasant Panchmi

This festival celebrates the last day of the winter season and welcomes the spring season. On this day, lapsi is made of semolina and is eaten with puri.

Holi / Hori / Paguwa

Holi is one of the largest festivals of the Bhojpuri region. On this day, meat dishes and intoxicating drinks and sweets (thandai / bhang halwa) are the main attraction. In large families, a bakra / khasi (male goat / sheep) is bought a few days before the festival and is slaughtered on the day of festival. The backstrap and shoulder parts are cut into small pieces and marinated in garlic, onion, and few spices and then skewered over charcoal to make bihari seekh kebab. Liver (kaleji) is cut into small pieces and is pan fried with a little salt and pepper. This is a delicacy for children. The remainder of the meat is cooked as korma and eaten with pua (a batter of wheat flour and sugar with various dry fruits, deep fried in ghee). Meat dishes are eaten all day and shared with neighbours and relatives. In addition, a very sweet halwa made of dry fruits, condensed milk, and bhang is prepared.

In the evenings, people enjoy pakora, gulab jamun, chhole, dahi-baras, and kadhi-bari served with boiled rice.


On this day, people who were fasting (especially women) eat phalahar (a fruit diet).


Another major festival of the region. A night before this festival, women cook kheer, puri, dal-puri, and gulgula. After worshipping the next morning, these are eaten as offerings throughout the whole day.

Sattuani / Sattua Sankranti

This festival falls on Mesh Sankranti. A sattuani thaali is prepared on this day, which includes foods with cooling properties like sattu ka panna, aam ka tikora, kakkdi (cucumber) with roasted jeera powder and rock salt, and alsi ki chutney. A cup of jirwani (buttermilk) also accompanies the sattuani thaali.[28]


This occasion is linked with special laapsi of singhara (chestnut) and khas-khas (poppy seeds).

Hartalika Teej

A day before the festival, women dedicate their whole day in preparing perukia. On the day of the festival, they offer this dessert and fruits to the god[specify] and after worshiping, it is eaten as an offering. It can be eaten for several days as it does not require preservation or refrigeration.

Navami / Navraatar and Dassahara

Satvik khana is eaten on all the nine days of Puja. On the tenth day (Dussehra), special dishes like puri, kachori, dum-aloo, chhole, jalebi pua, bari-kadhi, and dahi-bara are cooked. The evening after "Ravan-Dahan", there is a tradition of eating meat.


Diwali is one of the largest festivals of the region and people enjoy eating numerous kinds of sweets and savouries, including gujia, anarsa, and ladoo. One sweet always associated with Diwali is cheeni ke khilone.


There is a tradition of preparing Pitha on the occasion of Godhan in Bhojpuri region. It is prepared with soaked and then ground rice and pulses.[29]

Chhath Puja

This is the largest festival of the region. It is celebrated for four consecutive days. On first day ("Nahay Khay"), after the holy bath in river, lauka-bhaat and chana ke dal is eaten.[30] On second day ("Kharna"), people dip in holy Ganges and take the water home to cook rasiyaao and roti, which is eaten as Prasad at night. The next day ("Dala Chhath"), thekua, kasar, belgrami, and poori are prepared by the women who are fasting.[31][32] After both the "Arghyas", on the fourth day, these sweets along with several fruits and dry fruits are served as Prasad and eaten for several days.


Some dishes popular in Bhojpuri cuisine include:





Dips like raita and chutney are important part of Bhojpuri cuisine. Dips are served as a side dish to enhance the taste of a main dish.


''Kakkdi raita'' with mint

Raitas are prepared by mixing thick dahi (yoghurt) with several vegetable, herbs, and seasonings.


See also


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  2. ^ Ray, Ranita (26 October 2022). "A Tale Of Bhojpuri Cuisine". Slurrp. Archived from the original on 26 October 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "Thekua, Chura Matar and Dhuska from Bihari cuisine need as much exposure as Litti Chokha - Times of India". The Times of India. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b Upādhyāya, Kr̥shṇadeva (1991). Bhojapurī loka-saṃskr̥ti (in Hindi). Hindī Sāhitya Sammelana, Prayāga.
  5. ^ "This Dal Pithi recipe from Bihar by Chef Suvir Saran has our heart! - Times of India". The Times of India. 29 September 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  6. ^ Upādhyāya, Kr̥shṇadeva (1948). Bhojapurī loka-gīta (in Hindi). Hindī Sāhitya Sammelana.
  7. ^ Blake, Renée; Buchstaller, Isabelle (17 September 2019). The Routledge Companion to the Work of John R. Rickford. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-76532-2.
  8. ^ Maliwar, Dr Jyoti (15 August 2020). DR. JYOTI'S COMFORT FOOD. Dr. Jyoti Maliwar. ISBN 978-93-5408-824-7.
  9. ^ Sadhwani, Namrata (19 November 2021). A listicle of agrarian provisioning. M/s Greygrids graphics.
  10. ^ Chandrashekhar, Patricia. Once Upon a Meal – Untold Stories From The Indian Kitchens. StoryMirror Infotech Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-93-87269-88-0.
  11. ^ Samaroo, Brinsley; Gooptar, Primnath; Mahabir, Kumar (22 November 2021). Global Indian Diaspora: Charting New Frontiers (Volume I). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-00-050715-7.
  12. ^ Vashishta, Pratishtha (7 April 2020). IndiSpice. BlueRose Publishers.
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  15. ^ Bear, Elizabeth; Divya, S. B.; Martine, Arkady; Lingen, Marissa; Moraine, Sunny; Shaw, Vivian; Kalaw, R. K.; Singh, Vandana; Wilde, Fran (2 January 2018). Uncanny Magazine Issue 20: January/February 2018. Uncanny Magazine.
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