Once you sample the authentic flavours of Bihar — from Litti Chokha to Lal Saag – you will surely look for every opportunity to sample that food
It is not every day that one gets to taste secret recipes from the home kitchens of Chapra, Siwan and Bhagalpur. We had an exceptional opportunity to sample flavours of the authentic cuisine of Bihar, which is almost impossible to find anywhere except in traditional home kitchens of the region.
Inspired by their grandmothers’ style of cooking since childhood, Chef Sanjay Mishra, Executive Chef of Holiday Inn (New Delhi, Mayur Vihar, Noida) and noted food enthusiast Maneesh Srivastava, curated a special menu to take diners on a culinary journey that only a home kitchen can promise. The Fest was aptly named Purvaiya — a breeze from unexplored Bihari kitchens, and one lovely afternoon we lapped up every dish of the extensive menu at Holiday Inn’s Cafe on 3.
It was a delight to see aesthetically designed live cooking stations, showcasing famed Bihari dishes – like litti chokha, ghughni, jhaalmuri and not to be missed phuchka chaat. The carefully crafted menu comprised of traditional authentic Bihari delicacies from different regions of Bihar. The most popular Rekaunch and Gatta — Curried Green Peas comes from Mithilanchal, whereas litti chokha is very famous in parts of Saran, which is also known as Bhojpuri region. The non-vegetarians feasted on dishes like Rohu Fish Curry, Motihari Gosht Curry and Bhuna Kaleji.
Starting from mouth-watering jhaal moorhi to a delicacy pitha with tomato chutney, the tantalising savoury menu promised to reignite the charm of the comfort food of Bihar. Lal Saag with Chana was a special surprise as was Bhuna Kaleji (mock meat). Pooris stuffed with chana dal were delicious and served with flavoursome sweet tomato chutney.
The dessert platter was outstanding and stole the show. Makhaney ki kheer was served in a traditional style — in pretty earthenware bowls —followed by a huge platter of chandra kala, parwal ki mithai and khaja.
The festival was indeed, a rare treat for food lovers.
Executive Chef Sanjay Mishra says, “Delhi is a melting pot of cultures with a huge variety of flavours and cuisines. At our Purvaiya Festival, connoisseurs can treat themselves to traditional and popular delicacies from my birth state Bihar.
“We aim to offer our guests a true experience of the region’s cuisine and culture. All the homely recipes are inspired by my mother’s style of cooking as I always admired my mother as the best cook. I started observing her work and style of cooking since my college days and got motivation from there.”
Hailing from Siwan and born in Chapra, Maneesh Srivastava who curated the menu with the chef, added, “We wanted to showcase our home-style food without any changes. For this festival I got sattu from my home town. My mother made khaja and I am happy to have presented that here, along with my favourites in the menu – makhaney ki kheer, aloo bhujia, Fish in Mustard Curry.”
“Also, we made an interesting concoction of sattu drink spiked with Old Monk which paired well with the appetisers and was well received by the diners,” he said with a naughty grin.
For those diners who wish to taste cuisines from the world, Café On 3 serves a sumptuous spread, overlooking the Infinity pool and a beautiful alfresco area. Try their Sunday brunch with a perfect blend of music. Some of the signature dishes from the restaurant’s everyday menu are New Zealand Lamb Chops, Atlantic Salmon, Siti Wala Gosht and Pan-seared Tiger Prawns.