Bhojpuri Cuisine is a style of cooking originated from Bhojpuri people living in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar regions of India. Bhojpuri cuisine is generally mild in temper and is customized according to individual taste buds. Bhojpuri cuisine has lot of resemblance to foods offered to god’s, goddesse’s and deities as Bhojpuri’s take pride is celebrating festivals with variety of foods. Bhojpuri Cuisine is highly influenced by Awadhi Cuisine, Mughlai Cuisine and Nepalese Cuisine due to its proximity to the regions. Wheat and rice are the staple diet in Bhojpuri Cuisine. Lentils, beans, meat (mutton, lamb and chicken), green vegetables, leafy vegetables, paneer, fresh water prawns and fish are major constituents of the regular diet here. Here beef and pork are avoided to large extent.
Here there is a tradition of eating satvik bhojan (sentient meal) in the holy city of Banaras (Varanasi). It is a lacto vegetarian food diet which excludes the usage of onion, garlic and heavy spices. It is mostly practiced and followed by the brahmin’s, pandit’s, widow’s and elderly people.
A few delicacies of Bhojpuri Cuisine according to festivals:
- Sankranti festival is celebrated with till ke laddu, tilwa, tilkut, till ki laai and evening’s are hosted with khichdi’s
- Vasanth Panchami is celebrated on outgoing day of winter season with semolina halwa and puri
- Holi is one of the biggest festival in Bhojpuri region which has wide usage of meat, drinks and dry fruits. Here on this festival goat meat is popularly used and is divided into various dishes like kabab, kaleji and korma. Bhang and thandai are the most popular items of this cuisine and are widely used specially on this day along with pakoda, gulab jamun and dahi bada.
- Shivraatri is celebrated with vrat (fasting) while people consume only phalhaar (fruit diet)
- Ramnavami is another big festival celebrated in Bhojpuri region where puri, kheer and gulgula are consumed whole day
- Janmashtami is celebrated with varieties of singhara halwa along with khus khus
- Eid-Ul-Fitr and Bakrid is celebrated with varieties of meat, rice dishes, kebabs, koftas, sweets and savouries where “Sevaiyaan” is a major attraction all day
- Teej is another unique festival celebrated mostly in Bhojpuri region. On this day a special sweet called gujia / perukia is made which consists of dry fruits, khoya, coconuts, sooji, maida or wheat flour
- Navrathri is celebrated for 9 days where people consume only satvik bhojan. On Dusshera (tenth day of the festival) they relish puri, kachori, dum aloo, chole, jalebi, dahi bada and after raavan dehan meat is consumed
- Diwali is celebrated with lots of sweets, savouries and specially moong dal halwa and puri
- Chhath Pooja is considered the most famous festival of this region which is celebrated for four consecutive days. On first day (Nahay Khay) people take bath in holy river and then eat arwa chawal (boiled small grain) , lauki ki sabzi and chane ki dal. On second day (Kharna) people again take dip in holy river Ganges, then cook kheer in ganges water along with jaggery and consume it with puri. On third day (Dala Chhath) thekua (dessert / biscuit like snack) and belgrami (dry sweet made up of maida, sugar and ghee) is prepared as a food for vrat (fasting). On fourth day (Arghyas) onwards fruits and dry fruits are consumed as prasad for many days.
In Bhojpuri Cuisine achaar (pickle’s), murabba (fruit preservative’s), chutney’s (dip’s & paste’s) and raitha’s are very popularly consumed.