Litti is a main course item of the meal. It is perhaps the most well known Bihari food, at least outside the Bihari circle. But a myth must be dispelled. Although hugely popular in Bihar, it would be erroneous to get the impression that it is as staple an item in Bihari kitchen as idli-dosa in south India or Chhole-Bhature in Punjab and Delhi. However, it is a very tasty and wholesome food.
It is generally believed in Bihar that Litti originated as staple food of the bullock cart drivers who had to stay away from their homes for long periods transporting goods over long distances in the northern parts of Bihar. It was their most popular food because it did not require many ingredients (only atta, sattu, salt and pickles ) or culinary skill. It was almost invariably cooked outdoors on cow dung cakes easily available everywhere. At the same time it was very filling and wholesome.
It gradually found its way into more affluent kitchens. Of late it has undergone substantial transformation and crept into large parties and even dinners with five star culture. It is not unusual to find Litti-Chokha stalls in many wedding dinners.
Litti is usually eaten with accompaniments like Chokhas ( i.e. Bhartas ), curd and pickles or chutneys of various types. I will post the recipes for Bhartas and chutneys also one by one.
I have used the plural of Litti as title for this post. There is only one variety of Litti which is commonly seen , that is the one with sattu stuffing. I am going to tell you about four variety of Littis to enrich your dinner table – Sattu ki Litti, Matar ki Litti, Aloo ki Litti and Keeme ki Litti.
In the recipes which I am going to describe, the quantities of the condiments are only approximate as they vary widely depending on individual tastes. After all cooking is not a science like Physics. It is an art. And artists must have their liberties of expression. In Indian cooking eyes and fingers are better judge of quantities required than weights and measures.