The Secret Chulha Pop Up – Bihari Cuisine — Reviewed!

I am always fascinated by regional cuisines. There is some rawness, charm and a story related to it. Regional food is dependent on food availability, climates, cooking style, traditions, culture, spices etc. One of such cuisine is Bihari, I was longing to try it and co-incidently the next secret Chulha Pop-up was the same at Prem's by Chef Swati Singh.

Bihar's food and culture is highly influenced by its history. The cuisine is primarily vegetarian and 'Litti-Chokha' is the most popular of all. Bihari food tradition includes the usage of panchforan (five seeds) — Saunf, Sarson, Methi, Ajwain and Kalonji. 
Cooking is mostly done in mustard oil and sometimes food is 'smoked' in the form of 'Chokha' with variety of vegetables. Interesting fact is Bihari thali changes as per the seasonal change, though rice, roti, achar, chutney, dal remain constant.
We were invited for The Secret Chulha Pop Up by Chef Swati Singh at Prem's for Bihari cuisine. Menu for the evening was...
  • Dal ka Pittha
  • Khatta Meetha Kand ki Chaat
  • Ghugni
  • Litti-Chokha
  • Aaloo Kathal ki Sabzi
  • accompained with Papad, Chutney, Ajwain Parantha, Steamed Rice, Palak Puri
  • Malpua with Rabdi
  • Shakarpare with Icecream
Starting with,  Dal ka Pitha (Dumplings of lentils) was nicely stuffed with grounded chana dal and served with coriander chutney. Outer covering was of rice flour so bit dry but went well with chutney.

Next was Khatta Meetha Kand Ki Chaat; eagerly was waiting for the dish to arrive. I guess, nobody can resist chaat. Healthy Kand chaat had chunks of sweet potatoes topped with curd, chaat masala, amchoor, sea salt, black and red pepper. Loved it completely.

Ghugni is basically soaked black grams sauted in mustard oil with authentic, traditional garam masala and to thicken the fravy little gram is pounded at the end. It was accompanied with oh so delicious crispy Palak Puri and steamed rice.

Aaloo Kathal (Potato and Jackfruit curry), mock version of 'mutton' for vegetarians. I am not a big fan of jackfruit but since because of its character jackfruit absorbs all the flavours without standing out. So, it was the first time I tried and was glad. 

Litti Chokha was the highlight with the smokey flavour. Litti is basically a baked and powdered gram mixed with spices stuffed into wheat balls tastes best with ghee, curd and chokha. While chokha is roasted veggies seasoned with mustard oil and spices. Totally loved the combo.

Last but not the least my favourite part–desserts. Malpua is quite a traditional dish topped with rabdi. Somehow, it was just average, bit chewy and rabdi could have had thick consistency. However, it was compensated by Shakarpare. Crunchy shakarpare was making a great combination with Vanilla Icecream. Delicious it was.

We had some chit chats with london based chef Swati and got to know about her passion for cooking and how she loves to keep traditional dishes alive. It was a great evening. Thank you Richa for making us a part of it! :)

Prem's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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