In the penultimate episode of the amazing Bihar food series, in search of more local flavours we have arrived at the quaint little village of Dhokraha situated in West champaran district's Majhauli tehsil.
After alighting at Majhauli railway station, we took a bike ride to Dhokraha village which was nearly four kilometre away. While riding through the marketplace, spotting a lai and tilkut seller, we made a brief stop to try some of these winter special sweet treats. The genial vendor doled out a piece of firm and crisp tilkut. Made with sesame, jaggery and peanuts these thick brittle were quite tasty. He also had lai that was made of puffed rice.
Soon we resumed our journey and after a few minutes drive we reached our host Geeta ji's house. After the warm introduction, we decided to take a brief tour of the village with our young friend Kundan. While visiting the village temple, we found a bunch of kids playing cricket at the back side of the temple premise. It was such a pleasant and exciting scene that Anubhav couldn't prevent himself from joining them for some action.
One match down, some of the kids then accompanied us to these fascinating mud walled and thatched roof structures called baedis. They were the silos that are used for storing grains.
After returning, we accompanied Geeta ji to her backyard garden to pluck some vegetables for the meal preparation. The idea of eating freshly plucked vegetables gave us so much joy. We gathered some purple turnips, beetroot and tomatoes and headed to the open kitchen at the inner courtyard of the house. Geeta ji quickly stirred up some aloo gobhi bhaja and served it to us with dahi chura and jaggery. The home set curd and the aloo gobhi bhujia were divine.
Again we were back in the kitchen to get the lunch ready. With an effortless ease and a steady smile, Geeta ji whipped up a shalgam ki sabzi and kele ka kofta. We truly acknowledge the hard work that goes behind the meal preparation by womenfolks at each and households especially in the villages. It is a taxing task. Next were the turn of rice and crisp garai fish fry. Once they were ready we sat down for lunch. Along with the dishes mentioned above, we also had a chutney, ghee and saag. Everything was delicious but we especially loved the kele ka kofta. The freshness of the naturally grown vegetables made their mark.
It was truly a gratifying experience to taste this traditional meal that was prepared with native ingredients, techniques and loads of affection just left us overwhelmed.