Bihu recipes include recipes for special food prepared on the occasion of Bihu, which comprises of three Assamese cultural festivals celebrated in mid January, mid April and mid October. Bihu recipes are an important part of the celebrations on these occasions, which have traditional roots but are also extremely popular in Assam in present times.
Traditional Bihu Recipes and Bihu Food Menu
Here are some of the traditional Bihu recipes that have stood the test of time in terms of popularity amongst the Assamese people.
- Larus: It is a traditional Assamese dish made of rice and coconut.
- Rice based Snacks: Common Bihu recipes include recipes for rice based snacks. They are an important part of Jolpan (Jolpan is the term used for a platter consisting of snacks, pitha, laddu and tea, which is traditionally served on these occasions). One example is Kumol Saul, which is a kind of rice variety from Assam that can be consumed in uncooked form. It is just soaked in water for some time before consumption, so that it softens. It is then eaten with milk or curd and jaggery. Chira is another type of jolpan, which consists of de-husked and flattened rice, in the form of dry flakes, which soften and swell on addition of water. It can be eaten hot or cold, with or without the addition of seasonings like salt, sugar, jaggery, milk or curd.
- Pitha: It is a pancake made of rice. The rice is soaked and grounded, and the batter of this grounded rice is cooked on a frying pan or hot griddle into a flattened cake like form. Alternatively it can be fried in oil or roasted over slow fire. There are many variants to the dish, including Til pitha, Ghila Pitha and Lakhimi Pitha.
- Laddoo: It is a ball shaped sweet confection often made of flour, sugar, clarified butter and other ingredients. The Bihu recipes for laddoos show many variations in terms of ingredients used and method of preparation.
- Tea: It is a beverage prepared by infusing cured tea leaves in boiling water.
- Fish Fry: It is a dish made by frying fish fillets, covering them in spice mix and then cooking them with water.
Significance of Bihu Recipes
Bihu food is prepared to celebrate three different phases of the agricultural calendar of Assam, as agriculture is the main occupation in many regions. The most important is the mid-April celebration of Rongali Bihu, which marks the beginning of the agricultural season.
Customary Ways to Serve and Eat Bihu Food
Bihu festival usually incorporates local traditions of cow-worship and prayers. People dress up in new clothes, clean their houses, and enjoy special Bihu food prepared by the womenfolk.