Chhattisgarhi food refers to the food prepared by people living in the State of Chhattisgarh, India. The State comprises non-tribal people as well as tribals, who belong to a number of different tribes. The people of Chhattisgarh prefer spicy and sweet foods, and the cuisine reflects the same.
The Chhattisgarhi cuisine is divided into two sub cuisines: Tribal and Non-tribal.
Tribal Cuisine – The several tribes of Chhattisgarh have distinct cuisines of their own. These include fish, pork, mushrooms, rats, squirrels, flying ants, other meat, and a liquor made from the mahuwa flower. The red ant chutney is a favorite dish among the tribals here. Rice beer and salphi are some exclusive dishes made by the tribes. Some of these delicacies are sold in the tribal market or haat, which is held in various places.
Non-tribal Cuisine – This cuisine is mostly vegetarian and is elaborated in the following paragraphs.
Cultural and Historical Influences
Chhattisgarh is a very fertile land, and it is appropriately called the Rice bowel of India. Hence, there are several staple crops grown here, which are used to prepare Chhattisgarhi food. The cuisine also embraces the style of other cuisines of neighboring States.
Commonly Used Ingredients
Rice, wheat, jowar, maize, lentils, a variety of dals (including arhar dal, moong dal, channa dal), all types of vegetables and fruits available are some of the ingredients commonly used in the Chhattisgarhi cuisine. Spices are used widely and so are dairy products such as ghee, oil, vanaspati, and butter.
Major Everyday Cuisine
Chila, rice varieties, khadhi, khichdi, khurmi are some of the everyday Chhattisgarhi foods. The chila is similar to dosa and is served with chutney. Kadhis are side dishes made with vegetables and greens. Fara and rice pakora are other types of food made here.
Festive And Special Cuisine Recipes
Jalebis, tikhur barfi, petha, rakhia badi are special Chhattisgarhi foods. Sweet delicacies also include cashew burfi, moong dal ka halwa, and bafauri, which are made during festivals and celebrations. The bafauri is a traditional sweet that is prepared by using the channa dal.
Food Habits and Etiquette
People of Chhattisgarh are fond of sweets and have the habit of eating a sweet dish at the end of every meal.
The non-tribal Chhattisgarhi cuisine widely uses maize and jowar, which are rich in protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. These proteins and minerals are essential to keep the body functioning well. The arhar dal, which is commonly used, is also a rich source of protein. Chhattisgarhi food is also made using a lot of vegetables, including green vegetables, which provide vitamins and minerals to the diet.
The tribal cuisine, on the other hand, is proven to be very low in nutrition by various studies conducted on the nutrition levels of tribal children.