Litti Chokha – The Bihari staple

In winters, strolling on the streets of a small town in Bihar or Eastern UP, you’ll find a bunch of people huddled around fire roasting littis. The staple from Bihar, litti chokha is one of the most rustic dishes of India. Traditionally the sattu (whole Bengal gram flour) stuffed littis (dough balls) are roasted on coals and are eaten with chokha – mashed roasted brinjal mixed with spices. In some homes chana dal and yogurt topped with jaggery is also served along. Another favourite accompaniment with litti is spicy mutton curry cooked in a handi (earthen pot). Sadly, the dish never made to the menu of a main stream restaurant serving Indian food. While we have places serving dal-bati-choorma litti-chokha has mostly gone unnoticed. However, I won’t delve into that issue here and will give you the recipe which is really close to my heart. I learnt it from my mom who started making it on cow dung cakes (gobar ke uple) and slowly moved on to gas oven for more practical reasons.


Prep+Cooking Time – 1 hour
Servings – 2

Brinjal (the one used to make bharta) – 1 medium sized
Potatoes – 2 medium
Onion (sliced) – 1
Tomatoes – 2
Green chilli (chopped) – 1
Green coriander (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Lemon – Half
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 220 degree celcius. If you are using gas oven then heat it completely on high flame.
  2. Make a slit in the centre of the brinjal lengthwise and keep it in the oven to roast with potatoes. If using gas oven then keep the flame on medium.
  3. Remove the potatoes after 20 minutes but let the brinjal roast for another 30-40 minutes. Keep checking in between.
  4. When the skin turns crispy remove it and let it cool.
  5. Peel the roasted potatoes.
  6. Roast tomatoes on the gas till the skin is charred. Remove the skin and mash the tomatoes.
  7. Once brinjal cools down remove the skin and crown and mash the rest of it.
  8. Add all the ingredients (except coriander) and mix everything together.
  9. Garnish with coriander and serve with hot littis.

Prep+Cooking Time – 30 mins

Servings – 2

Wheat flour – 200 gms
Water – 1 cup

For filling
Sattu (roasted whole Bengal gram flour) – 50 gms
Pickle (use any spicy one that you like) – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Tip – If you can’t find sattu take a bowl of roasted chanas and grind them to make fine powder. You’ll get home made sattu.


  1. Knead the flour into a soft dough.
  2. Mix the ingredients for filling together. Add water to make soft dough.
  3. Divide the wheat flower dough and filling dough into 6 equal parts.
  4. Spread the wheat flour dough in a way so that it forms a bowl like shape.
  5. Stuff the filling in, close it and make a round ball. Repeat it with the rest of the dough.
  6. Preaheat oven to 220 degree celcius and roast the littis for 20 minutes. If using gas oven then roast for 15 minutes on medium flame.
  7. Once the littis are light brown and crisp take them out, break them.
  8. Pour hot ghee over them and serve with chokha and jaggery.


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