The humble litti can well be considered as the state food of Bihar and is also popular in the neighbouring states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. It is made of wheat and stuffed with sattu, mixed with herbs and spices, and shaped into a ball. It is then roasted over coals and topped with a lot of desi ghee before serving. It is generally served with mashed boiled potato or with roasted eggplant (brinjal) along with a dash of coriander and mint chutney. But there are several variations and litti is also served with non-veg items like chicken, and even fish.
No trip to Bihar is complete with the taste of litti served with an assortment of veg and non-veg additions. Sasaram, once the citadel of the Suri dynasty, is a historical paradise. The mighty dome of the Mausoleum of Sher Shah still dominates the Sasaram skyline. But Sasaram is also a foodies’ paradise and is known for its assortment of littis.
Fish pieces and half-split littis on the frying pan
The Post Office Chowk in Sasaram is known for its amazing street food. Littis are no doubt the favourite of the crowd, but the place also has its share of kebabs and biryanis. Several makeshift stalls sell chicken litti, which has a huge demand. Small pieces of boneless chicken are deep fried with onions and garlic. The littis are split into half and also deep fried. It is mixed with the fried chicken and is served with a dash of fresh coriander leaves. Although the chicken is boneless, it has its share of skin and cartilages making it crunchy. The chicken is served with a small amount of gravy and the littis serve as bread rolls giving it a continental flavour. The best way to have the dish is to dip the split up littis in the gravy and scoop up a handful of chicken and put the entire thing in your mouth at one go.
Fish littis served on sal leaves
For fish litti, the process remains the same only the chicken is replaced with fish. The fish used is locally known as Piyashi. It is also available in Bengal and is known as Pangas. The fish is a bit oily and contains some amount of fat. During the frying process the fat melts and adds to the flavour of the dish. The fun part of the fish litti is that the customers are free to choose their preferred fish piece. Once all the customers choose their raw fish piece the litti makers make a mental note and start frying them. When the dish is ready, it is served to the customers with each one receiving his selected piece of fish.
Chicken being fried with the split-up littis lining the frying pan
The litti dishes are usually served in sal leaves, but sadly thermocol plates are making inroads. A plate of chicken litti is priced at ₹50 and comes with four pieces of littis and a handsome dash of chicken. The fish litti also comes in with four pieces of littis and a piece of fish and is priced at ₹50. For ₹20 more, an extra piece can be added to the plate.