We moved to Delhi from Patna when I was twelve. Before the move I thought that apart from the differences in personal pronoun usage and transitive verb syntax, the two places spoke the same language Hindi.
It took me by surprise when I discovered that in discussions about food, my new non-Bihari friends and I were often talking the equivalent of Greek and Latin. I told them I disliked kaddu, they assumed I disliked red pumpkin. When I said "Red pumpkin is not kaddu, it’s kohra! I meant bottle gourd", they said – "Bottle gourd is not kaddu, it’s lauki!"
And so after years of talking at cross-purposes, I’ve made a list of food nomenclature differences between Bihar Hindi and "regular" Hindi. I hope this is fun/useful for those who’ve gone through a similar geographical shift.
|Regular Hindi Name||Bihar Hindi Name||Remarks|
|Yam||Jimmikand||Ole||Rhymes with ‘role’, not with the Spanish interjection.|
|Mustard oil||Sarson tel||Karua tel||Karua = bitter, a nod to the strong flavor of mustard.|
|Boiled rice||Chawal||Bhaat||In Bihar, chawal is only uncooked rice. Plain boiled white rice is bhaat.|
|Mashed vegetables||Bharta||Chokha||Actually, Bihar’s chokha is a lot simpler than Delhi’s bharta.|
|Savory snack with filling||Samosa||Singhara|
Know of more? Share please.
Interested in knowing more about food from Bihar? Read the Bihari recipes featured on The Steaming Pot.