Mid-April each year, the harvest festival (or the start of the regional New Year) is celebrated round the country in diverse ways. Punjab has its Baisakhi, of bhangra and drum beats; Kerala its Vishu, of vishukkani and vishu kanji. Bihar welcomes the season with Satuaan (सतुआन), also called Satuaa Sankranti (सतुआ संक्रान्ति).
The prefix ‘satuaa-‘ comes from ‘sattu‘ (roasted Bengal gram flour), a staple food in Bihar. For Satuaan, it is customary to eat a meal comprising mainly of sattu, with accompaniments like green mango chutney on the side. The start of the year by the Indian solar calendar also ushers in summer, so associating sattu-eating with the day follows sound logic: sattu’s cooling properties are an effective antidote to heat.
We keep up with tradition by having sattu in some form on the festive occasion, even if not a full-fledged sattu meal. This year, we had sattu chokha.