Cool homemade yogurt, flattened rice that needs no cooking, honey/jaggery and fresh fruit. A breakfast so healthy it’ll give you a palpable halo around your head. Presenting for you staple morning-time food from Bihar – dahi chura.
Flattened rice, called chura in Bihar and chiwra/poha in other parts of north India, is a popular snack ingredient in east India. Shallow-fried and eaten with peas, it becomes a teatime munchie – chura mattar. Soaked and stir-fried with peanuts/vegetables, it is poha – that’s right, we call it by that name in Bihar only when it is cooked.
This recipe goes by the name ‘dahi chura’ – not ‘dahi poha’ – as there is no cooking involved.
Now that the semantics are sorted out, on to the “recipe” if you can call it that. Putting together a bowl of dahi chura is the easiest thing in the world. It is as easy as cornflakes. You just mix things and eat them.
Hang on, don’t dismiss the dish as ordinary just yet. Dahi chura has festive significance. Makar Sankranti – the day on which the sun moves into makar (Capricorn) by the Hindi calendar – is celebrated in Bihar with eating copious amounts of dahi chura. So much so that in place of the greeting "Happy Makar Sankranti", it is usual to say "Happy dahi chura".
- Chura (flattened rice) – 1/2 cup (the thin variety, if available)
- Dahi (plain homemade yogurt) – 1 cup
- Fresh fruit (mangoes, bananas, apples) – 1/2 cup, cubed
- Milk – 2 teaspoons
- Jaggery/honey – to taste
Wash chura well in a couple of changes of water. Drain completely let the chura soak in 2 teaspoons of milk for 15 minutes. This is assuming you’re using the "Patna" variety (i.e. the thin variety) of chura. If using broad chura, reduce the soaking time.
You’ll know chura is ready to be eaten when you can mash a moist flake with gentle pressure of thumb and forefinger.
Whip yogurt well with honey or jaggery. Mix together with chura.
Add cubed fresh fruit.
Q1. Dahi chura vs. chura dahi: what is the difference?
A1: The same as the difference between ‘aloo gobhi’ and ‘gobhi aloo’. Thumb rule: put the ingredient with greater volume first in the name, or call it whatever rolls off your tongue more easily.
Q2. Can I add sugar instead of honey/jaggery?
A2. Yes but if you ask me, honey/jaggery pair better with dahi chura.
Q3. What other accompaniments can I serve this with?
A3. The Sankranti tradition is to serve dahi chura with tilkut, a disc-shaped sweet made of pounded sesame seeds and sugar or jaggery.