Sattu Chokha: Comfort Food from Bihar

16 Apr

Sattu Chokha Balls

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, Kerala its Vishu. 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 with sattu as its star item. The festival ushers in the summer season, so associating sattu-eating with it 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 occasion. This year, we had sattu chokha.

Sattu chokha is a very simple dish – no cooking, no artistry required in its making.

Sattu Chokha

This will probably not win prizes in a beauty contest – but call for Top Comfort Food, and this is where I’ll place my bet.

You Need:

  • Sattu – 1 cup
  • Mustard oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Fresh lime juice – 2 teaspoons
  • Green chilies – 1 or 2
  • Onion – 1 small
  • Salt – to taste

How To Make Sattu Chokha:

Chop the onions, green chilies finely.

Chopped Onions, Green Chilies, Coriander, Lime

Mix sattu with salt and mustard oil.

Sattu and Mustard Oil

Add finely chopped onions, green chilies and freshly squeezed lime juice into sattu. Knead well. Add some water if required – just enough to make smooth balls of the sattu chokha, not so much that the chokha turns sticky.

Sattu Chokha Balls

Serve on the side with any Indian meal.

Meal today: boiled rice, aloo kathal curry (potato jackfruit curry), bhindi (okra) and sattu chokha.

Sattu Chokha, Kathal, Bhindi and Rice


For another popular sattu dish, try sattu paratha.

Looking for more Bihari festive food? Check out dahi chura for Makar Sankranti, pua and special aloo for Holi.

2 Responses to “Sattu Chokha: Comfort Food from Bihar”

  1. Vasanti Pereira August 17, 2017 at 1:07 AM #

    Can you make sattu without cooking the Channa dal?

    • S August 18, 2017 at 8:06 PM #

      Hi Vasanti,

      Raw chana dal would give you besan – that isn’t meant to be eaten without cooking.

      When making sattu, don’t skip the roasting.

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