If there’s one combination that screams Bihari cuisine in every possible way, it is the Litti Chokha. This is basically a very traditional and rustic dish of spiced sattu (roasted gram flour) stuffed whole wheat dough balls called Litti. This is classically paired with a simple veggie mash essentially with onion, garlic, green chilies and mustard oil, called the chokha. It is a delicacy in the food culture of both Bihar as well as Jharkhand. Here in this post, I have shared the recipe of the Litti in particular and also the three chokha variants.
What is Litti Chokha
As I mentioned in the beginning, Litti is a whole wheat flour dough ball that is stuffed with an earthy, spiced mixture of sattu or roasted gram flour. Chokha, on the other hand, is a very basic mashed relish made of vegetables like brinjal (aubergine/eggplant), potato, tomato, etc.
Sattu is one of the significant ingredients in Bihari as well as some other North Indian cuisines. Basically, sattu as an individual ingredient, has a lot of health benefits too.
One of the noteworthy ones being its cooling properties. Thus, it is a preferred choice of ingredient in areas with extreme weather conditions during summers.
Litti Chokha together forms a really brilliant combo consisting of varied flavors and textures. An original recipe for any chokha will have the main vegetable (brinjal, potato or tomato) being roasted or boiled, then skinned off (if needed).
Later mashed with other ingredients like onion, garlic, green chilies, coriander leaves, salt, lemon juice and a generous quantity of mustard oil.
You can even make a chokha combining all the 3 veggies or combine just the baingan and tamatar to make one chokha. I have shared the recipes of Baingan Ka Chokha (made with eggplants), Tomato Chokha (made with tomatoes) in this post.
For the chokha made with potatoes, check the recipe here of Aloo Chokha. But I have listed the method to make Aloo Chokha in the recipe card below. You can pair any of the chokha variants with the litti.
The Litti accompanied with the chokha is not just a flavorful pairing, but is a wholesome one too. It is one of the most popular street foods as well in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh in North India.
During my travels to this side of the country, I did find a lot of street stalls serving Litti Chokha.
About Litti Recipe
I had seen quite a few ways of preparing both the Litti and chokha on various YouTube channels. But finally, I made them in my own way and this post shares exactly that. For the stuffing of the Litti, usually Red Chilli Pickle or Mango Pickle is added.
As I wanted to do something different, I added some similar spices and not the pickles itself. You can definitely use the North Indian style mango or red chili pickle masalas, if you have it at home.
The method of preparing the Litti is similar to the Rajasthani baati (from the dal-baati pair). However, both are miles apart and have distinct flavors in them.
To get the most authentic feel, it is best to serve the Litti with a chokha. Hence, inspite of being easy to make, the recipe is time consuming as you will have to prepare the elements one by one. So, you must take your own pace and time in doing so, and not rush into it.
For the stuffing of the Litti, sattu or roasted gram flour is the primary ingredient. If you don’t have it at home, then use roasted chana dal without husk and grind it. Then, sift the flour and use it for this Litti Recipe.
Traditionally, these wheat dough balls in a Litti Chokha are roasted on hot charcoal or dried cow dung fire. This also makes the flavor, a typical one.
Although at homes, an oven can be used to bake the Litti. If you have a charcoal-based open grill, then you can even use that for roasting. The Litti can be roasted on a tawa or fried too.
Ways to cook Litti
These are a few methods through which you can cook Litti at home:
- Baking in oven: This post mentions this way of cooking.
- Roasting on tawa: Flatten the shaped Littis and roast them on a hot tawa on low flame. You have to cook these till you see charred spots on them.
- Grilling on tandoor: If doing so, grill till they are cooked and slightly charred.
- Deep frying in oil: For doing so, shape them like kachoris and deep-fry in hot oil. Make sure to seal them properly or else they can disintegrate or fall apart while being fried.
How to make Litti Chokha
Prepare Dough For Litti
1. In a mixing bowl, take 2 cups (240 grams) whole wheat flour (atta), ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon ghee or oil.
2. Add water in parts and begin to knead. I added ¾ cup water. Depending on the quality of flour, you can add ¾ to 1 cup water.
3. Knead to a smooth and soft dough. Cover the dough and set aside the dough to rest.
1. In a mortar-pestle, take ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) and ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf). Lightly crush and keep aside.
2. Take 1 cup roasted gram flour (sattu) in a mixing bowl or pan.
3. Add the crushed cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
4. Now, add ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain), ½ teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji) and ½ teaspoon red chili powder.
5. Next, add 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped green chilies, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic.
6. Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves, ¼ teaspoon black salt and regular salt as per taste.
7. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
8. Next, add 2 teaspoons mustard oil.
9. Mix very well.
10. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water all over and mix the flour with water evenly. Add more water, if required.
The stuffing mixture should not be too dry or too wet. If the mixture is dry, then the dryness is felt while eating Littis.
Assemble, Shape and Make Litti
11. After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, make small or medium sized balls from the dough.
12. First method – sprinkling little flour, roll each dough ball to a circle of about 5 to 6 inches.
13. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing in the center.
14. Pleat and join the edges.
15. Press the joined part and lightly roll the stuffed dough balls in your palms, so as to get a round shape. Keep aside.
16. Second method – flatten the dough ball with your palms and make a shallow cup.
17. Now, place the stuffing.
18. Gently bring together the outer dough cover in the center, while pressing the stuffing. Join and seal the edges.
This is a bit tricky. So, use the method which suits you. I have mentioned 2 ways of stuffing.
19. Here is the prepared litti with the second method. Keep the prepared Littis under a cotton towel or napkin, so that the dough does not dry out.
20. Place the prepared Littis on a baking tray, which has been greased with some oil. Grease baking tray well, otherwise the Littis can stick to the tray.
21. Place the tray in the preheated oven at 200° C/390° F. Preheat the oven at 200° C/390° F for 20 minutes, prior to baking.
22. After 10 to 15 minutes, remove the tray and flip each Litti. Keep the tray back in the oven.
23. Again after 10 to 15 minutes, remove the tray and flip each Litti. Place the tray back in the oven. You will have to do this once or twice more, for even baking.
24. Bake for a total of about 30 to 35 minutes till the crust looks done with some light brown or golden brown spots on them.
Timing will vary upon the size and capacity of the oven. It took me about 40 minutes.
25. Brush them all over with some melted ghee.
26. This step is optional and only to get charred spots on the Litti. Secure it in a pair of tongs and place on fire. Rotate for a few seconds till you see some charred spots on it.
27. Serve the Bihari style Litti with a chokha of your choice accompanied with a small bowl of melted ghee.
The litti is broken, dipped in ghee and then eaten with the chokha. You can also sprinkle some ghee on the Litti and then eat them.
Baingan Chokha Recipe
Baingan ka Chokha or Baingan Chokha as it is called in Bihar is a delicious fire-roasted mashed aubergine dish that is served with litti or sattu ka paratha. It is a low fat, gluten-free and vegan dish.
This is a Bihari style delicious baingan chokha and it tastes very different than the Punjabi recipe of Baingan Bharta.
Apart from baingan, all the other ingredients used are raw. Nothing is sautéed in oil. A bit of mustard oil is added which gives a slight pungency in the dish and compliments the light sweet taste of the baingan very well.
To prepare this chokha, you will need bharta baingan or the large dark purple aubergine or eggplant. Fire roasting gives a smoky flavor to the dish. Though you can even roast the eggplant in an oven.
Again like Tomato Chokha and Aloo Chokha, this recipe is very easy. Apart from serving with litti, you can also have baingan ka chokha with roti or paratha or as a side accompaniment with any North Indian meal.
1. Rinse 1 large baingan (eggplant or aubergine) in water. Place it on a wired rack on a stovetop or you can place it directly on the stovetop flame.
2. Keep turning the eggplant after 2 to 3 minutes on the flame so that it is evenly cooked.
3. Roast the eggplant till its completely cooked and tender. With a knife check the doneness.
The knife should slid easily in eggplant without any resistance. Remove the eggplant and immerse in a bowl of water till it cools down.
4. Then peel it and chop.
5. Add the chopped eggplant in a mixing bowl along with its juices.
6. Then add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions, ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chilies, ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic and 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
7. Add 1 teaspoon mustard oil. If you want, you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon lemon juice for a slight tang.
8. Season with salt according to taste.
9. Mix everything very well. Check the taste and add more salt, mustard oil and green chilies if required.
10. Serve Baingan ka Chokha with litti or sattu ka paratha or roti or paratha.
Tomato Chokha Recipe
Tomato Chokha is a smoky relish or bharta made from fire roasted tomatoes, herbs and mustard oil. Gluten-free, low fat and vegan.
It is served with litti chokha and as mentioned above comes from the cuisine of Bihar and Jharkand in India.
Now this Tomato Chokha is not your regular Tomato Bharta. It is very different. Rustic, smoky with robust flavors coming from mustard oil, garlic, green chilies and lemon juice. Totally yum.
Apart from serving Tomato Chokha with litti, you can also serve it with paratha or even roti. You can also serve it as a side relish with dal-rice. The recipe is very quick and easy and gets done within 15 to 20 minutes.
1. Rinse 200 grams (2 medium to large) tomatoes very well in water first. Then, place them on a wired grill rack placed on top of a stovetop. Begin to roast the tomatoes.
You can even place them directly on the stovetop. You can also grill the tomatoes or roast in the oven. But then, you won’t get the smoky flavor.
Turn them after a few minutes for even roasting.
2. The tomatoes should get charred. Roast the tomatoes till they are completely cooked from within.
3. With a knife check the doneness. The knife should slid easily in the tomatoes without any resistance. Keep aside the roasted tomatoes to cool in a plate.
4. Once the tomatoes cool, then remove the charred skin. Chop them and add the chopped tomatoes along with its juices in a mixing bowl.
5. Add ½ teaspoon chopped green chilies, ½ teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves.
6. Add ½ teaspoon mustard oil.
7. Now add ½ teaspoon lemon juice.
8. Season with salt as per taste.
9. Mix very well. Check the taste and add more salt, green chilies, lemon juice or mustard oil if required.
10. Serve Tomato Chokha with litti or sattu paratha or even regular paratha (plain or stuffed) or chapati.
- If sattu is not available at home, then use roasted split or whole chana dal without husk. Grind ¾ cup of it to a fine powder. Sift and then use. This split roasted chana dal is the same that is used in coconut chutneys. You could roast the roasted chana dal for a few minutes if you prefer.
- Depending on the quality of whole wheat flour, you’ll have to add the water while making the litti dough. So, it is usually ¾ to 1 cup.
- Make sure that the sattu stuffing mixture is neither too dry, nor too wet. If it is dry, then the dryness is felt while eating the Litti.
- Place the Littis to be baked in a well-greased baking tray. If not greased, then they can stick to the tray.
- The time to bake the Littis will depend on the size and capacity of your oven. You will have to keep flipping the dough balls a couple of times (after every 10 to 15 minutes), for even baking.
- The most apt way of having it is to break the Litti, dip it in ghee and have with the chokha. Some ghee can also be drizzled on the Litti and then consumed.
More UP & Bihari Style Recipes To Try!
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Litti Chokha Recipe | Litti Recipe
Litti Chokha is a rustic and traditional dish of stuffed whole wheat dough balls, where the stuffing is a spiced mix of roasted gram flour also called sattu. I also share the recipes for Baingan Chokha (made with eggplant) and Tomato Chokha.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
Preparing litti dough
In a mixing bowl, take the whole wheat flour (atta) and salt. Also add ghee or oil.
Now add water in parts and knead to a smooth soft dough. I added ¾ cup water. Depending on the quality of flour, you can add ¾ to 1 cup water.
Knead till smooth and soft. Cover the dough and keep aside to rest for 20 minutes.
Making stuffing for litti
In a mortar-pestle take the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Lightly crush them and keep aside.
Take the sattu or roasted black chickpea flour in a mixing bowl or pan.
Add the slightly crushed cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
- Next add carom seeds, nigella seeds, red chilli powder, chopped green chilies, finely chopped ginger and garlic, chopped coriander leaves and black salt. Also add regular salt as per taste.
Add lemon juice and mustard oil.
Mix very well.
- Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water all over and mix the flour with water evenly. Do add more water if required. The sattu stuffing mixture should not be too dry or too wet. If the mixture is dry, then the dryness is felt when eating litti.
Stuffing & shaping litti
After 30 minutes, now make small or medium sized balls from the dough.
Sprinkling some flour, roll each dough ball to a circle of about 5 to 6 inches.
Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing in the center.
Pleat and then join the edges. Press the joined part and lightly roll the stuffed dough balls in your palms, so as to get a round shape. Keep aside.
Another method is to flatten the the dough ball with your palms and make a shallow cup.
Now place the stuffing.
- Gently bring together the outer dough cover in the center, while pressing the stuffing. Join and then seal the edges. This is a bit tricky method. So please use the method which suits you.
Keep the prepared littis under a cotton towel or napkin, so that the dough does not dry out.
- Prepare all stuffed littis this way and place them on a baking tray, which has been greased with some oil. Do grease baking tray well, otherwise the littis can stuck to the tray.
Place the littis in a preheated oven at 200° C/390° F. Preheat the oven for 20 minutes at 200° C/390° F prior to baking.
After 10 to 15 minutes of baking, remove the tray and flip each litti. Keep the tray back in the oven.
Again after 10 to 15 minutes, remove the baking tray and flip each litti. Place the tray back in the oven. This has to be done once or twice more for even baking of littis.
- Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or till the crust looks done with some light brown or golden brown spots on them. Timing will vary upon the size and litres of the oven. It took me about 40 minutes for these to bake.
Brush the littis with some melted ghee all over.
- This particular step is optional and only to get charred spots on the litti. Secure the baked litti in a pair of tongs and place it on fire. Rotate for a few seconds till you see some charred spots on litti.
- Serve these Bihari style litti with baingan chokha, aloo chokha and tomato chokha accompanied with a small bowl of melted ghee. The litti is broken, dipped in ghee and then eaten with the chokha.
Making baingan chokha
Rinse the bainga/eggplant/aubergine in water a few times. Place it on a wired rack on a stovetop or you can place it directly on the stovetop flame.
Keep turning the eggplant after 2 to 3 minutes on the flame, so that it is evenly cooked.
- Roast the eggplant till its completely cooked and tender. With a knife check the doneness. The knife should slid easily in the eggplant. Remove the eggplant and immerse in a bowl of water till it cools.
Then peel it and chop.
Add the chopped baingan in a mixing bowl along with its juices.
Then add the finely chopped onions, chopped green chilies, chopped garlic and chopped coriander leaves.
Add mustard oil. If you want, you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon lemon juice for a slight tang. Season with salt.
Mix everything very well.
Making tomato chokha
- Rinse tomatoes very well in water first. Then place them on a wired grill rack placed on the stovetop and begin to roast the tomatoes. You can also place them directly on the stovetop flame. You can also grill the tomatoes or roast in the oven. But then you won’t get the smoky flavor.
Turn them after a few minutes for even roasting. The tomatoes should get charred.
Roast the tomatoes till they are completely cooked from within. With a knife check the doneness. The knife should slid easily in the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes cool, then peel them and remove the charred skin. Chop them and add the chopped tomatoes along with its juices in a mixing bowl.
Add chopped green chilies, finely chopped garlic, chopped coriander leaves, mustard oil and lemon juice.
Season with salt as per taste. Mix very well.
Check the taste and add more lemon juice or mustard oil or green chilies or salt if required.
Making aloo chokha
First boil or steam 2 medium potatoes (160 grams) adding water as needed. till they are thoroughly cooked.
You can steam them in a pan or electric rice cooker or pressure cook them in 1.25 to 1.5 cups water for 5 to 6 whistles in a 2 litre pressure cooker.
Allow them to become warm.
When the potatoes become warm, peel and mash them.
Add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions, ½ teaspoon chopped green chilies, ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon mustard oil and ½ teaspoon lemon juice.
Mix very well. Check the taste and add more salt, lemon juice or green chilies if required. Serve with litti.
- Mustard oil is a must in the these recipes. So do not skip on it.
- If sattu is not available, then use roasted chana without the husk (split or whole). Grind ¾ cup of the roasted chana in a grinder jar till fine powder. Sieve it and then use. The whole or spilt hulled roasted chana is the same chana we use in coconut chutneys.
- The approximate nutrition info is for one serving of 4 Litti served with Baingan Chokha, Tomato Chokha and ghee.
Litti Chokha Recipe | Litti Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 481 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.2mg12%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 5mg25%
Vitamin B6 0.4mg20%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 10µg10%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 143µg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Litti Chokha recipe from the archives, originally published in September 2016 has been updated and republished on February 2023.