Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rustic Meal

Jowar Bhakri, zunka and buttermilk
Bhakris were never made at my place, but I've recently started preparing them once in a while. I use either jowar or bajra flours for the bhakris. These flours are gluten-free, hence easier to digest. But this also makes them difficult to roll out. After some trial & error process, I found that for my (non) skill level, rolling them between sheets of plastic ziplock bags works best. But I always wanted to get a first-hand experience seeing how these were traditionally made. Last year I had wonderful soft jowar bhakris made by a friend's MIL. Thereafter I kept pestering her to show me how these were made. So this time when her MIL came for a visit, she was sweet enough to demostrate it for me. While I am still far away from making them like hers, I did pick up a few simple trick. One is to use fresh flour. She actually got her flour from India, grown on their own farm no less. The other is, if fresh flour is not available, use hot water to make the dough. What a difference that made! I also noticed she kneaded just enough dough to make one bhakri at a time.
So this time, I used some of her techniques, though I stuck with my plastic sheets for the rolling part of it.
Jowar flour
Hot water
Knead the flour into a soft dough. Initially I used a big spoon to mix it, once it was slightly cooler, I kneaded with my hand. Place the dough ball between 2 plastic sheets. Press evenly all around. Then roll into a bhakri. I used a combination of hand-patting & rolling pin to roll it out evenly. Then place on a hot skillet. Apply some water to the bhakri as it cooks. Roast on both sides.
The zunka I prepared to go with it was just a concontion of some left over green bell pepper, onions and green onions. Here's how I made it:
1 green pepper - chopped
1/2 medium onion - chopped
4 green onions - chopped
1 clove garlic
About 1 cup of gram flour
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli pwd (chopped green chillies can be used instead)
For tempering - 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafotida, 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd.
Heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Then add the onions, garlic and pepper. Saute for 5 mins. Add about a cup of water, cover and cook for 5 mins till done. Then add the salt & red chilli pwd. Mix well. Sprinkle the gram flour. Mix again. Add a few more drops of oil, cover and cook on medium low for 2-3 mins.
Serve warm with bhakris/rotis.


Usha said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...you have a wonderful space here. I have never tried made or had bakhri...but have had the zunka....loved the pics of both of them,it looked so ethnic...loved the idea of spinach in dhokla too :)

A Virtual Vegetarian said...

I first tasted Bhakri and Zunka while visiting an aunt in Talegaon...near Pune from a small roadside "restaurant" and I LOVED it! I've been very skeptical about trying to make Bhakri, because of the lack of freshness when it come to the flour, but I think I will try you recipe...thank you.

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