Sattu is synonymous to Bihar. Though it is considered by many as being a poor man’s diet but I really fail to understand the reason!! Sattu is basically roasted black grams / black chickpea powder although the process of making sattu is somewhat different from that of making besan. Sattu is available in most major Indian cities and also Indian stores abroad. It is a rich source of protein and can be enjoyed as breakfast with chutney/ pickle and a hot cup of tea. Or it can be consumed along with vegetable or even lentils. Lip smacking good, I find these parathas as great saviours during long distance travels since they keep one satiated and taste great even when eaten cold. I guess these are reasons enough for them to be packed for kid’s school lunch too! They are even great to snack on via these Kachoris.
They are also used in a traditional dish called litti. Littis are small balls of whole wheat dough stuffed with sattu and baked in an open oven or over dry cow dung cakes. Once cooked, holes are poked in them using fingers and a generous amount of clarified butter is added to them. They are then consumed with a variety of chokhas. Chokha is made from an assortment of roasted and mashed vegetables such potato, aubergine, tomato, pointed gourd (parval) which are seasoned with salt and green chillies along with onion, ginger, garlic and fresh coriander. Since mustard oil is the soul of every dish cooked in Bihar, so a dash of mustard oil is a must in chokha.
The bowl in the top of the pic is sattu before additives and below is how it looks after additives
Here are the ingredients which go into making of this yummy filling:
(Please don’t forget to read the notes at the end of the recipe)
For the filling:
2 C Sattu
1/3 C very finely chopped Red Onion
2 tsp very finely chopped Garlic
2 tsp very finely chopped Ginger
3 tbsp finely choped Fresh Coriander / Cilantro
4 tbsp stuffed whole Red Chilli
3 tbsp mustard oil
Juice of 2 Limes (I could procure 4 tbsp)
1½ – 2 tsp finely chopped Green Chilies (adjust heat to taste)
½ tsp Carom Seeds
½ tsp Nigella Seeds
1 tsp Salt or to taste
Add the sattu in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the stuffed red chili and rub it well into the sattu flour. Next, add the lime juice and again rub it into the sattu. Now add the mustard oil and repeat the procedure.
(You will notice that the mixture will start attaining a grainy sort of texture)
Once everything is mixed well, add the onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies and coriander along with the salt.
Using your hands keep mixing all the ingredients together.
At this stage, I recommend that you taste the mixture so that you can adjust the flavours.
Take a small amount (slightly more than the size of a ping pong ball) of dough and roll it using a rolling pin and some dry flour.
Roll the dough to the size of your palm (approximate)
Transfer this rolled dough on to your palm and to the centre of the rolled dough, add two teaspoons to one tablespoon of the filing. (the amount of filling will depend on how big or small you intend to make the flat breads)
Bring the sides of the dough together like a cone and twist it slightly. Push this to the base to seal the top.
Roll both sides in dry flour so that the dough does not stick to the rolling pin.
Gently roll it into the shape of a disc. Ensure that you begin rolling it gently otherwise the mixture will break the dough and begin spilling out.
Place the rolled paratha on a medium hot skillet. Once the top no longer looks raw (will take a few seconds), flip the paratha. After a few seconds, the paratha will begin to puff at random places, flip and apply ghee or cooking oil and flip and fry. You can use a spatula for gently pressing the dough over the skillet to achieve a golden crispy surface on the paratha or you can use a cloth. Cook the other side again with or without oil.
Remove the paratha from the skillet and serve hot with any dry curry of your choice or with some chai and this tangy, hot and spicy mixed vegetable pickle or some green chutney. Do not forget to drizzle them with ghee or butter since the parathas (due to the dry filling) will be tad dry otherwise. They are best consumed during monsoon or winters.
Although they taste great on their own however they go really well with dry curries such as the Sarson Masala Bhindi (okra cooked in mustard paste), Methi Aloo Bhujiya (stir fried potatoes with fenugreek greens), Aloo Matar Gobhi (potato, peas & cauliflower curry), Baingan Aloo (aubergine potato curry), Beans Aloo Bhujiya (green beans & potato curry)
Note: It is highly recommended not to omit any ingredient from the filling. In the beginning, I had reservations about using raw mustard oil for the stuffing but after having eaten this paratha, I can ensure you that the mustard oil does not have a pronounced flavour stuffed parantha.
Note: Some people add some water to make the mixture come together. But somehow I do not like the texture of that mixture. But you can try that if it suits your taste.
Note: Feel free to adjust the ration of ingredients to suit your taste. This is the ratio that we like.
Note: Try to ensure that you do not roll out very thick paratha since thin paratha is much more crisp and the filling is evenly spread. However, the thin ones can tear easily so it is a bit tricky.
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