Monday, 12 September 2011

Sattu Tikka and Parathas

For those unfamiliar with the ethnic hierarchy of things north of the Vindhyas and east of the Bihar, a little food-tutorial is in order. Sattu -- chhatu to the urban Bengali -- is the designated food of 'those Biharis'. The phrase conveys, at the same time, a suppressed yearning for the robust constitution of the sattu-eaters -- which the Bengali spectacularly lacks -- and a compensatory feeling of intellectual superiority, in which the Bengali is second to none.

Consequently, the first time I ate sattur was three weeks back, when my boss shared his sattu parathas with me. "What wonder is this?!" I exclaimed, and he gave me the following recipe. Well, not exactly the following recipe, because I've added and subtracted, but he gave the whole, which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Take two cups of chana-sattu (chholar chhatu), or a healthy powdered grain of your choice. Add chopped green chilies and diced red onions.
 Add a scoop of subcontinental pickle of your choice (I used green mango), a pinch of red chilli powder, the juice of half a large lemon, a dash of sugar, and salt to your tastes.

 Add a little mustard oil and mix it up. At this point, this can be used to stuff flatbreads, although I don't advise it. Sattu has the habit of breaking out of the flour shell.

To wit. And this was the best of the lot, too.

To avoid this very annoying process, you could skip the stuffing and add the flour directly to the seasoned sattu. Then just add water, and mix it like you would mix normal dough. Before doing this, btw, I added chopped tomatoes to the mix. Because I looove tomatoes.

Add half a cup of flour to the mix above, and then mix it with water to make a nice, slightly-sticky dough.

Since this slightly-sticky dough is hard to roll out with a pin, divide them into smaller balls of dough, smooth and flatten them between your palms, and fry the slightly-thick sattu discs on a skillet. When they're done, they will look like tikki/tikkas.

Letting it get some colour.

Stack them like pancakes, and eat with spicy pickled lime and tea :-)

Or, if you had decided to slave for your food and ended up with piping-hot sattu parathas, stack them like pancakes, and eat with spicy pickled lime and tea. See? That's why you should follow the path of least effort in the kitchen.

 The green chilly is to placate the people who chose the hard way. An organic consolation prize. Enjoy! :-)


Dea-chan said...

That looks nice and tasty. I might have to play around with that.

Dea-chan said...

also, new post. i state at the top that i am too lazy to both write a post and email you about school. which lead to the link above. :-P

BongMom said...

Uff oi achar diye chatu dekhei jibhe jol. Ami hard core Bihari, koto din chatu khaini sottiy bolchi :(

Rimi said...

Kore fyalo! Kachhe thakle kore khawatam :-)