An easy, delicious vegetarian gravy recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving meal with vegan and gluten-free options.
This is my Blogging Marathon entry for the month long Marathon under the theme” Traditional”!
Its Bhakari & Zunka or Zunka & Bhakar !
Bhakari/ bhakar as they are known in Karnataka /Maharashtra are traditional foods. A very healthy food that is the staple of most of the hard working labourers and farmers. Today I have teamed it with Baigan Bharta but this is not necessary. For Zunka takes care of your protein and vegetables too. But then tongue loves its variations so Baigan Bharta was also a part of the menu.
Bhakari/bhakar is made from jowar or from bajara. It has a low gylcemic index.
You can check what Wikipedia has to say about GI here.
But I will like to just make it concise.
“G.I. stands for Glycemic Index used to measure short-term changes in blood glucose levels in humans after a carbohydrate rich food. Glucose being the source of energy is set at 100 rest of the foods are measured against this.
A diet based on foods with low glycemic index has been associated with diabetes management, improved blood lipids (cholesterol), reduced risk of heart disease and weight management.
Foods with a low glycemic index take longer to digest (therefore prolonging satiety) they will also maintain blood glucose levels at a relatively constant state unlike foods with high GI.
Low glycemic foods contain: Fat, Whole grains, Protein, Raw Starches, legumes, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.
High Glycemic Foods contain: Refined grains, refined sugars, increased amylopectin: amylose ratio, and often high sugar fruits have a high glycemic index.”
So with this do I need to say more?
Here I have made Zunka from the Taj Vegetarian Fare that Mahesh & Sangita our very close friends had gifted me. Bai made the bhakari. We had two options bajra and jowar bhakari. Both of us choose bajra or sajji as it is known in Kannada.
Let’s make the Bhakari or Bhakar first for the Zunka need to be served hot.
To make the Bhakari your Ingredients are:
- 1 cup of bajra flour+ a little more for dusting
- ¼ cup boiling water
- Salt to taste
- A few sesame seeds/til (optional)
- A spatula
- A small clean cloth
- A tava helps if it is thick
- Take the bajra flour in a plate (Bai does it on the kitchen platform) and mix the salt.
- Bring the flour back in a heap. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour ½ of the boiling water.
- Using the spatula mix the flour in the hot water. When most of the flour is mixed use your hand to knead the flour. Sprinkle more water if needed. The dough should be pliable. In fact the whole dough is never mixed together. It is mixed and kneaded as you start on each ball. Knead quite a bit before you make a ball of the dough.
- Then with the help of some of the dry flour Bai starts patting the dough till she gets a nice round biggish circle. Use more dry flour if needed. The side that you start patting has to be on the top always. In Karnataka unlike what is made in Maharashtra the bhakari is made thin it’s like your chapatti. Since we were planning to use sesame seeds she gently raised the roti and scattered the seed on the platform lowered the roti and patted it once again.
- The side which is on the platform has to be the side that is facing up on the tava. Now with the clean rag dipped in water spread water on the bhakari. All this is to be done on low flame.
- Once the water dries up with the spatula turn the bhakari, now raise the flame.
- Once the side cooks it gets a few brown spots. Pick the bhakari and top it on the flame. If you have done a nice even work the bhakari swells like a fulka.
- Remove it from the flame. Store covered.
My grandaunt used to make these on a wood flame on a chulla. After the bahakri had been cooked in the all the steps above she used to keep a few behind the chulha. They used to get crisp. Then we all feasted on them with mango chutney.
Preparation time 20 minutes
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- ½ teaspoon jeera /cumin
- 1 spring curry leaves
- 2 green chilies, chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup besan/ gram flour
- 1 ½ -2 cups buttermilk
- Salt to taste
- A few springs coriander
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice(optional)
- Mix the red chili powder, besan, salt, curd and water. Whisk well.
- Heat the oil and crackle mustard seeds, cumin, and green chilli and curry leaves.
- Add the garlic and sauté.
- Add the onion and sauté till translucent, add the turmeric.
- Once the onion is done add the tomatoes, stir and add the besan mixture stirring briskly.
- Check the seasoning.
- Cover and cook for a few minutes.
- Remove from the flame and Add lime juice if using.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with bhakari.
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