Working with bajra flour is not just about cooking but it is an emotional connect to this ancient grain. Bajra nourishes the body and a bhakri made from bajra is a hearty meal which involves a high level of skill. A bhakri is one of those simple foods of India, eaten warm off the tava with cold numbed fingers dipped into desi ghee and jaggery.
This meal, eaten as a family huddled together inside the humble dwellings of thatch, straw and bamboo speaks of the richness of the relationship between humans and the soil. Millets were grown and cultivated in the most arid regions of India and as a result different recipes using the same came into existence.
As with all heirloom recipes, the ancestors of our land found a way to balance the foods which generate heat with ones that cool the body. But they did not go to any lengths to document the same simply because it was believed that the traditional practices will continue.
In the English fluent world of today we have woken up to realize the need to understand these foods, the recipes and learn the art of making them. The art of making a bhakri lies in the slow amalgamation of water and flour. It has to be done little by little in order for the flour and water to be kneaded together to make a soft, stretchy dough.
The method of patting it into shape is also altogether unique.
Try your hand at making bajra bhakri before the the last days of the cold months of this season are gone. Enjoy your meal with the goodness of desi ghee and delicious organic jaggery
Recipe- 6 Bajra Bhakri
Bajra flour - 2 1/2Cups
Water- 2 Cups
Jaggery -1 C
Large mixing platter-1
Cloth and water for making bhakri
Take a large platter and add in the bajra flour.
Add a little water and keep the fingers in a stiff claw like position and start mixing water into the flour.
Keep half of the flour on the side and gently draw it in while each time adding a little water.
Once the water is added enough to make a slightly wet dough, start kneading by pushing the dough out with the base of the palm and pulling it in with the fingers.
Continue kneading for a good 10-15 minutes or more until you get a soft dough which makes an indentation when pressed.
Take a portion of the dough and make a disc using the fingers. Let the centre remain thick , keep rotating the disc to and make a round with the fingers.
Repeat this with the remaining dough. Keep the discs aside.
Now sprinkle a little more flour into the large platter
Place one disc on top of the flour and using the palm of the hand keep rotating the disc until it flattens out into a roti of medium thickness.
Light up the tava to medium- high heat
Carefully take the rolled out Bhakri and put it on the tava.
Dip the cloth into the water and place it on the centre of the bhakri and keep rotating to cook it evenly. Alternatively can also sprinkle water directly on the bhakri and pat it before rotating with the cloth.
Cook on both sides until spots appear . Take it off the tava and keep warm .
Repeat each time for the remaining dough.
Serve hot with ghee.
Don’t forget to inhale the wonderful aromas of the bajra flour and ghee while eating.