Indira of Mahanandi is hosting a very unique Parade for this year’s Indian Independence day. She wants us to whip up our culinary skills to salute Mother India on her 59th Independence day. My entry is a very simple dish (more like a peasant dish) that does not require many ingredients.
Chikki (or savory biscuits) made with besan (chickpea flour) are cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce and it is usually served with any kind of roti or rice. This is my mother-in-law’s authentic besan chikki recipe.
1/4cupTamarindpulp - thick home made kind (fibers removed)
1/2tspFenugreekpowder (menthi powder)
2 - 3tbspJaggery- (depending on taste)
To make besan chikki:
First fry the besan in a pan on medium-low flame, until it turns golden brown and does not smell raw anymore. Remove onto a plate and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan, add mustard and cumin seeds. After the seeds pop, add the chopped onions, green chilies, turmeric, curry leaves and saute till onions are softened.
Add 1¼ cups water (besan:water=1:1¼) to the onion mixture and let it come to a slow simmer. At this stage add fried besan slowly, stirring the mixture continuously, making sure that there are no lumps.
Keep stirring until the mixture comes together like upma. Remove onto a greased plate, cut into diamonds and let cool.
To make gravy:
Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and after they splutter, add onions and saute till light brown.
Add tamarind pulp and about 1/2 cup of water. Add all the remaining ingredients and on a slow flame, bring the gravy to a simmer, about 15minutes.
Add the besan diamonds and simmer for another 5-10minutes. Make sure not to move them too much in the gravy, this might break the biscuits.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
We had our besan chikki with jonna roti. Simple and very satisfying meal. You can find detailed instructions for making jonna roti in Indira's and Cook's cottage blogs.