Bhakri is a traditional maharashtrian unleavened flatbread recipe made from cereal grains (rice, sorghum(jowar),pearl millet(bajri) or finger millet(ragi) that provides wholesome nutrition along with flavour. It can be served as a breakfast dish as well as during the maincourse. Sorghum/ jowar flour has high nutritional value, it is gluten free and has high fibre content so do include it in your daily diet.I have also added rice flour in smaller proprtion since I’m not an expert in making bhakris and addition of rice flour helps to roll out the bhakris easily.
To add to its nutritional value I have added fresh samudra methi leaves too. Here the bhakris are made with fresh samudra methi leaves.As the name suggests Samudra Methi are fenugreek leaves grown near the sea on sandy tracks and these leaves are very tender as compared to the regular fenugreek leaves. The roots of these leaves are also very tender and can be used for cooking too. These leaves need a lot of rinsing though as it has a lot of sand in it, but considering its health benefits and nutritional values, it’s worth the effort taken.
- 1 cup water approximately
- 1/4th cup rice flour
- 1 cup jowar flour or as rmuch as required
- 1/2 tsp white butter( unsalted butter. This is optional but the bhakris come out real soft when butter is used OR 1/2 tsp oil)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped samudra methi leaves
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 green chillies crushed in a mortar and pestle
- Rice flour as required to roll the bhakris and to dust the rolling board
- In a saucepan boil water, add salt and butter. Once the water boils, reduce the flame and add rice flour first and then jowar flour ( as much as fits into the water) and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed and the water is absorbed completely. Switch off the flame. Cover and keep for two to three minutes.
- Transfer the mix onto a flat plate. Add the samudra methi leaves, crushed chillies and sesame seeds. The flour mix cools quickly, so dip your palm in water and immediately knead it into a soft dough.
- There should be no lumps. The dough should be even. Knead well and divide into equal number of balls.Heat a griddle/ tawa, once hot reduce flame to medium.
- At the same time take one ball of dough keeping the rest covered with a damp muslin cloth. Knead the ball of dough, sprinkle a little flour on the rolling board, keep the ball of dough and roll it gently by sprinkling a little flour on top too, into a thin circular disc of even thickness taking care it does not stick to the rolling board.
- Lift it gently and transfer it onto the heated griddle with the upper side down. Quickly apply a little water with your hand or a moist cloth on the upper side of the bhakri and all around the edges so that it does’nt dry and crack. Rotate the bhakri with your fingers or a soft cloth.As the water evaporates flip over.
- Let it cook until brownish spots appear on the bottom side, then remove it from the griddle with a flat spatula or turner and turn it over on direct flame for a few seconds on both sides till it puffs up.Transfering onto direct flame is very much optional. You can cook the bhakris on the skillet only, just cook them a little longer. They puff up on the skillet too. Its just that they get the roasted look and aroma when done on direct flame.
- Serve hot bhakris with white butter, mirchi cha thecha or any vegetable of your choice.
- There is one more traditional method to make bhakris wherein dough of two bhakris is kneaded at a time with warm water and then patted with your palm and fingers on the rolling board but I’m not good at it. Steamimg the rice and jowar flour gives fool proof results, so I stick to this method.
- Adding white butter is very much optional but I always add because I feel its easier to knead the dough well, gives a nice aroma as well and the bhakris stay soft.
- The bhakris should be prepared immediately after kneading the dough. If kept aside for long the dough will crack while rolling.
- If you do not want to roast on direct flame, cook both sides on the griddle a little longer.
- Use fresh jowar flour and rice flour.
- During summer jowar and ragi bhakris are consumed as they are easier to digest.
- Millet flours lack gluten and its binding effect is increased when hot water is used to knead it.
- The dough should be kneaded well to make soft flatbreads. It should not stick to the hand, once kneaded.
- In case the bhakri tends to crack along the sides as you roll it, sprinkle a little warm water on the dough and knead it again.