Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jwarichi Bhakri

Make way for the humble bread from Maharashtra- Bhakri. Making bhakri is an art and needs lot of practice and patience to attain perfection. People in Maharashtra, especially the grannies, still believe that if a girl knows how to make bhakris, then she can learn to cook all other things. Though this seems an exaggeration, its not such a difficult task!

Bhakris are made from different flours in different parts of Mahrashtra. Mostly Jowar(called Jwari in Marathi) flour and Maize flour in Solapur side, Rice flour in Konkan area, Bajri and Nachni flour in Khandesh and Vidharbha etc. Bhakri used to be the staple food in some areas of Maharashtra, but things have changed over time and there are few households (mostly in rural areas) where bhakris are prepared regularly. A personal opinion: Bhakris take a lot of time and hence cooking chapattis seems easier and convenient. It took me nearly 1.5 hrs to cook 7 bhakris :( thanks to my electric hot plate!

Bhakris are typically prepared on a special type of tawa/ hot girdle prepared from iron/aluminium. It’s a bit deep and circular and hence gives the bhakris a good shape when they puff up. The bhakris are baked on tawa first and then transferred directly on gas to make them puff. I am not lucky to have puffed bhakris here, but am glad that I find bhakri flour here :)

I prepared Jwarichi Bhakri yesterday evening and am posting it here for RCI Maharashtrian Cuisine! I am also posting some tips and preparation method from my mom who makes awesome bhakris. On my next trip to India, I’ll make sure to take a video of full procedure of a perfect bhakri preparation and post it!

Jwarichi Bhakri

What you need:

1 cup Jowar Flour (for 2 bhakris)
Warm Water

How to proceed:

1) Take a cup of flour and add warm water to it
2) Knead well to soft and pliable dough.
3) To test softness, press the dough gently with a finger. This should leave an impression on the dough. [If it leaves a hole, then dough is too soft]
4) If the dough is not kneaded well, the bhakris will develop cracks at corners.
5) Divide this dough in 2-3 parts
6) Heat the tava
7) Apply little water to both palms and put a part of dough in between palms and shape well to a ball and then flatten it.
8) Now spread dry flour in a large flat plate (normally a vessel called “parat” is used for this process) and put the falttened dough onto it.
9) Apply flour on one palm and using this palm, gently press the dough to flatten it
10) While flattening the dough, move it in circular pattern to ensure that bhakri does not stick to the plate
11) When the bhakri is flattened and ready, flip and lift it on both palms and place the bahkri on tawa [The side that was flattened should be baked first]
12) Now lower the heat and take some water in hand. Apply water over the full surface of upper side of bhakri.
13) Now raise the heat to normal. When this water starts drying, flip the bhakri to cook the other side
14) When the bhakri starts becoming brownish on the other side, remove from tawa from gas and directly put the bhakri on gas
15) If you are lucky, the bhakri will puff well. On gas, cook both sides till they get dark brownish stains.
16) Take off the heat and place tawa back on gas. If the sides of bhakris seem uncooked, cook the sides on tawa.
17) Hush.. Bhaikri taiyar! (ready to eat) :)

Tips for good bhakris:

* The flour should not be very fine, but a bit coarse
* Use luke warm water for kneading
* Knead knead knead
* Knead the flour in batches for 2-3 bhakris, not all the flour at one time


Asha said...

I want some Junka now!!YUM!!

Pooja V said...

I feel like grabbing some and eating with spicy mutton rassa. I always loved these bhakris but didnt knw how to make them. Thanks to you i knw now.

delhibelle said...

What a fabulous collection of maharashtrian recipes you have created Aarti ! I am bookmarking lots of recipes. Thanks a ton:-)