Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pocketful of Patna

Okay, who is your favorite Bihari? And please no mention of Laloo Prasad here. He doesn’t qualify. He is a politician.

My favorite thing about Bihar are two things. Sattu ka Paratha and Langra Aam, those aromatic, pulpy delights, an all-time summer staple in Patna. Actually, make it two and a half. I also love the little Anarsas, those little treats coated with toasted sesame seeds (or was it poppy seeds?), we got straight from the woks in Sabzibagh, in the heart of Patna.

IMG_8935 Its all hazy for me now. But not the Sattu ka Paratha, which is kind of hardcoded in me, along with this Tomato Chutney with onion, garlic, green chilies and fragrant cilantro. Something my friends would get in their lunch boxes for me to share from them.

PWC For those who do not know, I grew up in Patna and that’s the college I went to!

Simplicity throbbed in our hearts, while the rest of the world stood by and made fun of Biharis. When I stepped out in the big, bad world (read Delhi), people were surprised I could speak in English. Or the fact that I could eat with a fork…

…and happily give up that fork and knife to enjoy the earthiness of the Sattu ka Paratha with some Tamatar ka Chutney. Pretty predictable for a Patna lass I guess.

Ingredients for Sattu ka Paratha are:

For the stuffing:
1 heaped cup sattu
1 medium size onion very finely chopped
5-6 fat cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
Handful of coriander leaves finely chopped
7-8 green chilies finely chopped
Juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon mustard oil
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon carom seeds
Pinch of crushed cumin seeds

IMG_8912 Add all the ingredients for the filling in the sattu and mix well. Add drizzles of water to make a lumpy filling. Just to zing it up a notch, I also add the oil and spice from my mango pickle. The filling should make little balls in your palm without disintegrating.

IMG_8915 IMG_8916 IMG_8917

For the paratha:
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon + enough Canola oil for toasting the parathas

IMG_8919 Knead a dough mixing all the ingredients and a teaspoon of oil, adding little water as you mix. IMG_8921 Make golf ball-size portions of the dough and start rolling small discs to fill the sattu stuffing.
IMG_8924 IMG_8926 Stop midway and add a little dollop of sattu stuffing to the rolled out dough. Fold neatly, forming a round ball. IMG_8927Start rolling this ball again till you make a bigger flatbread. Dust with dry flour to roll evenly and without sticking to the counter surface.
IMG_8928Heat a pan and roast both the sides of the paratha, browning the sides a bit. IMG_8929 Drizzle oil and toast the parathas till they get golden brown and crispy.
IMG_8930 IMG_8931
In my family, we usually had the Sattu ka Paratha with some Baigan ka Bharta and Coriander Chutney, and sometimes with Kosha Mangsho.

But we had a neighbor who introduced us to this Tamatar ka Chutney (tomato chutney), which is pretty simple and can be made with the leftover chopped onions, garlic, green chilies and coriander from the sattu stuffing for the parathas.

For the Tamatar ka Chutney you will need:

2 large hothouse tomatoes, quite ripe I must add
1 small red onion finely chopped
3-4 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, finely chopped
Few sprigs of coriander finely chopped
Few drops of mustard oil
Half teaspoon sugar
Quarter teaspoon red chili powder

IMG_8908Grill the tomatoes on the stove top or on the direct flame of the gas. I used the roti mesh I got from India. It should take about 7-8 minutes on each side.
IMG_8920Peel off the skin of the tomatoes after they has cooled down a bit. Mash them with the back of a fork. You can churn it in a blender if you must but try not to. The idea is to retain the rustic-ness of the chutney.

IMG_8922 Add the chopped ingredients to the tomato pulp and season. Check on the seasoning and adjust accordingly. IMG_8933 Serve the Tamatar ka Chutney with the Sattu ka Paratha.
IMG_8932IMG_8937 IMG_8936 IMG_8934


Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

tempting pics....i love sattu flour...we used to make sweet treats out of sattu..just add milk and sugar it tastes wonders...but sattu parantha with tomato chutney..delcious....

Rajni said...

Am salivating :)

Piper .. said...

wow!! brings back fond old memories :):) Incidentally, I`m a bangali from what used to be a part of Bihar too! :) Ever been to Ranchi?

PreeOccupied said...

My trip to Ranchi has been till the airport. My parents now live in Jamshedpur, so we get picked from Ranchi when travelling. :-)

Bihar e aunek Bangali...though there was mass exodus from erstwhile Patna during Laloo raj.

Anonymous said...

I HAD to comment....First of all, the "chatoor porota" brings back such fond memories...And yes, I second your hatred for Delhi and Delhites for always looking down on "Bihari" people....Delhi sucks bigtime!!!!
I love Bihar, am not a Bihari and stay in Jamshedpur...Wish you all the very best....

PreeOccupied said...

@Amarnath, I don't HATE Delhi or Delhiites. Its certain very unaware people who continue living in denial. You can find them pretty much anywhere!

shooting star said...

i was searching for sattu parantha recipes for long!!!!....will try this definitely