Bhakri is a traditional Maharashtrian flat bread which is mostly made from jowar flour, bajra flour, nachni/ ragi flour, rice flour or even wheat flour and is a staple diet in rural Maharashtra. Typically, the dough for this bhakri is made by adding the basic ingredients such as salt and water to the flour. In Maharashtra, the pitla bhakri and junka bhakri combo is very popular. It is also common to serve them with a red/ green chilli thecha (thick red or green chillies are fire roasted and pounded in the mortar pestle into a coarse paste) , garlic chutney and raw onions.
One such bhakri variety which I grew up eating is this Kandyachi Bhakri/ Onion Bhakri. My mom made this quite often at home particularly when she was out of veggies and I loved eating these with her spicy peanut chutney. This bhakri is basically seasoned with finely chopped onions, green chillies, cilantro and fresh grated coconut. For soft thin bhakris I usually steam the dough (see procedure below). But if the rice flour is very fresh, you can directly make the dough in warm water. Traditionally you spread the bhakri into a round circle with the help of your palm and fingers. I use the fast and fool proof ziploc method where in I place a medium sized ball of dough inside a greased ziploc bag and roll it into a round bhakri using my rolling pin. This method never fails and yields thin and even bhakris every single time. We love these bhakris with this quick potato bharta. All you do is mix together some peanut chutney, yogurt, finely chopped onions and chopped/ mashed boiled potatoes and serve it with warm bhakris for a traditional maharashtrian meal.
1 cup water
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 green chillies – slit in the middle and chopped into medium pieces
Handful of cilantro leaves – finely chopped
3 tbsps fresh grated coconut
1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil as needed
1. Boil a cup of water in a pan and add salt and 1 tsp oil to it.
2. Switch off the stove and add rice flour to the hot water little at a time and constantly stir the mixture. Cover it and let it cool down before you add the other ingredients.
3. When the dough it slightly warm, add the onions, green chillies, cilantro, coconut and sugar.
4. Knead the mixture to form a soft dough and apply some oil to your palm to help with kneading the dough. You may need to add little more rice flour if the dough is very sticky.
5. Adjust the salt according to your taste. Let the dough rest for half hour.
6. Heat a skillet while you prepare the bhakris.
7. Take a medium size ziplock bag and cut it open on 2 sides. Place the Ziploc on the rolling board/ polpat. Apply some oil on the inside of the bag and place a medium size ball of the dough on it. Cover the dough ball with the ziploc and roll it with your rolling pin into a round bhakri just like chapattis.
8. Slowly lift the bhakri and roast them on the hot skillet on both sides. Drizzle few drops of oil on each side and fry for some more time, till they turn slightly golden brown.
9. Serve hot. Goes well with peanut chutney or potato bharta.
This goes to Healing Foods -Onions event hosted by Priya for the month of June and started by Siri of Siri's Corner.