Litti Chokha By Debleena Saha Anand

As winter knocks the door, my heart seems to develop special liking for food that are fried, dripping with ghee and the likes — you know what I mean! On a wintry night, the smoky flavour of litti with piping hot chokha and a dollop of ghee shall not only warm you up inside out, but also give you a sense of bliss that only comfort food can bestow!

 

 

Debleena Saha Anand is a former Architect & Transportation Planner and now a passionate Food Blogger cum Private Chef; not to forget a mom to a rambunctious kindergartner above all. Her culinary journey finds vent at Contempo. 

 

Ingredients:

For Litti:
Wheat flour/Atta: 2 cups (makes about 6-7 littis)
Ghee: 2 tablespoons (for moyam)
Ajwain/Jowan/Carrom seeds: 1/4 teaspoon
Baking soda: 1/4 teaspoon
Salt: a couple pinches or as per your taste
Water: enough to make the dough

For Litti Filling:
Roasted gramflour/Sattu: 1 cup
Ginger paste: 1/2 tablespoon

Chopped Green chillies: 1-2 chillies
Chopped Cilantro/Dhaniya Patta: 1/4 cup
Cumin/Jeera: 1/2 teaspoon
Ajwain/Jowan/Carrom seeds: 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard Oil: 1 tablespoon
Achar Masala/Gravy and Oil from any pickle (I have used the spices of a dried red chilli pickle): 1 tablespoon
Black salt/beetnoon: a couple pinches
Lime juice: 1/4 teaspoon
Salt: as per taste
For Chokha:
Eggplant: 1 big or 2 medium sized
Tomato: 2
Chopped Green chillies: 1 or 2
Chopped Cilantro/Dhaniya patta: 1/2 cup
Finely chopped ginger/ginger paste: 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard oil: 1-2 tablespoons (enough to make a smooth dough)
Salt: as per taste
Method:
For Litti-
– Take all the ingredients mentioned in the list except the water and mix well.
– Once the ghee is nicely incorporated with the flour, start adding water and mix well to make a soft pliable dough. Make sure the dough comes off clean from your finger when poked.
– Cover the dough and let it rest while you make the other stuff.For stuffing:
– Take all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well to make another dough.
– Add just a couple of tablespoons of water but the stuffing dough has to be a relatively tighter than the litti dough.
For the chokha:
– Brush mustard oil over the whole vegetables and roast them over medium to low open flame.
– Keep turning them once in a while to make sure they don’t get over burnt.
– Once everything is nicely roasted, let them cool down.
– Once cold, peel the skin off the eggplants and then take all the vegetables and rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
Litti making:
– Make small balls (about the size of a golf ball) from the litti dough.
– Now press each ball in your palm to make a small bowl and put some stuffing into it.
– Roll up the litti dough to cover up the stuffing in your palm and make a smooth stuffed ball.
– Once done making all the stuffed balls, take a ghee greased pan (litti is best made in an open grill/perforated pan for stovetop cooking) and heat it.
– Place the littis in the heated pan and roast them over medium heat by turning them often (very important) so that they don’t stick to the pan. Cooking over medium heat ensures that they are well cooked in and out. Otherwise the exterior will get cooked faster but the stuffing will remain raw inside.
– Baste the littis with ghee as you roast. Littis take about 30 minutes to get nicely roasted.
– Once the exterior hardens is when you will know that it is cooked.
– The aim is to have a crunchy exterior with a soft inside. It should crumble and break when pressed post cooking like a stuffed kachori.
– Once cooked, take them off the heat, crush them slightly and put a dollop of ghee over it while still hot. That will keep them moist and soft.Voila! Then take a pre-crushed litti, pour some chokha on it and eat!

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