Bihari cuisine is not as famous as cuisines of few other states of India, but there is one dish from Bihar which is synonymous with Bihar and that is Litti .It is a crusted ball of wheat flour stuffed with spiced Sattu [roasted gram flour], traditionally made in an open fire but now is commonly baked in oven due to ease and feasibility.
Sattu is extensively used in Bihari dishes in form of Littis,Sattu Paratha,Satttu ka namkeen sharbat [Salted Sattu drink with lime or aam panna], Sattu ka meetha sharbat[Sweetened Sattu drink],and sometimes simply spiced sattu dough is eaten all alone or accompanied with plain rice or rotis.
If you are in Bihar ,Sattu means flour of Roasted gram flour, but in other states it can mean flour of other cereals too. I have tried searching for it in Bombay at few places without any luck. Though it is available easily in Delhi. So whenever we make a trip to Bihar or Delhi we stock up our Sattu, because life of a bihari is unimaginable without the constant dose of Sattu paratha or littis. And while I am writing this ,I am craving for the salted sattu drink which I haven't had for quite sometime. That for me is one of the most delicious and lip-smacking drink.
Litti and Sattu Paratha have the same stuffing. Though I like sattu parathas more, there is a romantic charm in making littis in the open fire apart from the additional smoked flavour. I have done that only once at my in-laws place .It was slightly cold night.and a brick oven was specially set up that day on the terrace to make littis. My mom-in-law was the main chef , i was only a helper :-) .
I never had courage to make littis in the oven . I had it on my mind since I saw it there and decided to make it for dinner last night. The recipe which I have followed is the way I have seen at home, though the instructions on how to make them in an oven is mainly from Aipi's blog. Since I use a microwave oven in convection mode, I was wary of using aluminum foil as I have heard it causes sparks, so I didn't use the aluminum foil. Greasing the baking dish worked fine for me.
1 and 1/2 cup Whole wheat Flour
3/4 up Curd[yogurt]
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 pinch of salt
1 cup Sattu (roasted gram flour)
1 small onion, finely chopped
7-8 big Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 inch Ginger finely chopped
2 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 tsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Nigella seeds (Mangrella or kalonji)
1 and 1/2 tsp Carom seeds [Ajwain]
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp Mirch achar masala (stuffing of the red chili pickle) I use the cover too by chopping it
1 tbsp Mango achaar masala [optional]
Mustard oil [ preferably the oil in which Achar/Pickle has been made]
Salt to taste [ add after adding Achar Masala which has salt too ]
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients with Sattu together. Sprinkle some drops of water to make it crumbly.
- Preheat oven to 185 C.
- Grease the baking dish with some ghee /oil.
- With the dough ingredients, knead the dough. Don't put all the curd at once. Keep adding little by little till a soft dough forms.Make 8 -9 balls slightly bigger than a lemon. Flatten each ball in your palm to make and make a 3 to 3 1/2 inch diameter circle. Dust with flour if it is sticky.
- Stuff 2 to 3 tsp sattu filling in the center of the circle and close it from all sides.
- Line the littis on the baking dish and bake till it is golden brown. It will take around 35-45 minutes and it differs from oven to oven so keep an eye otherwise it might get burnt. keep aside once done.
- To give a smokey touch, you can put them on gas flame for few seconds by holding them with tongs.
- To serve, apply some ghee on them, you can also break them into half and put a teaspoon of ghee inside. Serve it hot with Brinjal bharta/Chokha.
Linking this to Aipi and Priya's Bookmarked recipe and Hearth and Soul Hop