I have spent 18 years of my childhood in a small town known as Bokaro in the state of Jharkhand (India). “Sattu ka Paratha” is a very popular dish in the North Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. I still remember the beautiful aroma of these parathas when my neighbor used to make some and pass them on to us. I always loved it. The toasted gram flour is mixed with various spices and used as a stuffing for the bread. The other day, one of my friends, who also happens to belong from Dhanbad (a neighboring township to Bokaro) gave me a packet of sattu. I was overwhelmed and my ecstasy was beyond imagination. I was so glad I can’t thank her enough. Definitely it got me so nostalgic that I wanted to relive my childhood days by making these wonderfully delectable parathas.
Throughout my life, I have always found Bihari cuisine is one of the simplest of all and is highly appetizing and flavorful using the best of ingredients. Sattu is one of them. Made of roasted channa or gram flour, it is high in proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium and fibre. It is very commonly used to prepare a drink with cilantro leaves and black salt. This particular drink is so nutritious that a glass of it is equivalent to a bottle of protein shake!! Yes that must sound surprising but it’s true! A quick glass of Sattu ka ghol (Sattu drink) will keep you hydrated, cool and energize you for the rest of the day.
Back to my parathas, these breads are as nutritious and delicious too. The soul of these parathas lies in the stuffing, which is part spicy, part sour and the combination just categorizes this dish as “incredible”. These days readymade packaged sattu is easily available in Indian grocery stores. Traditionally these parathas are served with yogurt and aloo chokha (Spicy mashed potatoes) or baingan chokha (Spicy roasted eggplant dip). I prefer to have these with aloo chokha, just the way we used to have it during my childhood. Today, writing this post I can almost remember the warmth and excitement I used to feel when my neighbor cooked and brought some of them piping hot for our tasting. 🙂
For Paratha dough you will need:
Wheat flour – 1 cup
Salt – as per taste
Water – for kneading the dough
For sattu stuffing you will need:
Sattu – 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic – 4 -5 cloves
Ginger – a small piece
Green chillies – as much as you want depending on the level of heat you can handle
Onion – 1 large finely chopped
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Mango pickle / any Indian pickle – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor / dry mango powder – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – finely chopped
Salt – as per taste
Prepare the dough.
Mix the wheat flour with salt. Knead it into a soft dough using very little water at a time. Knead it well so that the dough is soft. Let the dough rest at least 1-2 hours.
For the stuffing:
Fry the onions using very little oil. A lot of people add raw onions directly to the stuffing. You can do that too. But I prefer to fry the onions. This makes a lot of difference to the flavor.
Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies into a fine paste using very little water.
Take a mixing bowl.
Add sattu (roasted gram flour).
Add the rest of the ingredients – cumin seeds, fried onions, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, lime juice, pickle, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, amchoor powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt.
Mix everything well. The mixture should be dry as shown in the below pic.
Divide the dough into equal parts.
Take 1 part and using your hand, try to roll and form a disc. You can even use a rolling pin.
Hold the disc in your hand so as to form a pocket and add 2 spoons full of the stuffing.
Press the sattu mixture gently with your hands.
Gradually press the mixture inside and pull out the edges of the dough so as to give the shape of a dumpling. Seal the edges carefully so that none of the stuffing comes out while rolling out the parathas.
Similarly repeat the same with rest of the dough and stuffing.
Keep this aside to rest for at least 10 mins before you start rolling them out.
Now take one dough ball (with stuffing). Dust it with flour.
Press it gently with your palm to flatten it out.
Using a rolling pin, gently roll it out into a circular disc. Be careful while rolling out so that none of the stuffing comes out.
Now place this on a hot pan. Roast on one side for a min. Then flip it over and let it roast on the other side for another 1 min.
While the other side is cooking, add a little ghee on top and spoon it uniformly over the surface of the paratha. The paratha will start to puff.
Flip it over using a spatula and add some ghee on the other surface. It is important to make the dough and stuff the mixture properly, so that your parathas puff up.
Healthy and nutritious Sattu parathas will be ready to serve.
If you are not eating them immediately, store them in an air-tight container / casserole and they will remain soft and fresh for a long time.
Below is a pic showing how it will look on the inside once you tear it open.
I served these yummy parathas with aloo chokha and yogurt. Aloo chokha is nothing but boiled mashed potatoes tempered with fried onions (finely chopped), green chillies, red chilli powder and salt. Traditionally aloo chokha is prepared using mustard oil. But since I don’t use mustard oil in my cooking, I substituted it with some clarified butter / ghee.