Of all the things that I missed and craved for after coming to the US, thalipeeth topped the list. Thalipeeth is a spicy Indian bread, mostly prepared in Maharashtra, made from bhajani flour. I often dreamt of them. I saw those brown tasty, spicy breads with ragged edges and little holes. I remembered devouring one after other steaming hot thalipeeth with tasty ghee and butter. The combination was divine. Few months back, a friend's mom had come from India and she invited us over for tea and snacks. We were sitting in the living room when the familiar aroma of garma garam thalipeeth wafted from her kitchen. A minute later, she presented us with the tastiest thalipeeths I had ever eaten. I forgot all my manners, didn't say 'No' even once when she asked me if I wanted more, and devoured as many thalipeeths as I could, leaving a few for her family and my other friends.
My mom got bhajani flour for me, she even helped me make yummy thalipeeth. Bhajani can be made at home by roasting and grinding 2cups bajri, 1 cup jowar, 1/2 cup chana daal/harbhare, 1/2 cup urad daal, 1/4 rice, 1/4 cup wheat, jeera, and coriander seeds. The process seems cumbersome, so it's easy to buy store bought bhajani to make these spicy breads.
- 4 cups bhajani flour
- 2 medium onions - chopped very fine
- 1 tsp ajwain seeds
- Pinch of asafetida
- 2 tsp red chilli powder (Reduce if you are not accustomed to spicy food)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Mix all the above ingredients except oil, using water. Make a firm dough.
- Heat a pan over high flame.
- Make small portions of the above dough and round up into small balls.
- Take a plastic sheet and lay a dough ball on it. Start spreading the dough with your palm, while turning the plastic sheet. Make a circle. Once done, make 4-5 small holes in the dough with your finger.
- Pour 1 tsp oil on the heated pan. Take the plastic sheet in your left hand, invert it on top of your right hand, gently pull out the plastic from spread dough, and place the dough on the pan. Quite a task!
- Pour some oil on the sides and into the holes. Fry for 1 minute. Invert the thalipeeth and cook the other side for a minute. Again flip it and cook for 30 secs.
- Remove from pan and serve hot with yogurt. You can add some ghee on top of the thalipeeth.
Verdict: Thalipeeth topped with ghee and served with curd, straight off the stove is the ultimate divine food. The dough spreading process can be mastered with some practice and the results are great.