Yesterday we had a very weird combination for dinner – batti chokha and basil pesto coated paneer. Ekdum desi khana with angrezi khana as my hubby calls it. I had already roasted the brinjal and potatoes for the chokha in the morning and then I saw the basil about to wilt in my refrigerator so I wanted to salvage them too...that is the story behind the weird dinner combination.
Batti Chokha is essentially farmer’s food from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. I had it for the first time at a roadside dhabha selling this exclusively. Since this I have had it a couple of times but yesterday was the first time I tried it out myself. I have earlier made ghatti or makuni, which is essentially the same thing only it is flattened into discs of about 3.5 inches diameter and roasted on a tawa. Batti, however is roasted as stuffed dough balls. Traditionally it is roasted over the wood flame or using cowdung cakes, I however used my normal oven.
For the dough
2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour,
1 tbsp ghee or oil,
Salt to taste,
Water as required
For the Filling
1 cup sattu,
1 inch piece of ginger,
5 cloves garlic,
3 green chillies or to taste,
½ tsp ajwain,
½ tsp nigella seeds or kalonji,
1 tbsp masala from stuffed red chilli pickle or you can also use masala from any non-vinegar based mango pickle,
½ tsp black salt,
Salt to taste,
1 ½ to 2 tbsp raw mustard oil,
Ghee for serving
Knead the dough using all the dough ingredients into a tough dough. Keep aside.
Finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Put all this into a big mixing bowl along with all the other ingredients for the filling. Mix it well.
I did not have sattu at home, so I just powdered bhuna channa and used it instead.
Divide the dough and the filling into 10 portions each. Take one portion of the dough and pat into a 2 inch diameter disc using your palms. Place a portion of the filling in the centre and bring the edges of the dough disc together and shape it into a ball.
Preheat the oven to 250o and then place the battis in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the battis over and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and roast it over the direct flame till brownish black spots appear over the batti. Break the battis and drizzle some ghee over it and serve with chokha. Traditionally the battis after being baked are dunked into liquefied ghee before serving.