A food staple is a food that makes up the dominant part of a population’s diet. India is a vast country with variations in dietary habits of people and food as well. Ranging from Parathas in northern India; Momos, Soup, and Noodles in North-East; Fish and Rice in the coastal region; Baati and Baphla in Central India; Khichdi, Vegetable curries, and Bhakris in Western India; and Dosa & Idlis in South are staples of India. Food Staples are results of local agricultural products, climatic conditions, and invasion by various dynasties. Northern India has drastic changes in climate, mercury raises to 50˚C in summer and falls to 0˚C in winters, makes people eat wheat and dairy more. Also, Delhi was colonised by Mughals for a prolonged period; therefore, the fried and spicy street food, as well as Tandoor preparations, are widely available in this region. North-East is near to Tibet, China, and Nepal who prefer the simple and boiled food due to extreme cold conditions of Himalayas and surrounding mountain ranges. The coastal region is undoubtedly prone to Sea Food and Rice, due to paddy fields, makes the surrounding population consume Sea Food and Rice more often. The western and central dry area where most of the community is Vegetarian prefers the Multigrain Food, as well as Millet hence Baati and Baphla with Dal, is famous. An abundance of Rice production and varieties of Vegetable and spices makes South Indians love Dosa and Sambar.
Pithla-Bhakri is a Staple of Maharashtra (Western State of India). It is also known as the Farmer’s meal in the State. Mostly, Pithla is united with Bhakri (Indian Millet Bread) & raw Onions and served Hot. This simple dish doesn’t require either too many complicated ingredients or a lot of time to prepare. Instead, its the best meal to come up with when you are out of veggies. Please read through and try the following Recipe – Pithla-Bhakri.
1. Gram flour (Besan): 1½ cups
2. Oil: 3 Tsp
3. Water: 4 cups
4. Mustard seeds: 1 Tsp
5. Cumin seeds: 1 Tsp
6. Garlic Cloves: 4
7. Curry leaves: 4-5 nos
8. Green chillies: 5-6 Nos.
9. Coriander Stems: 4-5 Nos.
10. Asafetida: 1/2 tsp
11. Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
12. Onion: 1 large
13. Salt: to taste
14. Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
1. Millet – Sorghum (Jowar) flour: 300 gms
2. Salt: to taste
3. Lukewarm Water: Sufficient to make a batter
1. Mix Besan and salt in a bowl
2. Add sufficient water and mix well to make a semi-thick batter
3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add asafoetida and mustard seeds
4. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add cumin seeds
5. Add curry leaves, finely chopped coriander stems and onions; saute till onion get translucent
6. Add turmeric powder, garlic & green chilli paste, fry for a minute
7. Add the besan batter mix and keep on adding the small amount of water till you get the right consistency. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes
8. Add salt and garnish with coriander leaves.
1. To make Bhakri, mix Jowar flour and salt in a bowl. Add sufficient lukewarm water gradually and knead into a stiff dough
2. Divide the dough into 3-4 equal portions and pat each of them between dampened palms into Bhakri
3. Heat a clay pan ( tava )* and cook the Bhakri applying little water to the upper surface and spread it all over with the help of your fingers
4. Cook the Bhakri on the other side and when the water evaporates, cook for 30-40 seconds
5. Now roast the Bhakri on the direct flames from both sides until cooked completely
6. Bhakri is ready, serve hot with Pithla (repeat steps 1-5 for other portions of Bhakri).
*The porosity and natural insulation properties of clay cause heat and moisture to circulate throughout the pan which makes Bhakri more nutritious and tastier.