Litti-Chokha (Chickpea flour stuffed Dumplings with Potato & Eggplant Mash)

“So, you are a food blogger? What part of India are you from?”

“Bihar”

“Aah! Then you must teach me how to make litti-chokha!”

Remarks like these are probably the reason I have not shared one of the most loved recipes from the state of Bihar (my home state in India) so far! It is almost like saying all that Italians eat is pizza and tapas is an everyday feature at a  Spanish table! This and many other similar “attacks” made me borderline defiant and I almost pledged never to share this recipe. The fact that being a Bihari in India comes with its own share of woes and discriminations (and I had suffered a fair share of them studying and working outside of my home state) did not help either.

So, what changed and why in spite of everything, here I am sharing this recipe with you? Well! Let me first share with you a little secret about my personal journey . Ever since I started blogging (the sensitive person that I have always been), it was very hard to deal with constant judgement and brutality that bloggers are perpetually subjected to. And I would be not exaggerating a cent if I admitted that most of the brutality came from people who knew me (well or not is a different matter) in person. I was dealing with my own demons already and this added burden did not help. I was driven to a point when I started to question my decision to blog. Nothing good seemed to be coming out of it, in fact things were only going south- not many followers on the blog, not much remuneration and definitely no peace of mind! Then why was I doing what I was doing? Now, as with most things in my life, by some cosmic intervention, a few things happened almost at the same time:

  1. I was recommended a book on Goodreads and started reading it. It was called the Power of Subconscious Mind
  2. A friend who had just completed some sessions, happened to speak about her therapist to me
  3. And most importantly in one of the rare moments of optimism I reminded myself why had I started a blog in the first place – for the pure love and joy of sharing !

Together the above three helped a great deal to pull myself together and bring my mind and soul to a safe place. And gave me tools to deal with constant judgment, one of the most important being- People’s opinion of you is reflection of their character (and life experiences) and not yours. So, every time I am faced with opinions and unkind remarks I just remind myself of this. I stay true to myself and focus on my goal, no matter what 🙂

Why am I sharing all this with you when I should be focussing on more important matters like the recipe for Litti-Chokha? Well! First things first, blogging or not, we all go through significant ups and downs in life and not all of us are infused with copious amounts of endorphins to deal with these ebbs and flows and take it all in our stride easily. And many of us find ourselves at sea and overwhelmed to say the least, dealing with these. So, since my job is to share I  took the liberty to share the above with you, things that worked for me and helped me cope and sincerely hope that at least one if not all of these help you too. Do remember that no matter how much love of family and friends you are surrounded with, there is nothing more important and effective than self love . So, be it seeing a therapist , taking a few hours every day to be with yourself or just reading a self help book, take the plunge, without any guilt or second thought. We all need constant reminders- one cannot pour from an empty vessel!

Coming back to the recipe, there are four parts to it- making the litti, baingan bharta(eggplant mash), aloo bharta (mashed potatoes) and tomato chutney. While together it might sound a lot of work and very overwhelming but honestly, when you start putting it together you would realise it really isn’t all that hard. Just a little bit of planning and patience goes a long way. A few tips:

  1. Littis: Litti-Chickpea flour stuffed whole wheat dumplingThey are not supposed to be soft and crumbly so do not be disjointed when they come out of the oven hard. Of course if you would like them to be soft and crumbly , double the amount of ghee while kneading the dough. Best way to enjoy them-piping hot, using two hands to break them and then dunk in some melted ghee and mixed with the bharta/chutney. As far as the litti stuffing is concerned , traditionally only some oil, lime juice and salt was added but now you may find various takes on the stuffing and here I am sharing the one we enjoy as a family
  2. Baingan Bharta:Eggplant/Aubergine Mash(perfect accompaniment with Littis and parathas)Whether you roast it on an open flame or on an iron tawa placed on an open flame, do slit them half way in the centre (not all the way to the end splitting it into two) and insert 6-8 pods of garlic within. The garlic roasts with the baingan and can later be used for flavouring both the bhartas and chutney. Yumm!!
  3. Aloo Bharta:Mashed and spiced potatoes/Aloo Bharta You can boil potatoes in a pressure cooker and then further roast in a preheated oven for 5-10 minutes to add that smoky flavour. It would taste great both ways
  4. Tamatar Chutney:Tomato/Tamatar Chutney-Perfect accompaniment with litti Chokha Skin of roasted tomatoes can be peeled, tomatoes chopped roughly and then mixed with other ingredients of the chutney using a fork or blended together. It just changes the consistency, former is lumpy and latter is liquid but it doesn’t effect the taste.

With my pro-tips up your sleeves, you are sure to rock this recipe 🙂

Litti-Chokha (Chickpea flour stuffed Dumplings with Aubergine Mash)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 100

Serving Size: 3-4

Ingredients

    For Litti Dough
  • Whole wheat flour- 2 cups
  • Ghee- 1.5 tbsp
  • Salt- 1.5 tsp or to taste
  • Water- 1 cup approx (to knead the dough)
  • For Litti Stuffing
  • Sattu (roasted gram flour)- 1 cup
  • Ajwain (carom seeds)- 1/2 tsp
  • Saunf ( fennel seeds)- 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 2 tsps
  • Onion, finely chopped- 1.5 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped- 1.5 tbsp
  • Mustard Oil ( or oil from homemade mango or red chilli pickle)- 2 tsps
  • Finely Chopped Ginger- 1 tsp
  • Finely Chopped Garlic- 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp or as per taste
  • Water- 2 tbsp approx to bring the stuffing together
  • For Baingan Chokha/Bharta
  • Baingan -1 (large variety)
  • Garlic pods roasted - 2-3
  • Green chilies roasted- 1-2 or as per heat level desired
  • Mustard oil- 1 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
  • Salt-1.5 tsp or as per taste
  • For Aaloo Chokha
  • Medium sized potatoes- 2
  • Green chilies roasted- 1-2 or as per heat level desired
  • Finely chopped onions -1.5 tbsp
  • Mustard oil- 1 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
  • Salt-1.5 tsp or as per taste
  • For Tomato Chutney
  • Medium sized tomatoes- 2
  • Garlic pods roasted - 2
  • Green chilies roasted- 1-2 or as per heat level desired
  • Mustard oil- 1 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
  • Salt-1.5 tsp or as per taste

Instructions

    Making Litti Dough
  1. In a deep and wide mixing bowl,place all ingredients; do not add water yet
  2. Between the palm of your hands rub the flour-salt-ghee mix for 5-7 minutes
  3. Then add little water and combine the dough; add water gradually to make sure the dough is of right consistency- soft and pliable and not very hard. Cover and keep aside
  4. Preparing Litti Stuffing
  5. In another deep bowl bring all the stuffing ingredients, except water together and mix well with your hands
  6. Add 1 tbsp water and mix well. The mixture should not be too dry but also not very wet, just sightly clumpy. You can test it by pinching some mixture between your fingers and if it almost holds shape it is good to go; add some more water if its very dry and powdery
  7. Rolling,Stuffing and Baking Litti
  8. Pull out a small ball of dough and roll between your palms as you would when making rotis
  9. Then roll out these balls to make almost a 4-6 inch roti, then place about 2 tbsps of the stuffing mixture in the centre
  10. Seal the edges by bringing them in the centre and pressing together
  11. Then gently roll them between your palms to make a ball
  12. Proceed similarly for the remaining dough
  13. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil
  14. Place the stuffed littis on the tray and brush them all over with ghee
  15. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the exterior is slightly charred and baked well
  16. Also, halfway through the process , flip the littis over for even baking; brush them again with some more ghee
  17. Making Baingan Chokha
  18. Slit the baingan/eggplant halfway (and not all the way till the end), press 6-8 garlic pods inside and roast on open flame or an iron tawa placed on the flame till the exteriors are charred and black and the white inside is cooked through;keep turning the eggplant while roasting so it is evenly done
  19. Roast 4-6 green chilies alongside
  20. Then peel off the skin, remove the stem and pull out the garlic pods
  21. Peel the garlic pods and keep aside
  22. In a bowl mash together two garlic pods, roasted green chilies as per taste, mustard oil, salt and roasted eggplant using a fork until well combined
  23. Garnish with chopped coriander
  24. Making Aaloo Chokha
  25. Boil potatoes in a pressure cooker until done
  26. Roast these boiled potatoes over flame on an iron tawa or in an oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes; you can also skip the roasting step if you are pressed for time
  27. In a bowl mash together roasted green chilies as per taste, mustard oil, salt and boiled/roasted potatoes
  28. Garnish with chopped coriander
  29. Making Tamatar Chutney
  30. Poke holes into tomatoes and roast on an iron tawa , turning sides till the skin is nice and charred and tomatoes cooked through
  31. Peel the skin, chop into cubes and mix well with the remaining ingredients using a fork or you could blend all ingredients except the coriander to make a more homogeneous thick liquid
  32. Garnish with coriander
  33. Serve hot littis with a side of ghee, chokhas and chutney. Winter is truly incomplete without this meal!
https://onewholesomemeal.com/litti-chokha-chickpea-flour-stuffed-dumplings-with-aubergine-mash-with-my-pro-tips-up-your-sleeves-you-are-sure-to-rock-this-recipe/

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