Our house is a huge accomodating place built by my father-in-law. I have heard that he used to ride his bicycle and water the bricks and cement walls every evening after his work in a college. He has taken pains to build his dream. This dreamland has been visited by huge number of relatives during loads of ceremonies till date. Four huge rooms and a large kitchen makes it possible to accomodate atleast 70 people in the house at a time. It has an porch(angan) in front where a little rangoli adorns the doorstep. My mother-in-law a retired headmistress now makes sure that a fresh rangoli is made every morning after she splashes the angan with water early in the morning.The backyard is huge too. It has a number of trees and perenial plants. A retired professor now, my father-in-law enjoys his post retirement days with my mum-in-law at this place. To their company is a family who stay at the backyard. They have a little kitchen by the wall in the back yard. Whenever I visit my in-laws and work in the kitchen, I get a view of the lady cooking in the backyard. It is amazing how she manages with the minimum resources. Every visit to this place, she makes sure that we dine at there place. Her dinner is simple, humble serving of bhakri and thecha.
Bhakri is a humble bread for any marathi person. Whether the person toils in the farms or is busy in any madding crowd of a Maharastrian city, bhakri plays a major role. I did not enjoy Bhakri a lot before I got married. Then came a visit to Jalna, a town which has the touch of any village in Marathwada.
I was invited by this family after my first visit to their place. I watched in awe the way the bhakri dough was kneaded and then patted in a paraat( a flat and round vessel for kneading dough for Indian bread).It was then roasted on the tawa(pan) first and then in her chul. Chul is a clay oven, lit with wood and (gowrya)dried cow dung.
This bhakri she served with freshly prepared green chillies thecha(crushed green chillies). I love bhakris a lot now. I have posted a few photographs that I had clicked during my last visit 2.5 years ago.
1 cup of jowar flour
Some jowar flour for patting and dusting
Luke warm water to knead
Knead the flour to form a soft dough. Make two small balls of this dough and keep aside. Heat a pan. Wet your palms with water,shape well the ball and then flatten it.Spread dry flour in a large flat plate place the falttened dough onto it. Apply flour on one palm and gently pat and turn the dough in a circular fashion to flatten it. This will avoid the bhakri from sticking to the plate. When the bhakri is flattened and ready, flip and lift it and place it on tawa on the side that was flattened. Lower the heat and take some water in hand. Spread the water over the full surface of upper side of bhakri.Raise the heat to normal. When this water starts drying, flip the bhakri to cook the other side. After a while, the bhakri develops brownish spots. This is the time when you move the tawa from the heat and cook the bhakri directly on the flames. If the bhakri is still uncooked, place it on the tawa and roast till done. I was lucky to have couple of bhakris puff in a batch of 4:))))
Tips:Always use lukewarm water to knead and knead really well. I prefer kneading a dough for 2 bhakris at a time or else the whole dough dries off!!
While your tawa is hot, place 100 gms green chillies, a bulb of cleaned garlic. Place it on the hot tawa and crush it. Add 1 tablespoon of oil,salt to taste and chopped coriander(if you wish, the family did not have coriander to add). Crush it really well to get a coarse mix.
Relish your bhakris with this fresh, hot thecha!!!
This is my contribution to the event in my blog Village special.