Thursday, 3 April 2014

Kuttu ke Aate ki poori - Buckwheat flour Puri

I am not a fasting person at all, but I love all the food which is being prepared during this time anyhow. Buckwheat Or Kuttu Flour is consumed usually in northern parts of India during the 9 auspicious days of Navaratri every year. During this time, people tend to give up having grains (rice/wheat/Lentils etc.)  for one week to worship Goddess Durga . The idea is to learn and  praise the importance of grains that we eat every day, and thus to pay their respect, people eat anything other than grains. Since most of the breads are made up of grains’ flours,  several other kinds of flours are being used to prepare breads like Buckwheat, Chestnut, Amaranth etc. Out of all these, Buckwheat is my favourite because of its nutty and earthy flavour.

What is buckwheat flour?
With its non-wheat status, buckwheat is safely a gluten-free seed. Buckwheat and wheat are, come to find out, actually from completely different botanical families. Derived from the seeds of a flowering plant, buckwheat is not considered a grain or a cereal. Buckwheat, in all of its gluten-free glory, is actually closely related to rhubarb. In addition, it is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. Some health benefits of Buckwheat are listed below:

  • Best source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins: This makes it an excellent meat substitute.
  • The high level of rutin is extracted from the leaves for medicine to treat high blood pressure.
  • Non allergenic: Buckwheat hulls are used as pillow stuffing for those allergic to feathers, dust, and pollen.
  • May help diabetes: Buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes
  • Great for the digestion: “The properties of buckwheat are: Neutral thermal nature; sweet flavour; cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. Is effective for treating dysentery and chronic diarrhoea.” 
  • Chemical free: Buckwheat grows so quickly that it does not usually require a lot of pesticides or other chemicals to grow well.
  • Buckwheat is a warming food: It is classified by macrobiotics as a yang food. It is great for eating in the cold winter months.
  • It is gluten free and can be used as a good alternative to wheat and other grains. 






Since Buckwheat Flour is gluten free, it does not bind to make sticky smooth dough. You may use mashed boiled potato or boiled taro root (Arbi) as binding agent,  or both together in the same recipe. Depends on your taste and availability, I have only used potatoes here. The method to make kuttu ki Poori is similar to rolling out  makki ki roti, both being non-starchy flours. Adding the starch in the form of potatoes or taro root makes these poori heartier and filling.

Apart from making Poori/ Chapathi or Parathas, this flour can also be used in making of aalu Pakoda. I am hoping very soon I will make these and post the recipe on the blog. We dont need fasting days to have goodies, do we ? :)




What you need?
  • 2 cups Buckwheat flour ( Kuttu ka aata )
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves ( chopped fine )
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1-2 green chilies, fine chopped or minced
  • A pinch of Black salt
  • 1 tsp Salt ( Rock salt for fasting purpose )
  • Oil for frying the Poori 





How to make?
  • Boil the potato till its overly cooked, and then peel it while its still warm ( not hot, just warm ). Mash it well, without a trace of solid left in that.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients except oil and bring everything together gently. Add little water at a time ( around 1 tbsp ) and knead to make a firm dough. Do not make it too soft or moist, else it will break while rolling . No need to keep aside, instead use immediately.
  • Meanwhile, keep the oil ready for frying heated on a medium flame  and then start rolling these Pooris as method explained below 

  • Pinch a small dough ball and place on a flour dusted Board. Gently tap it with slight pressure from you palm and fingers to flatten it in a rough shape. 
  • Cut the round shape out using a cookie cutter ( or just a sharp edged bowl or cap/ lid ). Its not only done to give a nice shape and look, but also prevents the poori to break while frying. 
  • While lifting, if it sticks to the board then use flat spatula. Never lift it using hand or it will break into crumbs 

  • Place this Puri gently in the hot oil to sizzle and fry tapping gently with the ladle. Once done from one side , flip and let the other side cook. Don’t overcook it or it will burn, one poori usually takes 1- 1 ½ minutes to get fried at the right temperature of oil
  • Drain on a paper towel and prepare all the Pooris this way.
  • Crunchy, crispy pooris ready. Serve them with any side dish of your choice, usually served with Dahi aalu or Ras waale aalu tamatar





My notes and some tips:
  • if this method of rolling on a floured surface doesn't work for you, you may also use a moist cheese cloth/ muslin cloth or just a clean cotton cloth. A lightly oiled plastic zip lock bag or simply plastic sheet can also be used to roll these pooris. its really hit and trial, just use the method you prefer. 
  • Since Buckwheat generates heat in the body (and esp. given the level of heat and humidity in India), it would be advisable to pair it with Yogurt. So you may serve the complete combo of Kuttu poori, with aalu tamatar and a raita of your choice
  • You can also prepare  Kutti ki Roti or Paratha using the same method. For making rotis, you roll it slightly thin and for making parathas  it’s a tad bit thicker.
  • You can also use a mix of kuttu ka atta and singhare ka atta to make these  Pooris. They taste delicious too
  • Kuttu ki Poori can be served with many other fasting Sabzis, like  dahi aloo, arbi masala. dahi arbi, vrat wale aloo or kaddu ki sabzi. I should be posting the recipes of these very soon and update this post.
  • If you are not preparing these  just for fasting purpose, you may play a little with the spices. like I added a pinch of turmeric and carom seeds as well in the dough to make it more appetising and it has also given this a nice colour. 



Some more Navratri recipes: 

Banana halwa : Kele ka Halwa 
Potato Halwa : Aalu ka  halw
Sabudana Khichdi
Batata chi bhaji - Maharashtrian style Potato sabzi 
Ras wale Aalu tamatar ki sabzi 


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