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Litti - Chokha

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Contributed by:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Housewife
Chennai

Litti Chokha

Ingredients

Ghee - 1/2 cup

For Litti dough
Whole wheat Atta - 2 and 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp or as desired
Mustard oil - 5 tbsp (as shortening)
Water - 1 cup (approximately)

For Litti filling
Sattu (roasted chana dal flour) - 2 and 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil - 2 and 1/2 tbsp
Ajwain - 1 tsp
Mangaraila (Kalonji) - 1 tsp
Onion (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Garlic (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2 (minced)
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 2 tbsp (optional)
Stuffed red chilli pickle - 1 (optional)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp (or as desired)
Water (for moistening the filling) - 1/2 to 1 cup as required

For Brinjal chokha
Round brinjal - 2
Salt - 1 tsp or as desired
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Dry red chilli - 2 large or as desired

For Tomato chokha
Ripe tomatoes - 3 (large)
Salt - 1 tsp or as desired
Mustard oil - 2 tsp
Onion (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Green chilli - 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp (optional)

For Aaloo chokha
Potato - 2 medium
Salt - 1/2 tsp or as desired
Mustard oil - 2 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1 large or as desired

Method of Preparation

Litti

1. Mix mustard oil and salt with atta, thoroughly. Add water as required to prepare
    a poori like dough. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
2. Mince the red chilli pickle and add all the ingredients of the filling, except water.
    Mix thoroughly, sprinkle some water and mix to get a moist crumbly filling.
3. Knead the dough again and divide into 16 parts. Make smooth balls with each part,
    shape into a bowl of uniform thickness of 2 mm.
4. Fill 2-3 tsp of the filling and form the litti by closing its mouth and making near round balls.
    Some people like to roll out a thick poori and then fill sattu. Both the methods are fine.
5. Fill all the littis and let stand for 10 minutes.
6. Preheat Tandoor for 5-7 minutes. Place the littis on the tray and bake till you see
    brown patches on the surface.
7. Switch off the tandoor and leave the littis inside for 7-10 minutes.
8. Take out the baked littis in a large deep bowl. Add 3-4 tsp of ghee on top and
    mix with a wooden spatula, so that all the liitis are coated with ghee.
9. While serving, press the littis from top with your thumb to break them. Pour 1/2-1 tsp ghee
    into each litti and serve hot with Chokha(s).

Chokhas

1. Put 1or 2 gashes in the brinjals & tomatoes. Cut potatoes into half.
2. Place the vegetables on a grid and roast them over high flame.
3. Peel the burnt skin, mash the vegetables separately and mix the other ingredients
    as indicated above, except red chillies.
4. Roast the red chillies over fire, mince and mix with the brinjal and potato chokhas.

Notes & Tips

1. As you may have observed, there is a lot of mustard oil, ghee and chillies used in this dish. You may like to cut down on these as per your taste or from the health point of view. The taste and crunchiness of littis, however, will get marred in that case.

2. This is a typical winter food, eaten in the villages of north Bihar (esp. in the bhojpuri speaking areas). This may be one of the reasons of using so much of mustard oil and ghee, as these fats are supposed to keep our body warm in winters, as per Ayurveda.

3. Traditionally Littis are made in cow-dung fire. But I make them in electric tandoor with excellent results.

4. Many people like to eat brinjal, tomato and aaloo chokhas mixed together.