If I make a list of my favourite weekend breakfast items, Rajasthani Baati would find its place in the top 5. Yes, Paratha and then poori are and will always be closest to my heart (dramatic notion!) but then baati is definitely a healthier alternative than the two. And no less in taste.
There are several versions of baati, Rajasthani and Bihari being the most popular among all. Bati in Bihar/Eastern U.P. is sometimes called litti as well and is eaten with chokha (mashed brinjal and potato) and dal. Sometimes also filled with Sattu, these are a very nutritious and frugal meal. Recipe for Litti chokha HERE
There is another version which is popular in the Brij area of U.P. (Agra, Mathura, Firozabad etc.) and is very different in taste and texture. It is deep fried and then served with dal, mostly as breakfast or mid-day snack. I love this version but don’t make it quite often because, you know fried in oil = loads of fat on belly.
Then there is Rajasthani baati, which is a staple on Rajasthani platter. Served with panchmel daal and choorma, this makes an excellent meal. Baatis are small, round pieces of whole wheat dough, which are broiled traditionally in “tandoor” or in clay ovens to get a crispy texture. They are so tasty, I am salivating while writing this and craving to have right this moment.
Rajasthani dishes carry a different flavor and a rich history. The cooking and the dishes have been deeply influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred.
This stuffed version of Masala baati is not that popular in restaurants of Rajasthan but is made quite often in households. From what I have heard, I think its only popular in a few areas and not in the entire state. And there must be some variations as well depending on the regional preferences.
The recipe below is from one of my friends, who is not a Rajasthani per se but have lived in the state for quite long. She makes it two ways – by boiling the baatis first and then baking OR without boiling the baatis at all, and straight to oven. I have had both the versions at her place and then decided that my favourite one was the pre-boiled one. Although both tasted quite same, somehow I felt that the pre-boiled baatis were cooked thoroughly and they take less time while baking part.
Below, I have given both the versions. You may take your pick.
Since this is a stuffed bread, you don’t really need any accomplishments with it and a dollop of Ghee on top would do a superb job. but I had served these here with daal, just to make the meal complete. You may serve it with fresh yogurt, raita of some kind or pickles.
What you need?
For the baati:
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup Semolina (Rava/Sooji)
- ½ cup yogurt, beaten or whisked
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp salt OR to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric, cumin powder each
- ½- 1 cup warm water, as per requirement
For the stuffing:
- 1 ½ cup green peas, thawed if frozen
- 1 large onion, chopped very fine
- 1 tsp Panch phoran Masala
- 2 green chilies, chopped v fine
- 1 tsp salt OR to taste
- ½ tsp garam masala, dry mango powder,
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander powder, red chili powder each
- 1 tbsp Oil
How to make?
Mix together the flour, semolina, yogurt, spices and ginger-garlic paste. Knead into a semi-hard dough using just enough water. Keep aside for 20-30 min covered with wet muslin cloth.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, tip in cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add chopped onion and green chilies and fry till the oni0on turns light pink in colour. Add in green peas and all the spices, mix well and cook till the green peas get cooked properly. Stir frequently in between and add in a few drops of water if the masala gets very dry. Note that the mixture should not be watery at all, and that all the moisture should have been absorbed by the peas. Allow the mixture to come a room temperature before proceeding further.
Now, divide the dough into 8-10 equal sized balls. Flatten the dough ball between your palms and spoon in a portion of green peas stuffing inside. Bring together all the sides, seal it tightly and remove any excess dough. Flatten the rounds lightly and keep aside. Prepare all the baatis like this and keep ready.
Boil plenty of water in a deep non-stick pan, add all the baatis into the boiling water and cook on a high flame for 15 minutes, while gently stirring occasionally. Drain and keep aside to cool down a bit.
Meanwhile, keep the oven ready for baking at 200 degrees. Place all the pre-boiled baatis on a greased baking sheet and keep on the middle-top shelf of the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, turning them every 15 minutes for even cooking. Depending on the settings and type of your oven, the baatis would take a maximum of 1 hour to be cooked properly.
At the end, baatis will be crispy and hard from the outside, but soft and dough-y from the inside. To serve- break a bati from top applying some pressure with your palm or a spatula. Drizzle some melted ghee on top and serve hot.
You need to plan ahead to make these baatis else it looks like a lot of work and time gone into the making. I usually knead the dough early morning and keep the peas stuffing ready. Then while I am finishing other chores of the house or my blog, the baatis get boiled and then baked. And by the time its time for breakfast, everything is ready., you may even wish to knead the dough and prepare the peas masala a night before so you have less to do in the morning. (Obviously, I have safely assumed you are going to make it for breakfast here)
If you don’t want to boil the baatis- no problem! But just make smaller baatis then since it will take longer to get them cooked properly. And you may flatten them rather than the round shape so that will also help in cooking faster.
You may also fry these baatis after boiling, instead of baking. That gives another flavour altogether. But then again, you know, fried in oil = loads of fat on belly equation.
Check out the original Rajasthani baati here:->
Sharing with Srivalli’s “Come join us for Breakfast” event