Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Guvar/Gavar Bajra Dhokli nu Saak - Cluster Beans with Spicy Millet flour dumplings #Gujaratisaak #Dhokli #Delicious #kemcho #nowonmyblog #jcookingodyssey

Guvar Dhokli nu Saak , is delectable , robust and authentic recipe which is quite popular in Gujarati community. This recipe hails from the region of Saurashtra aka Kathiyawad too. It's main course dish made of spicy flour dumplings ( Dhokli ) cooked with Cluster beans. In this recipe flour dumplings are made of wheat flour and this dish can be made in jiffy , if preparation done early.

This recipe stands out as you can have as main course with Rice, Roti or paratha or if you are like me just have it on it's own ,  the way you devour Daal Dhokli, with plenty of colourful salad. satisfies your taste buds to give a senses of spicy and sweet fulfilling and earthy flavoured dish.

As a foodie and food blogger, I always experiment with traditional dishes, maybe I would add one new ingredient or omit one. It's always trial and error and with that I have had many disappointments and successes too.

This time I chose Guvar Dhokli nu Saak to experiment with, not a major one, but I knew that maybe this experiment can ruin my dish as we all are more than happy with the traditional recipe. Generally, for this saak/Shaak, dhoklis are made with wheat and chick pea flour. I added Bajra ( Millet ) flour and finely chopped spinach in dhokli dough.

Results was fruitful, not just me and husband enjoyed it but our sunny boy had second helpings too and that too without Roti or Rice, but with plenty of colourful salad. There were three happy tummies :)

Notes :-
For this recipe get tender cluster beans.
Instead of spinach, you can use finely chopped coriander leaves.

You will need :- Gravy

  • 250 g tender cluster beans ( Guvar ) cut into small size
  • 4-5 tbsp. oil 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds ( Rai )
  • 1/4 tsp. Carom seeds ( Ajwain )
  • Pinch hing
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin and coriander ( dhana jeeru )
  • 1 tbsp. Jaggery ( Gor )
You will need :- Dhokli
  • 1/2 cup bajri atta ( Millet flour )
  • 1/4 cup Roti atta ( wheat flour )
  • 2 tbsp. besan ( Chick pea flour )
  • 1/4 cup cleaned finely chopped spinach 
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Carom seeds ( Ajwain )

Method :- Dhokli
In a big bowl add all the dhokli ingredients and add very little water at a time and knead stiff dough.
Now make very small balls ( marble size ) from the dough, then press them slightly to make round and flat dhokli.
Once all the dhoklis are made, cover with the clean cloth and leave it aside.
To preapare guvar gravy, heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
Once they crackle, add ajwain and hing.
Then add washed cluster beans and cook for few seconds.
Add 2 cups of water and add ginger garlic paste and all the masala and salt.
Do not cover the kadai, and let the cluster beans cook for 7-8 minutes.
Add pressed dhokli one by one, add little water if needed.
Cover the kadai with the lid and cook Guvar Dhokli until done.
It will take another 8-10 minutes.
Add jaggery and cook further one minute.
Turn off the heat and garnish it with the fresh coriander.
Serve as a main course with the roti, rice and salad or have it on it's own.
Enjoy !!!

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Keri No Murabbo or Murabba - Gujarati style Raw Mango Preserve or Relish #indianpickle #summerpickling #mangomania #nowonmyblog #jcookingodyssey #kerinomurabbo #Gujaratipickle

Keri No Murabbo , more than a pickle it's like a preserve or you may call it Relish or Jam if you like. Made with just few ingredients but taste awesome. Tart raw mangos cooked with sugar syrup and flavoured with whole aromatic and golden spices such as Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon and Saffron.
It has this unique taste, it's delicious and yummy ! If you have sweet tooth, definitely you will die for it.  I am falling short of words to describe this aromatic and heavenly Keri No Murabbo. It's Mango after all !!!

Perhaps nearly every culture in the world has a tradition of preserves and pickles of varying produces from season to season. And in India every household stocks up their pickles throughout every season, like root vegetable pickles are made during winter, spring and early summers are suitable for chillies and scorching summers are best for lime, lemon and obviously Mango !!!

And right now, pickling season in India is in full swing, for many, pickling season is not just making pickles but it is given such importance as celebrating any festival and in many households it is an annual ritual that is still treated with ceremony it rightly deserves.

Pickling techniques and finished products might vary from region to region, but they have their one Mantra which is common that is loud and clear that 'No Indian meal complete without a smidgen of pickle'.

Once or twice I was served with more than half a dozen type of pickles in Gujarati thali few decades ago at relatives house in Kathiyawad ( Saurashtra region ). Lol, I was going to faint , quickly I gathered some courage and asked them nicely to remove those pickles except Keri No Murabbo as I wasn't used to eating so many pickle at the same time, still I don't have any soft spots for pickles either.

Frankly speaking I have a different opinion about Pickles, I know right now many of you raising your eye brows but I personally think that if your plate is already full of daals and curries and if they are tasty enough then what is the need for Pickle ? I would only eat pickle with plain khichdi , puri or thepla. I find pickles too strong with other spicy food, I might just fit Keri No Murabbo or Keri No Chundo ( recipe coming soon ) in my meals as these are not as strong as other pickles and it suits my palate.

So, there is me try to avoid pickles, and there is a daughter whom doesn't want to hear the name of any pickle, how on earth I've manage to prepare Keri No Murabbo and now posting it's recipe on the blog ! Well, boys of the house love to relish Murabbo, not always but sometimes and recently on my last trip to Asian grocery store, I smelt and saw this very fresh, firm and aromatic RajaPuri mangos that were just brought on the shelves by the shop assistant and I could not stop myself reaching out for it and grabbed couple of them without thinking what I will do with it.

While driven home by husband, I asked my husband when did we had Keri No Murabbo last ? He was so shocked to hear the word ' Keri No Murrabo' and I prepared same evening as I thought it must've been ages that I have prepared this delicacy.


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Keri No Murabbo
Delicious and yummy Gujarati style Raw mango Preserve or Relish.
  • 500 g Raw Rajapuri Mango grated
  • 1 kg Sugar
  • Big pinch of saffron threads
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • small piece Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Cardamom powder
Try to squeeze as much as water from the grated mango.
In squeezed water soak saffron threads.
In stainless steel pan combine grated mango and sugar.
Mix very well.
Put the pan on low heat and cook the mixture.
Continuously keep stirring. 
First the mango mixture will get watery as sugar dissolves. 
After few minutes, you will see again mixture getting thicker as sugar syrup is thickening.
You need consistency of 2 thread chasni ( syrup )once you achieve that, add saffron soaked water and turn off the heat. 
Add other spices and remove from the stove.
Let it cool completely.Once cool down, store in sterile jar.
Keep it in a cool but dry place ( not in the refrigerator ) 
Use it when desired.
Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 small jar

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Product Review - Lifefactory Flip Cap Glass bottles #lifefactory #glassbottles #healthyliving #formahouse #productreview

Water is essential and powerful element of our life and the presence of water brings smiles and sigh of relief. Yes, sigh of relief, I have lived in India , so who knows better than me about water , how to save water and be eco-friendly. Because of water life exists on this earth, life thrives because of water, without water we would perish.

Water brings prosperity, peace and harmony in our lives !!

And  that is why in the past one of the late legendary music director and lyricist of India,  wrote this

"Jal Jo Na Hota, To Ye Jag Jata Jal" 

What a beautiful inspirational line it is..

"Had water not exists , this world would have come to an end"

Water is all around us, actually water is in us, water makes up about two third who we are, and it shows it's 100% influences in our bodies, and probably explains why we feel better after drinking enough of it, water helps us to stay healthy, it could aid weight loss , improves our moods and it energizes us.

In another words Water Makes You Awesome !!!

In my family, we don't take any pride stocking up any sugar loaded soft drinks, or any weird combinations of iced tea , cocktails or squash. Whatever the weather, everyone in the family is content with fresh glass of water , during the day or after the meal. We are into habits of when we step out of the house at least one plastic water bottle is always accompanying us. During the day we can miss our tea or coffee break, but not water break, believe it or not years ago I used to set an alarm as a reminder during different times a day  :)  

Great people from Formahouse  asked me if I would like to review 'New to the UK for 2016' hydrations bottles from Lifefactory . How on earth I would decline, the words like water, hydration and healthy living keeps me going, quickly I checked out the details, product I never seen or heard about it, and in few days it was delivered to my home. They were kind to send me 22 oz (650 ml) glass bottle with the flip cap in Grass Green colour.

Lifefactory glass bottles are made for health and eco - minded families ( adults ) especially for those who are looking for something to take with them while on the go. Lifefactory products and their on the go glass water bottles are american brand and now available the UK too.

These bottles are made for healthy living, especially when every now and then you come a cross news and articles where researchers advice to avoid drinking from harmful plastic bottles, and one would also think about reducing plastic bottles for environment issues.  While we are getting more and more concious about these issues, better to make a small changes in life. So rather than just picking up a plastic bottle from the package, why don't we look for a solution. which is better for us and our environment, as we call ourselves the new generation !! 

Lifefactory glass bottles are made responsibly ,uncompromisingly and made with healthy materials. These striking glass bottles are BPA/BPS free and all the components are made with high standard in US and Europe. These glass bottles are reusable, also the  taste of the contents does not change and it is cleaned easily in the dishwasher.

One might be reluctant to use glass bottle while on the go, not to worry as the distinctive silicone sleeve also provides a non slip gripping surface and helps against breakage which are also made from BPA/BPS free.

The pivoting handle provides a great and easy way to carry the bottle and the flip cap provides a great comfort while you sip the water on the go. The flap top , caps ,lids and straws are made with medical-grade silicon so you are at ease. Although this bottle is with flip cap and straw cap too, wide mouth access make it easy to add ice or fresh fruit and cleaning is made easy.

Yes, even I thought that too, glass bottle and that being filled with water, how on earth I would carry with other shopping bags, clever people at Lifefactory given us the solution for that too, the very strong handle can be clipped to the bags. so no need to worry about the weight of the glass bottle.

Since I got my hands on this bottle, I've been using it continuously and loving it, I take it with me while I go for my morning walks, shopping and even in the house while watching TV or surfing the net instead of using a glass, I have been using this bottle, you know why just in case small accident happens, water don't spill out as cap is locked :)

Thank you Formahouse for sending me Lifefacotry glass bottle for review. I am looking forward to try my hands on their Mug with cafe Cap and 4 cup glass food storage .

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Friday, 22 April 2016

Kesar Pista Ice cream - Eggless ! Saffron and Pistachio Ice Cream #frozendessert #egglessicecream #eggless #nowonmyblog #kesarpista #jcookingodyssey#beattheheat

Kesar Pista Ice Cream, it's classic and one might say it's an ancient item and I believe it's perfectly even fit for the Gods, if he is watching you having it, even he might get jealous of you :) ! Kesar Pista, the 'King of the Flavours' in Indian desserts.  Truly delicious, taste buds-teasing, rich yet very light and has beautiful and aromatic flavours of saffron and pistachio in it. It is so yummy and addictive, one might help themselves for seconds :) after all it's frozen ambrosia !!!

There are plenty of foods along with Kesar Pista Ice Cream, that I don't think about ever that has got erased from my childhood memories, Kesar Pista Ice Cream , connects to me with my happy childhood, and the very thought of this food makes me so nostalgic that my heart, mind and taste buds that literally craves for it.

Kulfi, Ganne ka ras (Sugar cane Juice ), Baraf ka Gola ( Shaved ice with flavoured sugar syrup ) are such a food that make me go back to the yesteryears. We siblings would wait for the scorching day to be passed, so in the evening after dinner we could go out for a walk to get fresh and cool air with parents and buy any of the above item. Almost every day we can have Ganne ka ras or Baraf ka Gola which was cheaper and once a week dad would buy us ice cream.

We would sit and decide which flavour we would like to have, and without fail I would have Vadilal Kesar Pista or Kaju Draksh ( cashew and raisins ) , somehow chocobar , butterscotch or Rajbhog didn't appeal to me much, it could be the high price !! Then me and my brother would rush to the Ice cream parlour and hurried quickly and then we would blissfully lick this throat cooling, soft and smooth yummy ice cream to our heart content !

One of the most things I was missing after settling in the UK, that was Kesar Pista ice cream, There are hundreds of flavoured ice creams available here, actually now many have become my favourite too, but none of them compensate Kesar Pista Ice cream. It is available easily, but taste no way near to,what I used to eat in India, my family couldn't understand why I was making so much fuss particular over this flavour until our daughter ate this ice cream in India when we visited, and almost she got hooked that we repeated the same until we came back :)

 After we came back from India in 2012, in the next summer she asked me if I can make Kesar Pista Ice Cream, although she is crazy for Cookies N Cream and can make it herself without me knowing she can churn that ice cream any time :) When she asked, I was more than happy to churn this sinful dessert.

Kesar Pista Ice Cream turned out so well, so smooth and soft, first batch was vanished by family without saying a word, yes my family won't say a word when they are fully enjoying their meal, after finishing the bowl full of ice cream verdicts came ' Can we have More please ?' Mum, I thought I was transported back to India, and having some royal treats,  this ice cream even beat the one which we had in India about the one you were raving about it , you nailed it, daughter said, and similar praises followed by the husband and son, and I felt elated as surely I thought I won accolades :)

BTW, next day once again I prepared a fresh batch of this ice cream, and literally guarded it until I quickly took few pictures of it , as it was quite warm day and this ice cream wanted to become milk shake :). We thoroughly enjoyed this time with Pistachio studded wafer Cones :)

These pictures were taken in summer 2013 :)))

In many parts of the world summers are at peak, and nothing beats the heat especially for kids than doses of ice cream. Home made ice creams proves it's freshness and shows what kind of efforts you are putting.  My all home made ice creams, Dulce de leche Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream are pure vegetarian, without eggs or even custard or corn powder. I make ice cream with minimum good quality ingredients and small fresh batches every time with very easy method.

So hey guys, if you haven't tried this flavoured ice cream or have tried but never made at home. now it's a right time. Keep yourself and family too cool and earn those brownie points from your loved ones try this, an ultimate and perfect summer treat and yes, let's beat the heat together, however in our neck of the woods yet we have to see warmer days !!

Life is like an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts !! Enjoy it now :) 

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Kesar Pista Ice Cream
Saffron and Pistachio flavoured Ice Cream, on every bite , feels like heaven is on Earth !!!

  • 2 cup Double Cream chilled
  • 1 cup Full fat milk Chilled
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • generous pinch of Saffron
  • 3-4 tbsp. Pistachio finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Saffron and Pistachio to garnish
  • small pinch Cardamom powder
Freeze the freezer ice cream bowl as per manufacturer's instruction.
Combine milk, sugar and saffron in a one bowl and whisk until sugar dissolves.
Then add double cream and gently mix everything.
Place freezer bowl into ice cream machine and add cardamom powder and Pistachios into liquid.
Turn the machine on and transfer liquid into the ice cream maker and follow according to manufacturer's instructions. 
My ice cream maker produces soft finish, so for firmer texture I freeze the ice cream mixture into airtight container, garnish the ice cream with the saffron threads and pistachio nuts and freeze for at least an hour. 
Ice cream is ready without any crystals.
Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 people

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Gujarati Bateta Jamanvar Nu Saak - Gujarati style Potato Curry #Gujaratibatetanushaak #Kemcho #Jamanvar #nowonmyblog #jcookingodyssey

Gujarati Bateta Nu Saak so easy to whip up, prepared without onion and garlic. Spicy, Sweet and tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it phenomenal.
Bateta Jamanvar nu Saak / Shaak , so easy to whip up yet it has this unique taste. Spicy, Sweet and Tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it Phenomenal .

Have you been invited to Gujarati weddings, religious occasions or get together ? yes? very nice ! I am sure you did not get this curry in your (thali) plate , am I right ? Obviously not , with times changing, Gujarati menus have changed, became fusion and this humble yet robust Potato Curry has lost it's charm from the big feasts and menus..If you are lucky, you might get served in tiny Villages of Gujarat !!!

BTW, Jamanvar translates Feast !

Gujarati Bateta Nu Saak so easy to whip up, prepared without onion and garlic. Spicy, Sweet and tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it phenomenal.
Okay, so let me virtually invite you for Jamanvar and show to you what sort of Traditional and Authentic Gujarati Menu you would have found at any typical Gujarati home or wedding if you were invited about 30-40 years ago. Obviously, you may have found every dish pure vegetarian, and altogether you'll have four or five items in your Thali, mostly contains Gujarti Daal, Plain Rice, One sweet ( Either Churma Na Ladoo or Mohanthaal ) One Farsan ( mostly Ganthiya or Fulwadi ), Bateta nu Saak and for drink you'll have Buttermilk ( Chaas )

The reasons behind this type of menus were so simple and understandable . In olden days people lived without electricity and gadgets,  so they prepared only few items, which are non perishable sweets like Ladoo, and Savouries for hundreds and hundreds of people, and prepared fresh dishes like rice, daal and saak just few hours before the main feast served.

Gujarati Bateta Nu Saak so easy to whip up, prepared without onion and garlic. Spicy, Sweet and tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it phenomenal.
Maybe these menus are disappearing from the modern era, but I have a special place for them in my heart and home as I have so many childhood memories woven around these foods ! In our family I was the first one to jump up and get excited , if we were invited to any wedding, big occasions or for dinner parties as I knew that there will be my favourite food served because somehow my mum never  was interested in particular this curry, and once I got told off by her just because she asked me to prepare 'Dum Aloo' and I prepared this curry :)

Lol..with time passing by now I am not fond of this curry as much as I used to at one time, but my family love it, so this time I prepared for them and they enjoyed it with Bhakhri

Gujarati Bateta Nu Saak so easy to whip up, prepared without onion and garlic. Spicy, Sweet and tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it phenomenal.
While I was growing up in India, most of the weddings used to take place at your own house and whole neighbourhood were invited and also they happily took  responsibility and share some work too.
Lol, I would always ask for some small task around the kitchen area ! (Now you know , why I so love to hang around in the kitchen :P) I sit there watching caterers and family members transform the most rudimentary ingredients into aromatic, scrumptious and delectable Jamanvar dishes.

Gujarati Bateta Nu Saak so easy to whip up, prepared without onion and garlic. Spicy, Sweet and tangy flavours that are in this curry makes it phenomenal.

One of them was Bateta nu Saak, and that is not ordinary saak, it's Jamanvar nu Saak ! You must try at least once in a lifetime  :) So one might ask how this potato curry is different than any other Potato Curry.
Firstly Jamanvar nu saak, potatoes aren't peeled.
To make curry sweet, you must use Jeggery ( Gor, Gud )
To make curry tangy or sour use Tamarind paste.
There are no chilli-ginger or onion garlic added to this curry.

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Gujarati Bateta Jamanvar nu Saak
Authentic Gujarati style potato curry which has all the flavours !
  • 500 g Potatoes
  • 75 ml Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin and Mustard seeds
  • Pinch Hing
  • 3-4 Dry red chillies broken
  • to taste Salt
  • 25-30 g Jaggery
  • 3-4 tbsp. Tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp. Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. Turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. Ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder
  • handful Fresh coriander leaves
Cut potatoes in desire size and wash thoroughly. 
Keep them in cold water.
Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin and mustard seeds.
Once they crackle , add hing and dry red chillies.sauté for few seconds, and add cut potatoes without water.
Mix everything and let the potatoes cook for one minute.Add all the masala and salt.
Let the masala cook  , once aroma starts wafting add water.
I use my andaza ( approximate ) in adding the water.
Cover the kadai with the lid and let the potatoes cook.
Make sure curry doesn't get dry as we need to keep gravy.
Once potatoes are cooked, but not mashed add tamarind paste and jaggery. 
If needed add little water.Once again cover the pot, and cook the potatoes.
Keep checking, maybe you can mash couple of potato pieces with back of the spoon, so gravy gets nice and thicker.
Switch off the heat, cover the pot and let the curry to sit for 3-4 minutes.
In this time potatoes gravy will get thicker and potatoes will absorb all the flavours.
Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve hot with Bhakhri, roti, puri or paratha.
Traditionally it is preferred to be eaten own it's own with Churma na Ladoo. 
Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 people

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Gujarat ni Saadi Bhakhri - Gujarati style Crispy unleavened bread #Gujaratibhakhri #kemcho #healthybreakfast #nowonmyblog

Bhakhri , traditionally it has been farmers food and it's a healthy one, one of the everyday breakfast in Gujarati households. If not breakfast , you will see them appear in your dinner plates. Crispy yet buttery, almost like savoury biscuits and can be eaten with various things like sabji, curries, pickle, chutney, yogurt, chaas and Masala Chai or even on it's own.

Traditionally Bhakhri is made with coarse wholemeal wheat flour,which is full of fibre and many other minerals, that is why it is advisable to consume it in the morning or dinner time as it's good for digestion, especially people in rural areas preferred having Bhakhri than normal chapatti. In the evening they prefer saadi khichdi, saadi Bhakhri and milk or chaas ( Buttermilk ).

Although to make Bhakhri, you will need just few ingredients, but flavours can be altered by just adding couple of spices to it.  Bhakhri can be cooked with two methods, some people roast Bhakhri on the Tawa ( griddle ) whereas others cook one side on the tawa and rest of the side direct on the heat and serve it with the ghee.

The most popular and traditional Bhakhri is Saadi ( Plain ) Bhakhri which is very simple to make. Bhakhri stays fresh for longer time and useful while travelling or great for kids lunch boxes.

So how often do I make Bhakhri in my house? maybe once in 4-5 years !!! Surprised , I used to love Bhakhri while I was young, but Mum hardly made Bhakhri as she wasn't keen on using quite a bit of oil, and I grew up with same thoughts too so I do not make these very often too.

So almost after four years I did prepare Bhakhri and Gujarati Bateta nu saak ( recipe coming soon )for breakfast for the family, I think it's the best Gujarati combination you can find in Gujju thali :)

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Gujarati Saadi Bhakhri

Bhakhri, crispy and buttery almost like biscuits, Gujarati unleavened bread.
  • 2 cup Wholemeal flour - Bhakhri no Lot
  • 4-5 tbsp. Oil for moin
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee

In a wide plate ( parat or kathrot ) place flour, salt and oil.
Combine everything, and add little water at a time and knead hard but pliable dough. 
Cover the dough for few minutes if you have time.
Once you are ready to make bhakhri, divide the kneaded dough into equal size balls.
Roll out each ball into small circle, not too thin or thick. ( You don't need dry flour to roll the bhakhri )Heat the tawa on a medium heat, place bhakhri on the heated tawa.
After few seconds, turn the bhakhri other side and cook until you can see brown spots.
Now, if you want to roast bhakhri on the tawa, press the bhakhri with clean muslin cloth or spatula and cook until crispy ( On low heat ) or roast direct on the heat.
Apply ghee on the hot bhakhri and serve.
Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 pieces

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