Rajasthani Besan Churma
Besan churma is a Rajasthani/Marwari dessert traditionally eaten along with the combination of dal and baati. The trio of dal baati churma is synonymous to Rajasthani food.
If there is one dish that defines the food culture of Rajasthan, it has to be the classic trio. The trio is enjoyed by everyone from the royals to the commoners and is cooked on special festivities and occasions as well as being part of everyday meal.
Churma is fried or roasted dough dumplings sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom, saffron and nuts. Besan churma is made using gram flour and semolina which is contrary to the traditional churma which is cooked using wheat flour. Gram flour adds another flavour level and semolina makes the churma crunchy. Gram flour is high in protein, so it makes the dish high in protein as well.
My nephew’s wife (my daughter-in-law) makes the most amazing Rajasthani food. Couple of years ago Nidhi invited us for lunch. It was an elaborate Marwari home cooked lunch, complete with the Rajasthani specialty – the Daal Baati Churma, transporting me to a different dining experience that no award-winning fine dining or the most popular street food can replicate – the warmth of ‘ghar ka khana’ or a home cooked meal is totally irreplaceable. I was drooling over the food and although I cook Rajasthani food myself, hers was the best I have ever eaten! I especially enjoyed the besan churma and it tasted delicious with dal and baati.
Nidhi shares the same passion for food and keeping the traditional recipes alive as I do. So, she has shared her dal, baati recipe with me. This besan churma is Nidhi’s recipe as she cooks it at home.
1 cup gram flour (besan)
1/6 cup fine semolina (suji)
1/6 cup water
8 tablespoons ghee
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
Few strands saffron
3-4 finely chopped almonds
Mix gram flour, semolina and 4 tablespoons ghee. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs and hold shape. To check, take some flour mixture between your palm and make a fist. If it holds the shape and does not crumble, then you have added enough fat. If the dough falls to pieces, that means you need to add more ghee. Gradually add water and knead into soft dough and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/Gas 6.
Divide the dough in half and make two equal flat round balls.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Break the baked dough balls into rough pieces and grind them in a blender into a fine powder.
Add the remaining melted ghee, cardamom powder, powdered sugar, chopped almonds and saffron and mix well.
Garnish with chopped almonds and serve with dal and baati.