Have you ever tasted a flour that can be consumed uncooked? There is one, and a very simple one at that, which is easily available too. This flour, made from roasted gram, is commonly known as sattu and is most popular in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Called a poor man’s food, the humble sattu is packed with nutrients and is actually a wonder food with loads of health benefits.
It’s good for the intestines due to its high fiber content. It’s beneficial for diabetics and blood pressure patients, has a low glycemic index, is rich in protein and its cooling properties make sattu a perfect summer food. Health experts also suggest sattu if you are suffering from gas, acidity and constipation. The wholesome meal is beneficial for all age groups.
The inexpensive sattu is now gradually making its way to restaurants in Delhi and other cities. The menu at Pot Belly in Delhi offers a range of sattu items – sattu parantha, sattu puri, litti, sattu cooler to name a few. Restaurant chain Not Just Paranthas, too, has sattu items on its menu.
If you are in a mood to try out sattu for the first time then litti-chokha and parathas are the best bet. There are some sweet dishes too that you can make with sattu. And one item that you must try is sattu sharbat. As I said in the beginning, this is a flour that you don’t need to cook to eat. Just mix a spoonful of it in a glass of water, along with sugar or salt (or both) and lemon, and your instant energy drink is ready. And if you want it to be more filling, just take a bowl of sattu, add mix in a little water, chopped onions, tomatoes, chillies and lemon. You won’t feel hungry for a long time after eating this. In my Bengali household, needless to say, my grandmother and mother preferred sattu with just sugar and water and this used to be their favourite breakfast.
Here are some quick and tasty sattu recipes.
Sattu sharbat (serves 2 glasses)
Sattu: 2 tablespoons
Sugar: 3 tablespoons
Salt: To taste
Water: 2 glasses
Take a tablespoon of sattu and one-and-a-half tablespoons of sugar in a glass. Make a smooth paste first, adding a little water, to avoid lumps. Now, fill the glass with chilled water, add salt and the juice of half a lemon. Your sattu sharbat is ready.
Note: It’s a very healthy drink and you should have it before going out in the sun. Regular consumption of sattu is believed to protect you from heatstroke. Adding a dash of mint leaves will make it even cooler. You can use more sattu if you want it thicker and adjust the quantity of sugar accordingly. Diabetics can consider using only salt. In fact, many roadside vendors serve the salty variety with finely chopped onions and chaat masala.
Ingredients (for the dough)
Whole wheat flour: 2 cups
Maida (refined flour): continued…