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Pahadi cuisine: Here’s how you can make Himachali askalu (askali) with Barnyard millet

Check out this healthy and delicious recipe here!

Written by Shalini Rajani | New Delhi |
November 28, 2021 6:05:43 pm
recipe, milletRead more about the step by step process of making Himachali Askalu with Barnyard Millet. (Photo: Shalini Rajani)

I have been sharing a lot of stories about our village home in Bashla and as we were heading back, we decided to take a break at one of the serene properties in Shimla run by Naveen and Vinti.

When we arrived, they invited us over for tea and we had a discussion about our areas of work. Vinti is a passionate cook and loves to cook every single meal herself, three times a day for every guest they host here. We talked about millets and I was happy to see that Vinti has already been using Barnyard and Kodo Millet in her everyday food. I enjoyed learning new things from her like a curious kid in her kitchen.

Refer to the video attached where she is skillfully rustling these two beautiful recipes and read more about the step by step process of making Himachali Askalu with Barnyard Millet.

Himachali Askalu (Askali) with Barnyard Millet

Ingredients: (serves 4)

For Aksalu:

1 cup Barnyard Millet (soaked for 6 hours)
½ tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Demerara Sugar (Bhura or unprocessed Sugar)
2 tbsp A2 Cow Ghee

For Walnut Chutney:

*Juice of one lemon
*1 cup Fresh Mint
*½ cup Chopped spring onion
*3-4 Green chillies
*¼ cup Chopped green garlic
*½ cup Walnuts
*Salt to taste

Method:

  1. For walnut chutney, mix all chutney ingredients in a blender with optimum water.
  2. For Aksalu, Vinti simply ground soaked millet into a fine batter. To help it rise and become fluffy, usually baking powder is added. I suggested to Vinti if we can use the sourdough discard I was carrying with me on this trip. Hence we added 1 tsp of sourdough discard and we had beautiful fluffy perfectly risen batter.
  3. Then comes the Himachali Aksalu maker, which may look like a traditional appe pan but this one has more cavities and they are not as deep as an appe pan.
  4. Traditionally they are made up of stone mould and in cities, you find Askalu makers made of heavy base aluminium.
  5. On a well-greased pan, start pouring the batter. Cover them and cook them on a medium-low flame. You don’t have to cook them from both the sides like appe or panirayam.
  6. Once done, serve them hot and sprinkle some bhura sugar and melted ghee on it.
  7. Traditional Askalu may call for stuffing made with jaggery and ghee and this is one recipe that has been customised a lot with time.

(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.)

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