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What Is Bhakri?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Bhakri is a type of unleavened flatbread. It is a staple of Western and Central Indian cuisine. The simple, portable, and inexpensive bread has traditionally been most popular among rural populations, such as farming communities. A typical recipe will include flour, oil, and water. Though it can be made with a wide array of flours, it is usually not flavored or enhanced with additional ingredients, as it is meant to be served with accompaniments such as chutney, curry, or a chili paste known as thecha.

The bread is a traditional dish that was once a common staple at most meals. Though it is still consumed by Indians, it is no longer a ubiquitous part of a typical meal. For the most part it has been replaced by other kinds of flatbread such as chapati, paratha, and roti, primarily because they tend to be faster and easier to prepare.

Bhakri is usually made from a sorghum flour known as jowar. It can also be made with different kinds of millet, such as nachni and bajra. Some versions are made from wheat or rice flour as well.

The dish is typically prepared by first combining the flour and salt. Water is then added until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The bread dough is usually kneaded in small batches, and just a few pieces are rolled out at a time.

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Once the dough is ready, it is rolled into a small ball. This is then flattened by hand into a circle on a floured surface. When the dough circle is the desired size and shape, each side is lightly coated with water in order to prepare it for the cooking surface.

Bhakri is usually cooked one piece at a time on a griddle made of iron or aluminum. The traditional cooking surface is known as the tawa. Once the bread has been cooked, it is held over an open flame until it is puffy and flecked with brown spots.

Though bhakri can be used as a general accompaniment for just about any kind of Indian dish, there are some condiments and foods that are more popular than others. In its most simple form, it is simply spread with butter. It is often served with different kinds of green, leafy vegetables as well. Bhakri may also be accompanied by thecha, a chutney with chilies and garlic, or a gram flour curry known as pithla.

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