Add Bhajani To Your Diet; 8 Maharashtrian Snacks To Try
Image Credit: Archana's Kitchen

Bhajani aata or flour is a multigrain flour mix made from varied millets like jowar, ragi, bajra and dals including moong, masoor, kala chana or black gram as well as rice, cumin and coriander. This highly nutritious blend of complex carbohydrates is used to make several snack dishes like thalipeeth, pakoras, crackers and crisps like chakli. 

Bhajani can be of two kinds, one which can be included in the daily diet and the other, a fasting bhajani which does away with some grains and dals that are non-vrat foods. If you are making bhajani thalipeeth for Sawan or Navratri fasting, be sure to choose the right variant that is appropriate for the vrat.

Image credit: Archana's Kitchen

A rich source of energy and nourishment, bhajani is an integral component of regional Maharashtrian cuisine. A bhajani thalipeeth is a complete meal that is filling and induces quick satiety to prevent overindulging and overeating. It is also recommended for those who are looking to cut down on calories or opting for delicious but healthy snacks while trying to lose extra fat. Read on below for some age-old and others, newly made-up recipes that use bhajani as a core ingredient:

Bhajani Thalipeeth

This is perhaps the most well-known of all bhajani dishes and is served widely as an afternoon snack or breakfast staple. Made from bhajani dough, it contains chopped onions, coriander, assorted veggies, turmeric and red chilli powder. The thick, round pancake is best enjoyed with curd and ghee. Bhajani thalipeeth is also a clever way to use up leftover vegetables by mixing them into the dough.

Bhajani Cheela

Cheela or dhirda is a thin pancake made primarily from rice flour. But bhajani cheela is a more nourishing variation that can be made by adjusting the consistency of the flour to a slightly more liquid, pancake batter mix. Green chillies, cumin and other condiments can also be added to enhance the flavours of the cheela.

Image credit: Madhura's Kitchen

Bhajani Vada

A favourite on fast days, bhajani vada can be made by rolling the dough into pooris and frying them in hot oil. You can also add sesame to the pooris for a toasty crunch. Bhajani vada is also popularly made in certain Maharashtrian homes as an accompaniment with mutton, chicken and fish curries or sukha (dry) to be had instead of chapati or bhakri.

Upvas Thalipeeth

Upvas thalipeeth is plain, bhajani thalipeeth made from nothing but the multigrain flour mix. Bhajani thalipeeth made for fasting is slightly lighter in colour and can crispen up well at the edges when roasted over ghee. Potatoes can be added to the dough for taste as well as for giving structure to the round flatbread. A pro tip is to label your vrat and non-vrat flour tins to avoid confusion!

Bhajani Chakli

A favourite among kids and adults alike, chakli is a popular faral dish and a delicious afternoon munching. Adjust the quantities of besan and bhajani to made a chakli that predominantly uses the latter flour mix to roll into little circles deep-fried to perfection. Bhajani chakli is a great substitute for regular chakli if you are looking for a variation.

Bhajani Crackers

Make bhajani crackers or little, thin wafer-like baked biscuits from bhajani to prepare a nutritious snack for afternoon tea. Bhajani crackers are delicious biscuits to opt for when you want to go for low-calorie munching alternatives to cut down on excess sugars and preserves. Bhajani crackers can be made easily at home by using regular bhajani aata.

Jwari-Bhajani Thalipeeth

Another variant of thalipeeth, this brings together jowar and bhajani for a bhakri or thalipeeth, a highly nutritious flatbread that can be enjoyed with vegetables during lunch. This variation is easy to put together, but make sure to keep an eye on the water added to the flour to mix dough otherwise it will turn too soft. Use lukewarm water to bind the dough for a crispy, well-formed thalipeeth.

Bhajani-Arbi Dhirda

This is a variant that brings together bhajani flour and Colocasia leaves to make a dhirda or pancake that is extremely nourishing and warm. Arbi leaves are rich in vitamin A, C and E and are a rich source of antioxidants that flush out toxins and boost the immune system. Mixed with bhajani, this dhirda with the green leaves becomes a good source of energy.