The abundance of snacks spurting from different corners and regions of India is endless. While there are the obvious Namkeen and Mathari that come in different flavours and textures, there are a few not just tea-time but all-time munching snacks that are unique to their region in preparation and taste. One such snack emerging from the lanes of Maharashtra and Gujarat is Bakarwadi or Bhakarwadi which is a unique combination of spices off the kitchen shelf rolled out into coins and deep fried. Some Bhakarwadi may differ from another simply because of the use of spices that may different from Maharashtra to Gujarat.

Rolling century-old spice mix into a dough

By the means of it, Bhakarwadi is a daily and common snack in Gujarati households. However, it became popular around the 1960s when Gujarat and Maharashtra were not two different states but Bombay State. From that time onwards the two cultures have intermingled and have resulted in the invention of mouthwatering snacks. As per the legends, Bhakar comes from Bhakri. And when once it is rolled with masala stuffing called the Vadi, then cut and fried it becomes Bhakar-Vadi.

The story goes that in the 1970s, Narsinha Chitale tasted Bhakarwadi made by his neighbour. The snack offered was a Nagpuri variant of the snack which is known as Pudachi Vadi and is extremely spicy. as opposed to a Gujarati snack that has more garlic and onions. As a result of the taste, the Chitale Bandhu of Pune and Jagdish-Farsan of Vadodara made the snack popular all over the world.

Bhakarwadi | Instagram - @krishnas.cuisine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup All-purpose flour/Maida
  • 2 tbsp Besan
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • Salt
  • Water

For the filling:

  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • A handful of chopped Coriander
  • 3 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Jeera Powder
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  • In a bowl add maida, besan and salt. Give it a good mix of dry ingredients.
  • Pour four tablespoons of hot oil and mix again with the flour
  • Now add water little by little to knead the dough. The purpose of adding water little by little is to not add too much water and the dough has to be hard and not soft. Once done, cover and keep aside for about 20 minutes
  • Over medium heat place a pan. Add cumin seeds, and sesame seeds, and dry roast them for two-three minutes. Then add the desiccated coconut and continue roasting
  • Now add the chopped coriander. Make sure there is no water in the coriander while adding it for roasting. Keep roasting until the colour changes to brown. Remove and let it cool
  • Once cooled down, transfer to a grinder. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, and jeera powder.   Grind the ingredients into a coarse paste
  • To the grounded paste add sugar and salt. Then grind again and keep aside
  • Now divide the dough into two parts. Roll out one portion of dough flat and then cut it into a square. Now apply a tamarind paste and then sprinkle the grounded paste leaving the corners
  • Using the rolling pin press once more and then apply water on all sides before folding. Slowly start to roll the dough into cylindrical shapes
  • Now cut the rolled dough into pieces and then press gently
  • Over medium heat, place a pan and add oil. Place the cut Bhakarwadi and deep fry them on low flame until golden brown

Sure the ones packed are tasty but the ones rolled at home and then deep-fried taste different. Freshly deep fried out of the pan, these Bhakarwadi are soft, crisp, and melt in the mouth. A bit of a lengthy process to begin with but it also gives the upper hand in adjusting the spiciness.