The food-o-meter scans the surroundings and picks up the popular dishes from each region to showcase us a diverse and colourful platter from India. While it is true, in the process, it tends to miss out on the remote and relatively unexplored parts of the country that have much to offer too. Tribal areas, for instance, have been a secluded part of the country, despite efforts to mingle them with the mainstream. Their culture and primitive lifestyles are unique to them and the people belonging to these areas wish to preserve them. Growing up in a metro city wouldn’t expose you to the nitty-gritties of a remote cuisine like Chhattisgarh. 

A part of Madhya Pradesh for the longest time, Chhattisgarh gained independent status in 2000. The state shaped its own culture and cuisine which has lived on with them. With a large cultivation of rice in the region, it comes as no surprise to us that Chhattisgarh is known as the rice bowl of India. It is also one of the major exporters of rice in the country. Naturally, there is a widespread consumption of rice in the state and utility of the grain in daily meals. Take faraa for instance. A steamed roll, prepared from rice flour and rice, is served hot with a white dipping sauce. The creamy sauce enhances the taste of this steamed snack which is a cross between a crepe and a momo. Shaped like rolls or dumplings, these are commonly eaten during breakfast. 

Source: Shutterstock, Chousela Roti 

Another staple breakfast item from the region is Chousela roti. Unlike the regular rotis, this one is closer to a poori. A flatbread that is puffed up best describes a poori. While a poori is not uncommon in most parts of India, there is something special about the way this poori is made. Usually, maida or sometime, whole wheat flour is used to prepare the dough but in case of Chousela roti, rice flour is used instead. As it has already been established that rice is an essential part of meals, the same rice flour is also used for rolling out circular pooris. 

Crispy, hot and deep-fried flatbreads that come with a crunchy layer, the good part of about rice pooris is that they last longer than the maida ones. They are fit for consumption for upto two days so if you’re planning to travel long-distance, the Chousela roti can come in handy. To make these pooris, the dough is prepared by kneading rice flour with water and some fenugreek leaves. Add some red chilli powder and salt for flavour and make the dough pretty well. Roll out the pooris and heat oil in a kadhai. Dip the pooris in it and fry until golden-brown. These turn out to be crispier than the regular pooris. 

Serve hot with a side of masala chana or simply, chilli pickle. If you’re tempted to try this dish, here’s a detailed recipe for you.