Litti Chokha

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Litti Chokha is a traditional dish that has its origin from the state of Bihar in India. Whole wheat dough balls are filled with sattu, a flour made from roasted bengal gram and eaten with chokha, a spicy poatato-tomato-eggplant mash.

litti chokha

Grey and rainy weather can get to you sometimes. One would imagine that after living in a place where it rains 8 out of 12 months, you would get used to it and yes it’s true that you do get used to it but once in a while it annoys the hell out of you. This especially happens when you are back from a very sunny place. Like I returned back from India over the weekend and temperatures are already in 80s there plus it’s super sunny as always in Delhi. From that to cold and rainy Seattle has made me super lazy and dull. I haven’t done a thing in the last 2 days that I have arrived, the let jag and constant travelling is partially responsible of course but so is this rainy weather. Today the sun is shining bright and that was enough for me to write a post. Sunshine can lift you mood and how!

Today I am sharing with you guys this recipe of Litti Chokha. Okay I know most of you would not have even heard of it. But if you belong to the states of Bihar, UP or Jharkhand in India then you must be familiar with this traditional dish called Litti Chokha. Litti are wheat flour balls filled with sattu, which is a flour made of roasted bengal gram. Sattu is highly nutritious, a great source of protein and also gluten-free. In these states, it’s used in drinks, paratha and so much more. I remember my summer break at my grandmother’s village in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, where we would drink sherbet made with sattu and also feast on sattu paratha. We also snacked on it during evening. Sattu has a cooling effect so it was eaten so much more during summers. Also sattu parathas are great to pack when you are travelling, because the parathas are stuffed with a flour, it doesn’t get spoiled quickly. They usually stay fine for a week, we would always carry them along while travelling by train or bus in India.

Second part of this dish is chokha which is basically a mash of roasted eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes along with some spices. Litti and chokha are eaten together with ghee. If you omit the ghee, it’s a totally vegan dish but ghee is an indispensable part of this dish, so I suggest you keep it! Litti was traditionally roasted over coal or cow dung cakes however that is not possible in today’s city life, so the next best bet is to roast them in the oven and then dunk them in ghee!

The sattu filling is flavored with spices like carom seeds, nigella seeds, ginger and pickle masala. You may use any pickle masala but at my home, the masala of homemade red chili pickle was always used in the filling and I have used the same here. For the chokha, you may skip the tomatoes or eggplant if you don’t have them but potatoes are must. Another important ingredient is mustard oil, it’s essential to add mustard oil to your chokha for that authentic taste. There are days when you want to try something different and if it is one such day, then I may suggest you to try this delicious Litti Chokha, you would definitely enjoy it! I served this to my husband who has never had it before and he relished it completely.

 

Method

Make Litti

In a bowl take atta and add salt to it.

Then add 2 tablespoons of oil and mix.

Add water little by little to knead to a smooth dough. Let it rest while you make the filling.

For the filling , add sattu to a bowl. To this add finely chopped onion, grated ginger & garlic, green chili, chopped cilantro, kalonji, ajwain, amchur and salt.

Add pickle masala and mix. Also add few tablespoons of water to make it little damp.

Filling should be powdery but shouldn’t feel too dry.

Divide dough into 8-10 equal parts. Roll each dough into a circle (without applying any extra dry flour).

Put 2-3 teaspoons of sattu filling in the center.

Start sealing the edges from one end.

Pinch the center to seal the dough ball completely.

Roll it between your palms to make it smooth. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place the littis on a baking sheet and brush them with little oil. Bake at 400 F degrees for 40-45 minutes or till evenly browned. Flip the littis 2-3 times in between to make  sure it’s evenly cooked.

Make Chokha

Roast eggplant and tomato on direct fire on low heat for 20-25 minutes till out skin gets charred and they are juicy from inside. Also roast the garlic cloves.

Remove charred skin of eggplant and tomatoes, add them to a bowl and mash them.

Add boiled mashed potato, chopped roasted garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green chili and salt. Also add chopped cilantro and mustard oil. Mix everything together till well combined. Chokha is done.

To eat the litti, break it a little and dip into ghee so that even the filling gets soaked with ghee. Enjoy with chokha.

litti chokha

* Adjust spice levels to taste. Add more green chili to the filling and chokha to make it more spicy.

Litti Chokha

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Litti Chokha - a traditional dish from the state of Bihar in India. Whole wheat dough balls filled with a spicy mix are served with roasted eggplant-potato-tomato mash.
Ingredients
Litti dough
  • 2 cups atta, also known as durum whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • water, to knead the dough, around 1 cup
Litti filling
  • 1 cup sattu, also known as roasted bengal gram flour
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons pickle masala, I used my grandmom's homemade red chili pickle masala
  • ¾ teaspoon ajwain, also known as carom seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kalonji, also known as nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon amchur, also known as dry mango powder
  • salt, to taste
  • around 1.5 tablespoons water to wet the filling a little
Chokha
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chili, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt, to taste
To serve
  • ½ cup ghee, also known as clarified butter
Instructions
Make Litti
  1. In a bowl take atta and add salt to it and then add 2 tablespoons of oil and mix.
  2. Add water little by little to knead to a smooth dough. Let it rest while you make the filling.
  3. For the filling , add sattu to a bowl. To this add finely chopped onion, grated ginger & garlic, green chili, chopped cilantro, kalonji, ajwain, amchur and salt.
  4. Add pickle masala and mix. Also add few tablespoons of water to make it little damp. Filling should be powdery but shouldn't feel too dry.
  5. Divide dough into 8-10 equal parts. Roll each dough into a circle (without applying any extra dry flour).
  6. Put 2-3 teaspoons of sattu filling in the center.
  7. Start sealing the edges from one end and pinch the center to seal the dough ball completely.
  8. Roll it between your palms to make it smooth. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  9. Place the littis on a baking sheet and brush them with little oil.
  10. Bake at 400 F degrees for 40-45 minutes or till evenly browned. Flip the littis 2-3 times in between to make sure it's evenly cooked.
Make Chokha
  1. Roast eggplant and tomato on direct fire on low heat for 20-25 minutes till out skin gets charred and they are juicy from inside. Also roast the garlic cloves.
  2. Remove charred skin of eggplant and tomatoes, add them to a bowl and mash them.
  3. Add boiled mashed potato, chopped roasted garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green chili and salt. Also add chopped cilantro and mustard oil.
  4. Mix everything together till well combined. Chokha is done.
Serve Litti Chokha
  1. To eat the litti, break it a little and dip into ghee so that even the filling gets soaked with ghee. Enjoy with chokha.

Litti Chokha

16 thoughts on “Litti Chokha

    1. Absolutely! Actually anything filled with sattu lasts quite a bit since it’s flour so it doesn’t get spoiled quickly like veggies would. I think they would freeze well!

  1. Wow…80’s already over there in Delhi? Sure is different from the Pacific Northwest! But, hey, it could be 20’s and snowing…haha. I’m not familiar with chokha, but these sure do sound delicious! 🙂

  2. I am going to have to make these really soon. I am currently cooking my way through an Indian cookbook (Indian for Everyone) and I’m quite impressed. This has got to be the healthiest cuisine ever or really close to it. Packed with flavors too!! So lucky we have a well stocked Indian market in town:)

  3. This looks delicious Manali! Reminds me of baati with dal and ghee. I remember drinking sattu drink in summer and sattu parathas stuffed with onions are one of my favorite! Oh how I miss India!! Glad you have been able to go to India often 🙂

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