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Monday, October 10, 2016

Rajgira Thalipeeth / Upvaas Thalipeeth / Amaranth Flour Flatbread

Fasting during religious holidays, abstaining from certain or all food as a means to spiritual growth is common in many cultures around the world and Indians too are not an exception to this. Depending upon where you live in India, the word 'fasting' goes by the terms upavas, upavaasa, upavaasam and so on. As a south Indian, I have seen my mother and sometimes my father fasting a couple of times in a year like on a Vaikunta Ekadashi day or during Mahashivaratri. All my parents would have on a fasting day is a cup of coffee once or twice until they broke their fast in the evening after visiting a temple. My would prepare a simple meal like upma and sooji halwa or something along the lines of it to avoid rice. 

I have learnt over the years through friends and acquaintances from the other parts of India that they do fast on other occasions like Navratri for example, which is going on right now and have dietary restrictions set for the day. My Gujarati neighbor was once lamenting that his mother is always fasting in the name of one god or another. In fact, once during our initial days of acquaintance, she asked about my fasting rituals only to be left surprised to hear that I never fast. Hindus usually stick to a vegetarian diet during religious holidays and avoid stuff like onion and garlic. Some regions avoid the salt too and use rock salt instead. And folks mainly try to avoid the grains which they eat on a regular basis like wheat and rice. In south, they try to avoid rice since their usual meals are set around it and many will get through the day only consuming fruits and milk during the fasting period. They don't have any particular 'fasting diet' as North / Western or Central regions of India do which is called 'Vrat ka Khaana'. Buckwheat flour, Chestnut flour, Sago pearls, Amaranth flour, Dairy products are some of the ingredients around which a fasting diet is built. 
I have prepared these rajgira thalipeeth following this sabudana thalipeeth recipe and they qualify for the fasting diet. They remain soft once they cool down unlike the other thalipeeth/rotti versions and so they make a great lunch box option as well. These healthy and yummy thalipeeths are made with amaranth flour and are a great gluten free option. I made them spicier and did not need any accompaniments. However they can be had with a spicy pickle or something spicy that meets the dietary restrictions. 

Ingredients: (Yields 3 thalipeeth)
1 cup rajgira flour / amaranth flour
About 1/2 cup cooked and mashed potato 
2 tbsp. toasted, skinned and roughly crushed peanuts
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 tbsp. finely minced cilantro
Rock salt / Sendha namak to taste (or salt if not fasting.)
Ghee / Oil to make thalipeeth

* Grease your palms and combine everything except the ghee / oil in a mixing bowl. Add a tsp. of oil and roll into a firm dough. There is no need to add any water since the moisture from the cooked potato would be enough to bring the mixture together. In case, if the mixture appears dry, add warm water in tsp. increments and work the dough.
* Divide the mixture into three portions and shape them into balls. Work with one ball at a time and keep the rest covered. Pour 1/2 tsp. of ghee / oil at the center of a shallow pan / griddle.
* Place one dough ball directly at the center of the pan. Wet your fingers with water and gently pat the ball into a thin circle. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. oil over and around the edges the thalipeeth and cover. 
Thalipeeth dough can also be shaped on a thick greased plastic sheet instead of doing it directly on the pan. Once shaped, the dough circle can be transferred to the griddle by placing the dough side on the plan and peeling the plastic sheet away from the pan.
* Switch on the stove and cook on medium flame until the bottom side turns golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side turns golden brown too.
* Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
This goes to Blogging marathon #69, under the theme 'Flatbreads'. Check here to find out what the other marathoners are cooking as part of the BM.



vaishali sabnani said...

Can you believe even i never fast ! Infact i have no vrat recipes on blog . I like this thalipeeth , i am sure it must have tasted amazing with all those ingredients .

Chef Mireille said...

what a lovely flatbread - great snack idea!

Sapana Behl said...

I like the taste of rajgira and love using it in fasting. Thalipeeth looks delicious ith all the ingredients.

Harini-Jaya R said...

I love to experiment with various flours and Rajgira flour was one of my first. Love this roti.

Priya Suresh said...

I would like to try my hands with Rajgira flour, never had a chance to test this flour, thalipeeth looks absolutely nutritious.

Pavani N said...

Yummy looking thalipeeth Suma. I have some rajgira flour in the pantry, will try this recipe with that.