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Monday, September 16, 2019

Bafauri ~ A Steamed Lentil Based Snack

So far in the series,

First week - Sweets
Malaadu / Hurigadale Unde
Dry Gulab Jamun
Coconut Burfi / Kobbari Mithai
Almond Halwa / Badam Halwa
Elaneer Payasam
Godhuma Sojjappalu

Second week - Snacks from Gujarat
Damni Dhokla
Doodhi Muthia / Lauki Muthia
Dal Pandoli
Methi Khakhra

Now I am into third week of blogging marathon with the theme of Indian sweets and snacks. This week is going to be about some snack recipes of my choice and I am in central India for my dish today. There seems to be at least one locally popular steamed snack in every state, I realized while exploring for steamed Indian snacks. Today's recipe is one such regional dish called bafouri,  from the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. A coarsely ground batter of split chick peas / chana dal is used to make bafauri making it a very healthy and guilt free snack. Pronounced as buff-ou-ri, this snack is vegan, gluten free, grain-free and a great option for diabetics too. It can be served along with green or sweet chutneys or even some ketchup. Add some vegetables if you prefer to make it more nutritious though the traditional version doesn't use any. Bafauri pieces are also used in a local curry preparation called bafauri ki subzi. Masoor dal (Red lentils) or moong dal seem to be the alternatives for chana dal in this recipe but I am wondering if masoor dal can hold the shape.

Bafauri preparation needs some planning since chana dal needs to be soaked for 2 to 3 hours. It is then ground with other ingredients  into a thick batter. Then small portions of batter are scooped onto the steamer plate using fingers or a spoon, without trying to shape them, somewhat similar to wadi making. They are then steamed until they are cooked through. The pieces can be eaten as it is which makes it a oil-free dish. Or lightly sauteed in some tempering. It is not needed to fry them until golden brown or slightly crisp like fried muthias. I enjoyed both the versions but my husband fried his portion until crisp.

Traditional bafauri have quite rustic look and doesn't look like mine do but I have stuck to the original recipe differing only in the way of shaping them. Bafauris are not shaped as rolls but I did it so to handle them easily and mine are similar to muthias in looks. They can also be prepared in an idli stand if one prefers but I had to add about 1/2 cup water for the batter while shaping them into idlis. Grind adding without water or only as much as needed if scooping them as tiny portions. We enjoyed them shaped into rolls compared to the idli shaped ones. The rolls were even good to eat without any tempering. These can be served as a snack or even as a light meal. Turmeric seems an optional ingredient since some of the bafauris I saw online were not vibrantly yellow hued. I did not add any turmeric to the bafauri I made in the idli stand. I got about 10 bafouri when I used an idli stand and about a dozen oblong shaped rolls. There will be more bafauri if just scooping out small portions.

Source: Here
Ingredients for bafauri:
1 cup chana dal (Masoor / moong dal can be used.)
2 - 3 green chillies (The variety I used were spicy.)
1 inch piece of ginger (optional)
1 tsp. carom / cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 onion, finely minced (I added fried ones.)
3 to 4 garlic cloves (I didn't add any.)
Ingredients for tempering:
2 - 3 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies, broken into bits
1 sprig of curry leaves

* Rinse and soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. 
* Drain the water completely. Add chana dal, chillies, ginger and grind the mixture to a blender or food processor, Grind them together adding as little water as needed. (I used a food processor, ground the batter coarse and did not add any water. If the batter is ground without water then shaping them into rolls would be easier.  However traditionally the bafauri batter is dropped by spoonfuls into the steamer plate rather than making as rolls.)
* Add carom or cumin seeds, salt, turmeric, cilantro, onion and garlic if using to the ground batter and mix well to combine.
 * Bring water to a boil in either a steamer or a pressure cooker baseMake oblong shaped bafauris out of the batter. If going the traditional route, drop spoonfuls of batter onto the steamer plate or a container that you are going to use to place in the cooker or even an idli stand. (1/4 cup of water may be used to grind the batter if dropping by spoon.)
* Steam them until a tooth pick / knife inserted at the center comes out clean.
* These were good to eat just like this after steaming, making them an oil-free snack. These reminded me nuchinnunde of Karnataka.
* Heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add curry leaves and chillies. Saute for few seconds.
* Add steamed bafauri and gently saute them for a couple of minutes. There is no need to brown them but one can always do do if preferring that way.
* Here is the final dish ready to serve. Steamed, tempered and slightly sauteed bafauri. They look greasy in the images but they were not.

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Usha said...

I wanted to make bafouri when we did Indian States 5 years ago. I could not find a recipe online and my MP friend was of no help. Glad to see your recipe.

vaishali sabnani said...

Super ! These bafauris have been on my mind since long , and now I can make them without any hesitation , since I have a tried and tested recipe .
Beautifully made , love both the shapes and it sounds and looks absolutely a yummy snack . Just my kinds .

Srivalli said...

So beautifully made Suma, I too liked the rolled version, looks very appealing. These steamed snacks sound so fantastic and we could have so many to select from right. As others have mentioned, I didn't pick this up for reasons of no proper recipe, now that you have so beautifully done, I will have to make it sometime!

Kalyani said...

Suma - As always on any mega Bm, u keep unearthing these unknown (to me) gems!! This looks like an oblong version of amvade with onions ! Delicious 😋

sushma said...

Mouth watering dish for sure, nice and healthy dish with lentils. Good pick

Harini R said...

I vote for the oblong shape too :) Fantastic find, Suma. I love such steamed recipes. Glad that you opted steamed snacks instead of fried ones !

Amara’s cooking said...

Bafauri has been on my to do list for a long time but never got around it. Love the steamed snacks as they as guilt free. Yours look simply delicious. Love the recipe too.

Narmadha said...

Wow.. very interesting recipe. Looks like different version of kalmi vada with different spices. Love the way you have shaped them and made it guilt free.