At the very start of this year, I won an Instagram contest organised by Currylines in co-ordination with the Government of Karnataka. The contest was a run-up to the very eventful Organics & Millets Mela 2018, which was held later in January. My prize was a beautiful cookbook, filled with recipes for a huge variety of food – from starters, soups and appetisers to various national and international main course and dessert dishes – all made with different types of millets!
So, here I am, putting the cookbook to good use. The recipe I am going to present to you today, courtesy of this cookbook, is that for Pearl Millet (Bajra) Pesarettu. I tried out the recipe recently, and was thrilled with how beautiful the bajra pesarettu turned out. They were fabulous in taste, and so simple to make too.
The rice that we typically use to make pesarettu has been substituted here with bajra, making this dish an extremely healthy and filling one! This dish is perfect for weight watchers and diabetics, and those who are considering cutting down on rice in their daily diets.
Why don’t you try it out, too?
Ingredients (makes 18-20 bajra pesarettu):
- 1 cup whole bajra aka pearl millet
- 1 cup whole green moong
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- Salt, to taste
- 4 dry red chillies, or to taste
- 2 green chillies
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
- Oil, as needed to make the pesarettu
- Wash the whole bajra and green moong thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Ensure that no impurities remain. Soak the bajra and green moong together for 5-6 hours, in just enough water to cover the grains.
- After 5-6 hours, drain out all the excess water from the bajra and green moong. Transfer to a mixer jar, and add salt to taste and the dry red chillies. Chop the green chillies and add to the mixer. Peel and chop the ginger and add it to the mixer jar as well. Grind to a coarse batter, stopping a couple of times in between to scrape down the sides of the mixer and mix the ingredients together with a spoon. Add a little water if necessary, while grinding.
- Set the batter aside for 3-4 hours to ferment, in a large vessel, covered. Choose a dry place in your kitchen to let the batter rest, out of range of direct sunlight. Once fermented and risen, the batter is ready to use.
- When you are ready to make the bajra pesarettu, chop the onions finely and add to the fermented batter. Tear the curry leaves roughly and add to the batter too. Chop the coriander leaves finely and add to the batter. Mix well. Heat a dosa pan till water droplets dance on it, and then lower the flame. Pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre, and spread it out using the ladle. Pour a little oil around the batter. Let it cook on one side and then flip over. When it has cooked on the other side too, transfer to a serving plate. Serve the bajra pesarettu hot, with chutney of your choice or on its own. I served them with a beautiful pineapple thogayal.
- Ensure that you soak the bajra and green moong for about 5-6 hours only. Over-soaking will yield a very smooth batter and the resultant pesarettu will not be so flavourful.
- The batter might take more or less time than 3-4 hours to ferment, depending upon the weather conditions. If it is quite hot where you live, 3-4 hours is just enough. In colder climates, though, the batter might take longer to ferment and rise.
- The batter is ready to use once it has fermented and risen. If you don’t want to use the batter immediately after fermentation, just add in the chopped onions, curry leaves and coriander, mix well and place it, covered, in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and use as needed – make sure to thaw the refrigerated batter well before use, in that case.
- Increase or decrease the quantity of dry red chillies and green chillies in the batter, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
- Some people prefer to use the pesarettu batter as soon as it is ground, without fermentation. I prefer fermenting the batter, Amma doesn’t.
Do try out this bajra pesarettu, and let me know how you liked it!
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Cooking from a cookbook’.