There’s a ‘Nonee’ of Chhattisgarh (she loves to be addressed this way) named ‘Garima Tiwari’ who cooks Chhattisgarhi cuisine from the heart. She aims to take Chhattisgarhi cuisine to the people who aren’t aware of it and, most importantly maintain the authenticity of it. She’s a renowned food blogger and in this article, we’ll share her recipe of ‘Phara’ with you.
“I consider this as the easiest CG recipe ever. However, it’s a bit tricky to make the dough for this recipe. I have many friends and cousins who would love how maa makes phara and would often ask her for recipes. Yet, many would complain that it didn’t quite become the way maa made it. Well, obviously there is a “maa ke haath ka khana” reason, but eventually, I realized that they were going the wrong way about the dough.”
Phara is made from rice. So Chhattisgarhi right? It’s basically a snack which can be consumed quickly at any time of the day.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For rice sticks:
- 1 cup cooked rice. (You can use the leftover rice from the previous day, but make sure it is not very dry)
- 1 cup rice flour (approx.)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- salt to taste
- 3 dried whole red chilies
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
- Start by mixing the rice, salt, and sesame seeds together. Add the flour gradually to the rice and knead the mixture to make a soft dough. You may not need the entire one cup of flour if the rice is too sticky.
- Do not add any water while making this dough. The moisture from the rice should allow the dough to be formed.
- If you stick to this “no water” rule you are going to achieve the perfectly shaped pharas that are neither going to break while frying and become a halwa, nor are they going to be rock hard to chew on!
- Now start rubbing the dough between your palms. You will understand it very well if you have seen your granny making the cotton ‘batti’ for the everyday ‘diya’. It’s the same process!
- Once all sticks are ready, prepare for the seasoning or ‘phoran’ as we Chhattisgarhis call it!
- You will see, from this and the coming recipes, that the spice load is minimal in CG cuisine and still the dishes can taste amazing even with much less usage of spices. Here, we are only using some curry leaves, sesame seeds, and few dry red chilies.
- Take oil in a pan and add the ‘phoran’.
- Now, add the phara sticks to the pan, add a quarter cup of water and cover the pan. Lower the heat and let simmer for five minutes.
- Open the cover and dry roast in the pan for about five to ten minutes.
- Add chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve hot!
Enjoy the crunchy snack with the sauce or chutney of your choice!