sattu or roasted gram flour : a flour that does not need cooking to make a nutritious meal...
Sattu must be a new name for most of you but don't just be fooled by it's simplicity, it is one of the wonder foods that I know. I am sure you don't need any introduction to chickpeas but roasted chickpeas flour is not a very common ingredient in other parts of the world. The roasted gram flour originates probably from Bihar, but is equally popular in eastern UP as well. You must be curious about the flour if you haven't already tasted it.
We normally get roasted chickpeas coated with salt and pepper or chaat masala in the supermarkets and have it with our evening tea. Yes, teacakes and scones are to English teas what the savories, namkeens and such roasted chana is for Indian masala teas.
So the roasted chickpeas with skin on the extreme right is used as a savory snack, the middle one is plain unsalted and skinned roasted chickpeas which is used mostly for making chutneys mixed with coconut, curry patta and green or red chilies etc. This skinned plain roasted chickpeas can be ground to make sattu or roasted chickpeas flour at home using you trusted mixie or coffee grinder. It is very convenient to do when you don't get the ready sattu in your part of the world. The extreme left in the picture is roasted chickpeas flour that is sattu.
Sattu ka sharbat, both sweet and salty varieties, is sold as a cooling drink during hot summers in some small towns of eastern UP and Bihar, even in Calcutta.
Sattu can be milled using roasted chickpeas with skin as well, enhancing the fiber content in it, but I find it too grainy so sometime I add half skinned and half with skin roasted chickpeas in my sattu.
A roasted barley flour is also available in markets and specialty health food stores and that is called Jau ka sattu in Hindi. Both the flours are cooling in nature but chane ka sattu or roasted chickpeas flour is considered to be a tonic food also. Farm laborours were given sattu, raw onion and jaggery as their mid day meal in olden days, they used to do hard work in scorching sun, this food was cooling for the system, hydrating and stamina building. It is absolutely gluten free too.
Sattu is considered strengthening, cooling, light meal that doesn't sit heavy on your system and even helps detox as it is quite rich in soluble fiber. Normally it is consumed with raw onion and chopped coriander greens so the cleansing effect of the meal is even better. The best thing about sattu is, it is a great food for babies, adults and even old people as it is light to the digestive system and yet very nutritive. High on Iron, Magnesium and Manganese, low on Sodium, low on Glycemic index makes sattu a favorable food for diabetics and for weight watchers as well.
Here is a savory drink made using sattu and mint powder along with some finely chopped raw onion...absolutely cooling, cleansing and yet filling.
For 2 servings of this drink, dissolve 2-3 tbsp of sattu in 500 ml of chilled or cold water, add 1 tsp of mint powder (or fresh mint paste as per taste), salt to taste, lime juice to taste and 1 tbsp of finely chopped onion. Mix everything together and a refreshing drink is ready.
And we can have sattu like a solid food as well. The same ingredients are mixed with lesser water to make it in a porridge or upma consistency. Topped with chopped onion, coriander greens, green chilies etc, it makes a yummy filling meal.
3-4 tbsp sattu can make a filling quick fix meal better tasting than instant noodles. A dollop of laal mirch ka bharva achar (stuffed red chilly pickle) is served with this porridge sattu mostly. Heavenly combination it makes.
There is another way to include sattu for convenience and nutrition. This is how my grandmother used to quickly mix up a tasty snack for us after our play time in childhood sometimes.
Sattu ke laddoo...
Some desi molasses for sweetening, some ghee for binding and sattu, just three ingredients, no cooking and a tasty quick snack ready.
Just rub 2 tbsp of molasses or honey if you don't get (desi molasses), 1 tbsp of ghee in a cup of sattu, and bind it to make a few round laddoos (balls).
Isn't it a great ingredient to have in your pantry?
I do a cheat chutney with sattu as well. Mix equal amounts of sattu and dessicated coconut powder, add yogurt and whip to make a thick chutney, season with salt and temper with a littl sesame oil, hing, mustard seeds, red chilly and curry patta and a nice spicy chutney is ready for your idlis or dosa.
And we make a sattu ka paratha as well. Do try that for a nutritious family meal sometime.
Do you use this ingredient? How often?
Use it more if you already do.