The kings of Jodhpur were known for throwing lavish parties for their courtiers and staff that would often feature quirky culinary innovations of royal cooks. On one such occasion, a king is said to have asked his cooks to create a vegetarian dish that tasted like meat to surprise his vegetarian guests. That is when Chakki Saag – made with gluten extracted by washing the dough, then steamed, cut and put in a gravy – was born. The chakki cakes can also be fried before being added to the gravy.
- 1 kg whole wheat flour
- Water (enough for making semi-hard dough)
- 200 gm desi ghee
- 200 gm onions, sliced
- 200 gm yoghurt
- 50 gm garlic paste
- 50 gm coriander powder
- 25 gm ginger paste
- 15 gm red chilli powder
- 5 gm turmeric powder
- 2 black cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt to taste
- Oil to cook
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Make a semi-hard dough with the whole wheat flour and water.
- Wash the dough under a gentle stream of water, placing a conical strainer below. Use your fingers to rub and wash away the flour, so that only the gluten remains.
- Once the gluten is extracted, spread it evenly on a flat tray.
- Steam it until cooked through. Cool and cut it up in desired shape.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add black cardamom and bay leaf. Sauté until fragrant.
- Toss in the sliced onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, in another vessel, whisk together yoghurt, ginger and garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
- Once the onions are golden brown, tip in the yoghurt mixture and cook until the oil separates.
- Add water to adjust consistency.
- Finally, add the chakki pieces. Let it all simmer for a few minutes.
- Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander.