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Besan roti
(Chick-pea-flour bread)

One kilometer from Varsana, the birthplace of Lord Kas eternal consort, rmat Rdhr, theres a small village named Annapura, known for its prasda, which is said to be cooked with more devotion than that of any other place in the universe. The residents of Annapura are famous for their hospitality. For the past five thousand years, it is said, every visitor to this village has received a warm welcome, and a meal, usually with as many besan rotis as he could eat.

Preparation time: 15 min
Standing time: 30 min
Rolling and cooking time: 5 min for each roti


2 cups (200 g) sifted whole-wheat flour
2 cups (200 g) chick-pea flour
11/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 or 2 fresh chillies, minced
3 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander or spinach leaves
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
2/3 cup (150 ml) warm water

Combine the flours, salt, spices, and coriander leaves in a large bowl. Rub the ghee or butter into the mixture. Gradually add warm water while mixing and kneading, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover the dough with a moist cloth and set aside.

After 30 minutes or more, put a heavy griddle or tava over medium-low heat. Break the dough into 12 parts. Take each part, form it into a ball, and roll it out. Fold and roll it out again like a paratha. When the pan is hot, place a besan roti on it and cook each side for 2 or 3 minutes, using a little ghee or butter if the roti sticks to the pan. Then spread 1/2 teaspoon of ghee or melted butter over one side and rub it into the roti with the back of the spoon. Do the same with the other side. The besan roti is finished when both sides are golden-brown and freckled with reddish spots. Cook all 12 the same way.