I am not particularly devout, I do not pray everyday though I do know chants and stories and the lot.
This is childhood conditioning. I have seen my Mother and Grand-mother (Ajji) as well as my Great Grand Mother (Panji) praying, everyday. As a child, whenever I visited my Ajji would call us or the evening prayers and we (cousins) would sit near her, hands folded and chant after her, looking at the soft glow of the 'diva' that burned steadily, strong, like her faith in God.
it always felt very peaceful after praying.
Maybe that was the real and only purpose of those rhythmic chants, to make you feel good.
Panji used to tell us wonderful tales of Gods and demons and how good always won over evil. At the end of the story, she would hand out small chunks of 'khadi sakhar' (rock candy).
My Aaji always had 'Rajgira Ladoo or chikki ' at home, for the days she fasted, this was a quick snack apart from the usual khichadi or thalipeeth. That was the only form of Rajgira I ever knew, until I came to the USA. Amaranth flour has gained popularity.
It is a gluten free flour, making it a good option for those who are sensitive to gluten or avoid it as a part of their diet.
These days we hear a lot about going gluten free. I wonder if I would be able to do it. It is a life style change and I admit, I am not quite ready for it. But like many of you, I too have my share in trying recipes that are gluten free, and I have been doing so for ages, before I knew about gluten or pseudo grains with high- protein.
To me Amaranth was a mystery. The first time I heard someone mention it ( and they called it Amarnath) which reminded me of this.
I do not fast, much, I used to, back when I was a teen and a young adult, I believe that along with religious conditioning, a large part of the charm was the food made for 'fasting', feasting, as I liked to call it!
But I do not remember having tasted these.
The last time I went to the Indian store I wandered around a bit, as I usually do (I have started avoiding the Indian stores on weekends, it is madness!) and found myself in the 'Puja items' aisle.
and at the end of the rack, with a medley of Pooja books, I saw Rajgaro flour. Of course I had to pick it up.
Making this thalipeeth is very easy. If you have all the ingredients and it uses what is mostly available in a Maharashtrian household)
1 cup Rajgira/ Amaranth flour
1 Potato, grated ( I used 1/2 sweet Potato)
1 Green chili, finely minced
2-3 tbsp of Roasted Peanut powder ( daney koot)
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
Ziploc bag- large size
In a mixing bowl, mix all the listed ingredients, except water.
Add water by the teaspoon, very little is needed to bind the dough.you will probably require 1/4 cup, max. But do not add it all at one go.
Once you are ready to make the thalipeeth, set the griddle on the stove
place the Ziploc on the counter top and add a small drop of ghee and smear it, alternatively, use oil spray.
Pinch off a small portion of the dough and make a ball and place it on the ziplock and pat it into a small circle.
Once done, carefully lift off the thalipeeth from the Ziploc and place it on the hot griddle.
Drizzle a few drops of ghee and cook till one side is golden brown and with some spots on it.
Carefully flip and cook on the other side.
Serve with yogurt or can be enjoyed as is.
Be careful when patting the dough on the Ziploc as well as transferring it to the hot griddle.
Traditionally potato is used, but I quite liked the taste of sweet potato here. I am also thinking of using a mashed potato the next time, that might give it enough binding to make it easier to pat and transfer etc.