I’ve been harping a lot recently about how I’ve “missed out” on my favourite winter food. It’s really been playing on my mind and I think I’m going to go on overdrive to catch up. One of the first few things on my list is this Bhusri. It’s a recipe (well it’s hardly a recipe because it’s just that simple) that has been passed down my mom’s family for generations. For me, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Even more when my mom makes it. But when I tried to google it and add a link here, there just wasn’t one. I tried different names and the description. But nothing. Zilch. Nada.
I was taken aback because I just couldn’t believe that other people hadn’t figured out the delicious posibilities of gur (jaggery), ghee and parantha all in the same dish! To be fair, there were a few versions which added gur and til (sesame seeds) to the dough itself but the concept of the liquified gur inside the parantha, into which I can further dip and douse the parantha just takes it to a whole new level for me.
Here’s what I used for 2 paranthas:
Atta/ Whole wheat dough for 4 rotis (about 1/2 cup of dry flour kneaded with enough water to make a soft dough)
3 tbsp of grated gur
3 tsp ghee
Home-made white butter to serve
Here’s how I made it:
First, I grated the gur. My mom actually uses shakkar (powdered jaggery) but it wasn’t available at the store when I got the craving so I just grated some gur.
Then I placed the tawa (iron griddle) on medium-low heat. While the tawa was pre-heating, I divided up the dough into 4 parts, enough for 4 rotis/ phulkas, about half the size of a golf ball each. Dusting the first with dry flour, I rolled it out into a thin roti.
Then I put it aside until I could roll the second one.
The little one hanging off the right side is the small one I rolled to season the pan, so the main ones don’t take too much of the heat and burn. I explained some more of that here.
When I had rolled the second one (roughly a little larger than the first), I spread half teaspoon of ghee on its surface.
Then I placed 1-1/2 tbsp of the grated gur on it.
Spreading it roughly into a circle, I left some space on the edges to be able to seal the parantha. Then I placed the first roti on top of the gur layer.
Folding the edge of the larger roti over the smaller one, I pinched and sealed them. This is important because if the gur leaks out it will burn on the hot tawa.
Placing the parantha on the hot tawa, I watched it like a hawk. On medium-low heat, it took about a minute on each side. I dabbed the parantha with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee on each side and cooked until it was golden on both sides.
Keeping it on low heat and not pressing down too hard is also important to avoid bursting and preventing the gur from leaking. I actually managed to get a tiny hole in the first one and some of the gur did leak and burn. But I’m not my mom. And I can afford to have a few imperfections! I did have better luck with the second one, which was more evenly golden with lesser dark spots and no tears.
Anyhow, that’s all the steps there are. Ideally, these should be served as they turn out. But if you do want to make a few more, then pile them on a plate and cover loosely with a kitchen towel so they stay warm and, yet, don’t get soggy.
I served it with a generous blob of home-made white butter (well, made by my mom-in-law but home-made nonetheless!).
AK didn’t much like the white butter, but I already knew that. I should have thought to add regular salted yellow butter. It’s an acquired taste, specially if you grew up eating processed salted yellow butter all the time. I love the slight sourness of the home-made butter but it’s a very personal preference.
Anyhow, here’s the best part. The part which can’t be rivalled by the gur-kneaded-into-the-dough version! I tore it open, dunked some more butter in there waited a few seconds for it to soften and melt into something I can only describe as pure bliss.
I love tearing off pieces of the top layer and scooping up the goodness of buttery gur and eating it. It’s a real messy version of delicious but I’m sure you’ll learn to navigate your way around it…
As kids, we were always taught not to drink cold water or other beverage while having bhusri. The reason told to us was that the gur would just solidify somewhere in our system and would not be digested properly, leading to a serious tummy ache. I have a feeling that it’s one of those silly things moms say to make their kids behave, but I never tried to challenge the advice! I suggest you avoid beverages too, or stick to hot tea as an accompaniment!