Bhakras are synonymous to Parsi cuisine and a hot favourite at tea-time in numerous households. When we lived in NZ we used to miss eating bhakras so much that on my visits to India we’d take up to 7 – 8 packs of them stuffed into our suitcase to the disdain of NZ customs and security.
As much as I love eating them, I’ve never really thought of making them at home however. Why? Well I’ve heard tales from people galore of how hard they are to get right and finding a good bhakra recipe that works is quite hard. This all changed when the old uncle that comes to sell bhakras at my doorstep didn’t show up for around 20 days – we were craving our favourite snack and as luck would have it I chanced upon a bhakra recipe on my favourite Facebook group, ‘Parsi Cuisine’. I decided to wipe away the mental excuses and give it a go and am happy to proclaim that they turned out fabulous.
I even took some for my Hong Kong sojourn and fed them to the family to much praises. A special thank you to Zarina Cama and Benaifer Gazder Daruwalla for sharing their prized recipe that worked. Ingredients below the post as always.
First, sift together the semolina and wheat flour into a big steel bowl ensuring there are no lumps
Add in the sugar, ghee, eggs, cardamom, nutmeg and curd so that you can start making the dough. I recommend adding the dry ingredients in first and then making a well and adding the wet ones after that – this makes for easy mixing
Once you’ve added everything in go ahead and give those biceps a workout by kneading the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed together. If the dough is too soft, add a little more wheat flour.
Now, roll the dough into a big ball and allow it to rest for about 3 hours while you go read a nice book or catch up on the latest TV shows.
Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface to about half inch of thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut it into rounds. My bhakras below aren’t that round as I only had a square cutter so had to rely on just doing them by hand.
After all of this, it’s finally time to fry! Heat up the oil and deep fry. I very quickly learnt that bhakras fry really quickly so keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t turn black. If you are a fan of ghee you can also fry them in ghee instead of oil.
After the bhakras are out of the pan, I suggest cooling them in a colander for a while and then serving them the day after with some hot tea. You can also store these at room temperature in an airtight container for another week easily.
To make about 1/2 kilo bhakras you will need:
2 cups semolina
1 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
100 gms ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp cardamom and nutmeg powder
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
2 tbsp ghee
Oil for frying