food-facts

Sattu - The Versatile Nosh of Northern-plains


Sattu is one of the most popular snacks which is enjoyed in various delicacies in India. One can take sattu as a drink or eat it making doughs or prepare some flabbergasting and mouth-watering dish out of it. Being an ancient and crucial part of Bihari cuisine, there are many varieties of sattu depending on their ingredients. It was used as a preservative method to provide legumes a long shelf life. Like every other robust delicacy of the northern plains, sattu too is getting popular among the modern communities. Besides being highly nutritious, its flavor and versatility in preparations attract the consumers. It is considered to be a ready-to-serve superfood by the wellness gurus.


SHADES OF SATTU:

Channa Sattu, the most popular of all is the one prepared from the Bengal gram. Gram is also the title to be the poor man's protein, serves as a good source of protein and micronutrients. The grains undergo four major steps to transform into the desired product viz. Soaking, drying, roasting, and grinding. The gram (chickpeas) are soaked in water overnight then dried, just enough to remove the free water. The dried grains are then roasted to high heat. Traditionally, the roasting process is done in earthen pots with hot sand in it. The sand roasts the greens instantly and evenly leaving behind an attractive roasted flavor and color. Salt may be also used as an alternative to sand but it leaves its taste into the grains, hence salted status are prepared this way. But mainly the unsalted power is popular since they can be consumed as either sweet drinks or can also be transformed as laddoos. At home, one can use the metal dish or 'Kadai' to roast the grains at medium flame for around half an hour. Some people prefer adding Cummins too for taste and its healthy effect on the stomach to curb acidity. The roasted grains are sieved and ground into fine powders.

Chana sattu is most popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, including some regions of Nepal. While in Punjab barley sattu is a favorite to the locals. In Odisha, sattu is often called 'chattua'. Millet sattu is popular in Telangana. Through a combination of maize, wheat, barley, sorghum, and gram is also available in the market.


SATTU DELICACIES:

* Sattu Drinks- It is the easiest way to gain all the required health benefits in no time. For working folks who skip their breakfast and rush to work. This drink can be termed as a collective breakfast. It can be either sweet or salty as to one's choice.


   1. Sweet sattu drink- 3 tbsp (tablespoon) of sattu powder is added with 1 tbsp sugar (or honey or jaggery for health-conscious people) in one glass of water, and here we go! drink is ready to replace our breakfast.

   2. Salty sattu drink- there are many ingredients used like coriander leaves, mint leaves, amchoor powder, chopped onions, chilies, roasted cumin powder, and few drops of lemon juice with salt and 3 tbsp sattu in a glass of water. It is an amazing refreshment for summers, also it aids in beating heart. Adding a few ice cubes can add more to the refreshment.



In rural regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, farmers who grow the legumes enjoy the nosh in many other ways-

* Eaten as dough or chappatis- a dough of sattu is made with other ingredients it can be either sweetened or salted and consumed or can be made into capacities and enjoyed.

* Parathas- if you are a paratha fan, this spicy pocket of capacities would blow your taste buds with its tangy-spicy flavor. If made with fresh ingredients this simple cum easy-to-prepare meal can fetch your stomach and satisfy your cravings as well. Sattu mixed with freshly chopped coriander leaves, onion, garlic, chilies, and amchoor powder (or pickle) and freshly squeezed lemon juices and other spices, are stuffed in the parathas and served hot with chutney.


Sattu Paratha 

* Litti- these all-time favorite little balls have earned a lot of love and fame throughout the world. These are a rustic and traditional dish of Bihar and Jharkhand regions of India. These are stuffed whole wheat dough balls. The stuffing is a spiced mix of sattu. Littis are served in a company with chokha. Chokha is a mashed relish that can be made with roasted brinjal or boiled or roasted potatoes and roasted tomatoes. Or a combination of all three is also a delicious choice.

The litti can be cooked in various methods -

1. It is traditionally roasted on hot charcoal or dried cow dung fire. The taste of this made this way is very different.

2. It is also roasted on Tawa, only the lists are flattened and flapped on hot Tawa at low flame and cooked till charred spots are developed.

3. Nowadays this can be cooked deep-fried, baked in the oven, or grilled on tandoor.

* Sweets- Sattus can also be rolled to laddus like besan. We can enjoy sattu-like-laddus, in fact, it is easier and lighter than those of besan laddus. Melted ghee and honey is poured on the powder in a bowl and mixed thoroughly. Keep it to rest for a while and golden spheres are rolled out of it. One can use jaggery as well besides with honey, it gives the laddu an authentic aroma and color.


NUTRITIONAL VALUES:

Sattu is an old age potent drink that is all-natural with high fiber and protein loaded with iron and magnesium. It also has cooling properties that keep the body hydrated during summers, as mentioned earlier.

* Low glycemic index- The glycemic index of Bengal gram is extremely low around 8 hence it is highly preferred as a superfood for diabetic patients. Scenes low GI foods have high commercial demands, sattu is a good and affordable option.

* High in fiber- Enjoying as little as 100ml to 150ml sattu daily can keep us feeling full and consuming fewer calories. Also, roasted grams have the capability of controlling lipid levels in the blood-stream as they are rich in fiber. Being rich in high fiber content, it can even reduce the risk of catching colorectal cancer.

* Healthy bones- Sattu contains iron, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and vitamin which contributes to maintaining strength in the bones. In addition to that, calcium and phosphorus also help in maintaining bone strength.

* Regulation of blood pressure- Great amount of potassium present in the drink helps in stabilizing blood pressure and keeping it low. Because potassium could rectify the effect of sodium in the blood-stream.

* Prevention from cancer- Selenium one of the rare minerals found in some fruits and vegetables is present in roasted grams. This mineral detoxifies some carcinogenic compounds from the blood and also helps in reducing inflammation and tumor growth.


Including this delicious relish in our diet regularly will support our health and may reduce the risks of developing chronic diseases, like heart diseases and cancer.


After learning all these health benefits and easy to prepare numerous delicacies of sattu, one can hardly neglect the importance of the nosh, which is all affordable at the same time.


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Madhu Ray

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