Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The evolution of the humble khakhra

The khakhra is a Gujarati snack. It is probably one of the simplest foods ever. It is basically a chapati that is roasted as crisp as a papad. It is typically made of wheat flour, a little salt and a little oil. A dough is made with these ingredients and then made very similar to a chapati. This is then roasted in a tava by applying pressure with a wooden utensil. Ghee can also be used while roasting the khakhra to make it a little tastier.

The most a good cook would experiment with the khakhra would be by adding a little jeera to the dough to add a touch of flavor to the otherwise bland recipe. A few years back, however, people started experimenting a lot with the khakhra. They started making masala khakhras - basically adding turmeric, chilli and other masalas to make the khakhra quite tasty.

Most people would have the khakhra for breakfast with milk, tea or curd. Some people would also have it as a tea time snack, sometimes with a little pickle. But due to the plain nature of the snack, it would always need an accompaniment like curd or tea. With the masala-isation, however, the khakhra took on an independent identity and people started relishing masala khakhras plain.

Recently, people have started taking experiments with the humble khakhra to another level. You now have a large variety of khakhras. The mangroli khakhra, tomato khakhra, bajra khakhra, bajri-methi to even pani puri and pav bhaji khakhras! You also get a dosa khakhra which actually is dosa batter made into a khakhra!

As people started becoming more and more watchful about what they ate and how healthy it was, the khakhra adopted too. So, you now had seven-grain khakhras and khakhras without ghee!

There are entire stores in Mumbai and Ahmedabad that are devoted to khakhras and allied items.

Take a look at this picture of a variety that I recently saw:



The khakhra is shaped like a mobile phone, complete with a keypad on the packing and is called SMS khakhra! It is ideal for people like me for whom the khakhra forms a great 5 p.m. snack at work. Easy to carry as well. The interesting thing about this khakhra is it is labeled 'whole wheat bran diet and health' but at the bottom says 'Ghee sada'! Pray, how can a khakhra that has ghee be branded as a 'diet' khakhra??

3 comments:

Arun Sharma said...

hi Kamal hats off to your positive energy and zeal to live life.
I am a regular reader of your blog from past one year, as my father's kidney also failed and he now goes for dialysis twice a week.
After reading your blog, I learnt lot about this disease. I wasn't aware of the steroids treatment in the beginning which can help jump start the kidney function in rare cases, so I am going to ask my dad's doctor to try that.
I am not sure if you have read a recent development about a artificial kidney being successfully tested in Animal and the test is going to start n human and if all goes well it might become available as soon as 5-6 years, I just wish that to happen sooner...

wish you all the best!! and keep writing your experience

Kamal D Shah said...

Thanks Arun for your comment!

I hate to say this but the artificial kidney that you read about in the newspapers recently is going to to be used in human trials in 5-7 years. In my reading, it will be at least twenty years before people like me can use it.

Thanks
Kamal

Anonymous said...

If they use unadultrated ghee then it is a diet food. You have to use some sort of oil to cook food and ghee is easily absorbed by body compared to refined oil. Infact refined oil is more damaging then ghee as refined oil creates deposits inside arteries which causes blockage in arteries...