Tuesday, 1 August 2017


....... Late 70's ..... Early 80's .... Long winter vacations at school... for a month or so..... and I spared no time to travel to my maternal grand parent's home. The brother would come with my parents later. This was the scenario until I was in college. It was an irresistible call..... I was born and brought up in that home.... too strong a bond. I remember when we first came to Kolkata, I cried and refused to..... I loved everything about that small township some 100 km away from Kolkata ..... also famous in some parts of the world for something. I feel I will take its name only when I pay a tribute to my birth place..... which I should have done by now. The wow thing is that the senior was born just few kilometres away from mine, though a year later. I often say, you see we were destined to meet. The inevitable answer comes quick and crisp .... oh yes! you would not have got a better head to eat. The wife does not get bitter, perhaps she had zeroed in on one or two of the exclusive collection of sarees from Jayeeta or Debarathi and an accessory from Gahonaz to pair it with.... how much of a dumbo she is, she cannot afford to get bitter in such a situation ..... she has to buy them all. Instead, she soaks some rice and dal separately for 3-4 hours, grind them to a paste in an electric grinder, switch on gas, places a non-stick pan atop and prepares the crepes. It never was this easy for the grand mother, mother or for the yesteryear ladies in general. That is the reason why I always say, I am nothing compared to them.

Let us go back to our childhood. The grandmother wraps a shawl around her little girl who sits quite with a steel plate looking greedily at the 'unan'.... the clay oven.... it was a big one in the courtyard of half of a football ground size, a garden surrounded by thirteen coconut trees, the grandfather grew even turmeric, ginger in the open space he kept for growing seasonal produce, and some landed properties further interior. No, he was not a zaminder, just a banker who valued every coin he earned. Excuse me dadu .... I will just buy an authentic Kalamkari and Madhubani on my next visit to Kolkata ..... after that not much .... plain cottons ..... I have to unlike all the saree pages that I have liked in Facebook .... they are up to prove that I am not the daughter of that family. Coming to the grandmother, she  would tirelessly prepare a number of sweet and salty pithey .... Bengali sweet meats / salted snacks.... Dhupi, Doilla, Chitoi, Shoru Chakli, Gokul or Moongpuli. As a child, my appetite was like that of an adult, perhaps so I am punished with something called Diabetes .... 'jiboney onek paap korechilam noiley oats khete hoy'..... I must have committed major sins in life, else I would not have to live on oats. My oats loving friends, its just for fun and no means to take a dig at you.... just as you cannot think of having oil drenched fried eggplants with rice accompanied by a dollop of ghee, a pinch of salt and a green chilli... you will need to have an antacid at the very sight of it.... that was my favourite breakfast on way to school / college. Rujuta Diwekar will surely block me from her page.... you guys are not as bad as I am, and you will get some valuable notes on over all health, on pregnancy from her page. She does not need a recommendation from a 'chunoputi' .... small time blogger like me, all in good gesture... I find her reasonable who even recommends ghee for the weight watchers.

The mother too did all the sweetmeats / savoury snacks mentioned above learnt from her mother, and here is my attempt to carry forward the legacy. I will not talk much about the mother today, she is not picking up my phone..... early morning and she must be on the terrace.... mending her plants, cleaning her prayer room. When she is busy, she would not talk over phone. The daddy used to say, mamoni your mani is too busy now.... call in the evening.... the mamoni has to chat with her senior in the evenings and do a bit of cooking. Yet, my mother knows about every secret of mine, each story of my life, I find peace in that. I wished to share something with her.... the pppppp ... pops, daddy, father is visiting too much in the dreams these days... I see him mostly in family gatherings... marriage or otherwise and yesterday in a shoe shop along with the brother and me... woh... buying only from Bata was the norm in our house.... He is angry with the daughter, she no more remains his sweet, little, innocent girl who he thought will remain so for ever.... What to do Pops.... survival strategies, but trust me I will not go beyond limits. Do not ask me what the yellow roses are doing atop shoru chakli, red roses are ok though as its common. Well, do you ever ask the Big B why he signed some horrible movies breaking the hearts of millions of fans. We do not always do everything for a reason or we may too, which is not important here. More important is how to prepare 'shoru chakli' / salty Bengali style Crepes on oven top with just two ingredients rice and dal and a little bit of salt. Authentically, we always enjoy it with Khejur Gur aka Date Palm Jaggery. I used Thai Jasmine Rice and the dal has to be Beulir Dal or Urad Dal in this recipe. Do not use over polished, fine cut rice for this purpose. If you do not want to be too conventional, serve it with some veggie sides. Come let us dive into the recipe and enjoy them hot and fresh.

I had a rough brush up of few recipes of Shoru Chakli on Google, but we all know each Bengali family follows more or less same recipe, I followed mine.

Rice : 11/2 Big Cup [I used Thai Jasmine Rice]
Beuli / Urad Dal : 1/3rd Big Cup
Salt : As Required
Oil : 1/2 tsp for 3-4 Crepes

We will soak the rice and dal in two different bowls in enough water for 3-4 hours.

Drain the water from the dal, and grind it to a paste. Try not to add too much water.

Now transfer the dal paste to a big bowl.

Now we will get a paste of the rice in a grinder adding little / some water. Transfer it to the same bowl where we kept the dal paste.

Mix well both the dal and rice pastes. I straightaway use my right palm. Add water little by little until it becomes a running consistency, yet a bit thick. Add salt as is required and fold in well.

Heat a pan atop the oven. Grease with little oil. Take one big spoon and pour in the middle of the pan and quickly spread with the back of your spoon. Turn over when the sides are little crisp. It is preferable to use a dal serving spoon for the crepes.... 1/2 tsp oil makes 3-4 crepes.

Once we turn over, the done side looks as below.

Authentically, we enjoy it with Kejurer Gur aka Date Palm Jaggery .... you can choose yours.


  1. Its akin thin rice pancakes, of course, this is the traditional one. Nice. Can be filled in, maybe with some veggies, akin a wrap as well.