January 31, 2018mayurisjikoni

Rice Bowl of India

   For the month of January the Shhh Cooking Secretly group (started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes) had to make cuisine from the state of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh literally means 36 Forts. This central eastern state was formed by separating the Chhattisgarhi speaking southeastern part of Madhya Pradesh in the year 2000. The north and south part of the state are hilly and the central part is  covered by plains.

   It is believed that Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman spent 10 years of their 14 year exile in the regions of Chhattisgarh. Its also in this state that Lord Rama was offered half eaten berries by the old blind lady Shabari. Shabari was a devout follower of Lord Rama. She waited patiently in the ashram for Him to arrive so that she could seek his darshan. As an offering to the Lord she had picked berries from the nearby forest. She tasted each one of them and left the sweet ones for Lord Rama. For her pure devotion Lord Rama blessed her with his vision. Shivrinarayan in Chhattisgarh is a famous pilgrimage and tourist place as its believed that Shabari lived there.

   The other famous religious place in Chhattisgarh is Champaran, the birthplace of Saint Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya of the Pushtimarg (worshippers of Shrinathji).

   Chhattisgarh is known as the rice bowl of India. No wonder many of the dishes from this region are rice based. Its the foremost producer of steel in India. It produces tendu leaves which is used to roll into bidis. It also produces coal, tin and iron. India’s largest waterfall Chitrakote (Niagara of India) is in Chhattisgarh. In fact Chhattisgarh has 10 falls in total.

   Most of the traditional dishes are made from rice, yogurt and leafy greens which grow in abundance in this state. Some of the more popular dishes from Chhattisgarh are fara(muthiya), cheela, angakar roti, chousela roti, borre baasi, iddhar, bafauri, aamat, bara, tilgur, khurma, dubki kadhi to name a few.

   My partner for this month was Vidya who blogs at MasalaChilli. Her blog is all about food, travel and gardening.Do check it out. She gave me chana dal and onions as my two secret ingredients and in return I gave her rice and black sesame seeds.

   With the ingredients she gave me I had a choice of making bafauri, bhajia or dubki kadhi. I’d never heard of bafauri till I started my research for Chhattisgarh cuisine. What attracted me to this recipe was the healthy and steamed part. I checked out quite a few videos before I made this version of bafauri. My first attempt was a total failure as the recipe called for 1 tsp of soda bicarbonate! The end product was reddish and tasted awful. So again I searched for other variations. Though my version of bafauri looks like the South Indian idli, it definitely tastes so different. While making the batter I thought “is this going to taste like dokhra?” But no it doesn’t taste like dokhra as its got onions in the batter and is not sour and sweet.

   Enjoy bafauri with a chutney of your choice. Hubby and I enjoyed a healthy guilt free light dinner with some homemade extra hot red chili sauce.

Makes 12 pieces

1 cup chana dal (chickpea lentils)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilli paste or 1-2 finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp oil (optional)
½ tsp ajwain, (ajmo, carom seeds)
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¾ – 1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp red chilli powder
a generous pinch of hing (asafetida)
½ – ¾ cup water

little oil for greasing

  1. Soak the dal in warm water for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain out the water from the dal and wash it.
  3. Put it in the blender along with the measured water.
  4. Blend the dal till it becomes a smooth paste. It should not be runny or too thick.
  5. Add rest of the ingredients and mix the batter well.
  6. Heat some water in the idli steamer.
  7. Grease the idli moulds with some oil.
  8. Spoon about a tablespoon full of the batter into the cavities.
  9. When the water is begins to boil, put the idli stand into the pan. 
  10. Cover and let the bafauri steam for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Bafauri is cooked if the top does not appear wet.
  12. Take the stand out of the pan.
  13. Let the bafauri cool down for a 2-3 minutes.
  14. Remove bafauri carefully from the idli moulds.
  15. Serve it with your choice of chutney or sauce.
  • If you do not have an idli stand, then use small heatproof bowls.
  • Be careful not to add too much water when you blend the dal otherwise the bafauri will be shapeless when steamed.
You may want to check out other steamed snacks:
Undi – (Udupi Cuisine)
arvi paan na bhajia (Gujarati Cuisine)
Muthia (Gujarati style)

Sending this recipe to the following event:



  • Aruna

    February 1, 2018 at 12:02 am

    I admire your exhaustive research, Mayuri, and your ability to weave into a concise story. I make something similar called Nunchina Unde from Karnataka on a regular basis. Look forward to trying the Bafauri; what caught my eye was the rich colour.

  • Masala Chilli

    February 1, 2018 at 12:16 am

    You have done great justice to those 2 ingredients by turning them into a healthy steamed snack. I have something to try soon now. Great share. Loved participating in the event and there was so much learning about the ingredients in this cuisine.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    February 1, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Bafauri word sounds interesting di and the recipe is so simple and healthy..in between love reading your informative posts 🙂

  • Ritu Tangri

    February 2, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Nice write up Mayuri. Bafauri, though an unheard snack, sounds interesting due to its simplicity and being healthy. will try it soon

  • Freda Dias

    February 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

    A totally new dish for me. Sounds great, hope to try it:)

  • Nivedita Thadani

    February 2, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Never heard about this food! very interesting. amazing work by you and your photos speak more in detail. lovely. I am going to make these for sure. Thank you Mayuri.


    February 2, 2018 at 10:59 am

    The recipe is very delicious,healthy and great for a snack if the mind craves it!I am positively trying this out soon and will get back to you!

  • Sonal Gupta

    February 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Love this new dish! So healthy and nutritious. Bookmarking to try 😍

  • Sharmila- The Happie Friends Potpourri corner

    February 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Great to know about this… Such an awesome share..

  • Ruchi's Veg Kitchen

    February 2, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Wow lovely recipe.. nicely explained. Will definately love to try

  • Nayna Kanabar

    February 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I have never heard of this recipe but I am always looking for healthy snacks and this definitely fits the bill.You are right it does look a little like chana dhal dhokla that we make in guju households.Book marking to try soon.

  • Jagruti Dhanecha

    February 2, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Bafauri sounds like Bafeli..I thought these are similar to Khichu. Loving all the ingredients as everything is basic here..can't wait to try this recipe.

  • jayashree

    February 3, 2018 at 8:23 am

    This is new to me and do need to try it. It looks similar to some dumpling we prepare in South India. Nice share

  • Shobha

    February 3, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Bafauri looks delicious and healthy as it is a steamed snack.. I will make it for hubby. He will surely like it.

  • Swati Goyal

    February 4, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Loved the recipe , totally new to me and best part is so healthy, going to give it a try

  • Sapana Behl

    February 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    This sounds like a healthy and spicy version of the idli. It would definitely make a healthy snack.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    February 5, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Awesome mayuri!! Such a lovely find! I m going definitely try this bafouri!! Looks pretty much like idly with dhokla color!!😂

  • seema doraiswamy

    February 5, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Loved to read the mythological history of the region. Lovely recipe.

  • Lathi L

    February 5, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Wow..never heard of this before.. definitely worth giving a try.. looks delicious

  • Sujata Shukla

    February 7, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    This bafauri sounds lip smacking, specially with a hot red chilli sauce! It was interesting to read about Chhattisgarh – both the mythology and the industry! And the cuisine is so varied and healthy! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I hope I get to make it soon.

  • priya satheesh

    February 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    oh wow what a great information. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 And the dish looks yummy and no doubt about the taste.

  • thegalnxtdoor

    February 8, 2018 at 5:41 am

    I made bafauri for the challenge too, and loved them. Your version looks so beautiful! Truly, this is such a healthy and tasty snack, an easy one to make as well.

  • Priya Suresh

    February 9, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Looks like bafauri is the star recipe of this month's event, and simply love this fantastic dish. Healthy snack.

  • Archana Potdar

    February 10, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Wow looks fabulous. This will be ideal for our diet now that we have to use less oil in our food.

  • Sharanya Palanisshami

    February 14, 2018 at 10:19 am

    It must be a delicious and guilt free recipe…….

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