Sattu Paratha is a Bihari delicacy made with wheat flour and stuffed with a delicious and spicy filling of the sattu flour: a healthy flour blend primarily made with roasted kala chana (black chickpeas) or chana dal.
I first came across ‘sattu’ in my late teens, while trying to lose some weight. This healthy flour blend was marketed as a miracle weight-loss ingredient, one that Bollywood celebrities swore by for weight management. Years later, I now know there is no single ingredient that can magically burn off all that fat, and that a balanced meal with exercise can take you miles ahead in your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, as I look for ways to include diverse grains, pulses, and legumes in my diet, I’m drawn back to this miracle ingredient that is not just healthy, but also delicious. Once considered a ‘poor man’s protein‘, the healthy Sattu flour is a blend of pulses and cereals with some spices, and most commonly uses kala chana (black chickpeas) or chana dal (split chickpeas) as the base ingredient.
This flour blend is rich in fiber and protein, increasing the satiety of the parathas. It is considered a natural remedy for cooling the body, making it an ideal summer food. While you can make stuffed sattu paratha, you can also deep-fry to make sattu poori. You can shape them into balls, and roast them for Litti. Or quite simply – you can just mix the flour with water and drink it as a beverage. It’s the rustic version of a savory protein shake, and comparatively inexpensive too.
What are the key ingredients needed for a Sattu Paratha?
Sattu flour, a healthy flour blend primarily made of ground kala chana (black chickpeas) or chana dal (split chickpeas), can be found in Indian stores or online.
Achar masala or the pickle juices from Indian mango or lemon pickle are used to flavor the sattu stuffing. You can use homemade or store-bought ones. Although you can simply skip and increase other aromatics in the recipe, the achar masala adds a very distinct flavor to the parathas.
Onions, Cilantro or Coriander Leaves, Green Chilies, Ginger & Garlic are all aromatics added to the sattu flour to add texture and flavor. You can adjust proportions based on your taste preferences.
Cumin Seeds (jeera) help ease the digestion of the high-protein flour and Onion Seeds (kalonji) enhance the flavors of the stuffing.
Mustard oil or sarson ka tel, though not mandatory, adds so much flavor and character to the sattu stuffing. It also helps bind the ingredients so you can make balls of the stuffing. This makes it easy to stuff the dough and roll out even parathas.
Whole-wheat flour, or specifically, the Indian chakki ka atta, is used in all the common paratha dough recipes, along with a hint of Carom Seeds or ajwain.
How to make the Dough for Sattu ke Parathe?
Fairly straightforward. Just mix the flour, salt, crushed carom seeds and oil. Add the water and knead to a soft dough. Brush with oil and allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours. This relaxes the gluten, and helps you roll out the parathas easily.
How to make the stuffing?
The stuffing for sattu paratha couldn’t be any easier. You just need to mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, taste, and adjust for seasonings if required. Allow the filling to rest for a couple of minutes, and the onion will start to release some moisture. This makes it easy to form balls of stuffing. You can add the stuffing in the middle of the dough with a spoon, but rolling the stuffing into balls ahead of time can save you the mess of spilling.
How to form the Parathas?
Then just place the stuffing ball in the middle of a flattened dough, bring the sides to the center to form a stuffed ball, and carefully roll it into a thin paratha. Cook on a tawa or pan with some oil or ghee until golden.
What can you serve Sattu ke Parathe with?
Sattu Paratha can be served with plain yogurt, tomato chutney, green chutney, or also side dishes like aloo matar, baingan bharta, and more.
Here’s a video recipe on how I make my Sattu Paratha at home –
Sattu Paratha – a healthy flatbread stuffed with ground chana
For the Dough
- 2 cups Whole-wheat flour or Indian Gehun ka Atta
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Carom Seeds or Ajwain
- 2/3 cup Warm Water
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup Sattu Flour (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
- 4 Tbsp finely chopped Onion
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds or jeera
- 1 tsp Onion Seeds or kalonji (optional)
- 2-4 pieces finely chopped Green Chili Pepper (adjust for spice)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Cilantro or Coriander leaves, dhania
- 1 Tbsp Achar Masala or pickle juices from Indian Mango or Lemon Pickle
- 1/2 piece Lemon, freshly squeezed (adjust to taste)
- Cooking Oil or Ghee
For the Dough
- Mix flour, salt, 1 tsp Oil, crushed carom seeds together. Add warm water and bring mixture together, Then knead the dough for 7-8 minutes or until its soft and smooth.
- Add to a bowl, cover with some oil. Close with a lid and let it rest for at 30 minutes to 2 hours. This helps gluten relax, and make for softer parathas.
For the Filling
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix well. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Let it rest for a minute, and the onion will start releasing moisture. Divide into equal portions and roll into 8 balls.
To make the Parathas
- Divide dough into 8 portions, and roll into neal balls.
- Flatten out each ball a bit, place the sattu filling in the center. Bring all the edges to the center and seal it to form a ball. Roll into a smooth ball.
- Then add some flour to the work surface, flatten out the stuffed ball. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a thin paratha.
- Add to a hot pan or tawa. Cook with a little oil or ghee, press on both sides and cook until the parathas are golden on both sides.
- Serve hot with some yogurt or pickle or chutneys.
- You can store these sattu parathas in the freezer for upto a month. Just thaw them and reheat before you want to serve them.
Here are some other Indian recipes you might enjoy –