Mandua Ki Roti, Lesu, Kulath Ki Dal from Uttarakhand

>>  Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We just have one more day to complete this Mega Marathon and it's been a wonderful month of learning and reading about so many new dishes, cuisines and culture.

We today visit Uttarakhand, formaly known as Uttaranchal. The state is referred as "Land of the Gods", due to the many holy Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state.  The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon. This place is also famous as two of the most important rivers in Hinduism originate in the region, the Ganga at Gangotri and the Yamuna at Yamunotri. You can only guess at how beautiful the place must be!

The pictures I came about surely made me want to pack my bags off for a visit to this beautiful place. 

Uttarakhand, was one of the first states I had finalized the dishes that I wanted to make. This site has a pretty good recipe collection. I read about Mandua and realised that it is Finger Millet. When I was talking to Vaishali, she told me that she got this procured from the locals and that it is not ragi flour. She said the flour looks very different and its only locally grown. She promised to get me a batch. So I was waiting for our trip and decided I would do it once I am back home.

When we visited Vaishali at Ahmedabad, we had our share of Mandua waiting. The first time I saw when I entered the room was this packet of Mandua flour and Vaishali asked me to pack it right less, lest I forgot it. I was obviously not going to, but I anyway did it right away.

Back home I was waiting to make this and read through the recipes I had shortlisted. I was obviously going to make Mandua Ki Roti, the reading on Lesu, I thought that was pretty much easy to make that as well. I wanted to make Kulath Ki Dal. The first thing I did when deciding on Kulath, was the fact that this is Horsegram. I was surprised that Kulath was so commonly used in this state, just as it is in our state. Even in Andhra or down Tamil Nadu, Ulavalu or Kollu as it is called in Telugu and Tamil respectively, is very popular and sought out dal. Though we don't make a Dal out of it, Rasam Ulaval Charu or Spice Podi is very famous. Apart from this dishes, the gram is used in various methods and is known for it's nutritious nature. 
This only reinforced the fact that though we talk about so many cuisines, there is always a link among all the states and that heartening.

So coming to the Mandua Ki Roti, when I actually did the roti, I saw that the flour is very much Ragi, just the colour is much lighter, however the taste is same. Athamma was back home. Since she is an expert in making these rotis, I asked her what she thinks about this flour. She rightly guessed that it was Ragi, but looks like a locally grown variant. She said even at her place, there are different seed varieties are grown. 
I even made the Sangati, which is a popular Andhra Dish made with Ragi flour, with the Mandua flour. Amma said it was very good and almost the same as the regular one, except the colour being very lighter.

So coming to the dishes that I finally made, Mandua Ki Roti are mostly made during winters and holds a key position in the list of Uttarakhand's delicacies. It's mostly eaten with ghee or butter

Lesu is prepared in Kumaon as well as in Garhwal, this bread is prepared by stuffing the finger millet into the wheat flour.

Kulath or Horsegram is also know as Gahat. This dal is tempered with gandharein. Searching on what it is, I came to know it's a sort of hing, I couldn't get it, so just used the regular hing and cumin seeds.

Mandua Ki Roti

Ingredients Needed:

Mandua Pisun / Finger Millet flour - 1 cup
Wheat Flour - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Water for kneading

How to make Mandua Ki Roti

Take the flours in a bowl along with salt and mix well. Slowly add water and prepare a stiff dough.

Divide into equal balls, dust well and roll out into thin discs.

Heat a tawa. Once hot, cook the rotis on both sides.

Remove and apply the butter on top
How to make Lesu

Lesu | Stuffed Mandua Wheat Rotis

Ingredients Needed:

Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Mandua Flour - 3/4 cup
Ajwain - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

How to make Lesu

First knead the wheat flour with a bit of salt and keep it aside.

Next add ajwain, salt to the mandua flour and knead well. Rest this aside for 10 mins.

When you are ready to make the rotis, divide both the doughs into balls.

Take a wheat dough, press on the sides with center being thick, place the mandua dough in the center, cover from all sides and seal it well.

Dust with flour and gently roll out as a chapati.

Heat a tawa and cook the roti on both sides and grease with oil

Serve hot.
How to make Kulath Ki Dal

Kulath Ki Dal

Ingredients Needed

Gahat / Kulath / Horsegram - 1 cup
Tumeric a pinch 
Rice paste - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp 
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp 
Oil - 2 tsp 
Ginger - 1" 
Asafoetida a pinch
Garlic - 4-5 colves
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Gandherin - Small piece (I didn't add)

How to make Kulath Ki Dal

Wash and soak the dal in water for 1/2 hour.

Pressure cook the dal with enough water. Once the pressure falls down, add grated ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder and chili powder.

Mix the rice flour with water to make a thick paste.  Add to the cooking dal. Simmer for a 5 - 7 mins. 

Heat a pan with oil, temper with cumin powder, asafoetida and gandharein, if you are adding.

When the cumin starts sputtering, pour this over the dal, add butter, coriander leaves.
All the three dishes were very good. We liked the dal best, it was quite new from our regular method and will surely include in our regular meals.


vaishali sabnani April 29, 2014 at 4:40 AM  

I too loved this cuisine..the daal is delicious. .and of course the lesu is interesting. .
Love the way you go deep to find out about the products. Thankfully you have Athama's support.
Beautiful meal.

The Pumpkin Farm April 29, 2014 at 9:04 AM  

i had doubts about mandua been ragi but now you confirm it is not...i will check with a friend whether it is available in mumbai..this platter looks delicious...omg! 29 days done

Varadas Kitchen April 29, 2014 at 9:18 AM  

Nice combo. I made Lesu too and had to search for the Finger Millet flour. It is an interesting chapati.

Srivalli April 29, 2014 at 9:58 AM  

Pradnya We felt the mandua was Ragi flour..let me read through what I wrote, sorry if I gave the impression that it is not..

Nivedhanams Sowmya April 29, 2014 at 11:04 AM  

so mandua and ragi are so different!! I thought they were pretty much the same... Thanks for the learning.. so to make this roti, I need to get Mandua procured!! looks very nutrituous

Srivalli April 29, 2014 at 12:01 PM  

No Sowmya Both Mandua and Ragi are the same, the mandua flour I got is little lighter in colour, however in taste wise, it tasted same as Ragi flour. So you need not try to procure this flour elsewhere...

Priya Suresh April 29, 2014 at 8:09 PM  

Looks like am the one who didnt took much risk by choosing a simple dish from this state, u guys are just awesome.. Beautiful dishes there, now i can understand y Mandua is the hot topic today in watsapp.

Harini-Jaya R May 1, 2014 at 1:37 AM  

Good one Valli. You were lucky to lay hands on the actual mandua flour. Had it been me, I would have made it with Ragi flour :)

rajani May 1, 2014 at 10:16 PM  

I didn't know that mandua is a version of Ragi!! The restaurant review did mention ragi, but I thought it was a substitute or something. Anyway its never too late to learn :)

Archana Potdar May 3, 2014 at 9:56 PM  

I love your version of horsegram. Its going to end up in our meal soon. I ahve a huge batch to finish and my folks are not too keen on it. Guess for we need to acquire the taste yet.

Pavani N May 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM  

I made mandua ki roti too, used ragi flour I had in the pantry. Thanks for the detailed info on the differences of madua and ragi.
Gahath dal was on my list of dishes to make, but couldn't make it. Will definitely try it some time soon.

Padmajha PJ May 5, 2014 at 8:57 AM  

Din't know that there were different varieties of Ragi Flour! Thansk for the info and that Dal looks so creamy and I am sure to try it soon. With the number of recipes being bookmarked, it will take a lifetime to make them all!!!

Nalini's Kitchen May 5, 2014 at 7:20 PM  

Stuffed Mandua roti sounds inviting and kulath dhal has turned out well and sounds healthy too...

Jayanthi Padmanabhan May 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM  

mandua is ragi.. good for us, we can get ragi easily here. really appreciate all the in-depth research you do.. very helpful to all of us

Sandhya Ramakrishnan May 11, 2014 at 6:44 AM  

I remember seeing the mandua flour in the local Indian store, but she also has the ragi flour. need to check again if she still has the madua flour. Good read on the flours :)

Sapana Behl May 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM  

Stuffed roti with horse gram dal sounds like a complete meal ! Would love to try sometime....

Usha May 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM  

Lesu is quite interesting. Imagining how it tastes, millets stuffed parathas! I don't cook with horsegram but ulva chaaru was kind of a delicacy when growing up. I remember hearing it a lot but never really checked how it is prepared. And this was when I was very young. It was good to know some of the ingredients from the state.

Anyway, this is one complete meal from the state.

Manjula Bharath May 28, 2014 at 1:19 AM  

Very nice experiment done on comparing both flours dear and such an unique bread with it looks fabulous .. kulathki dal is just outstanding , tempting dish from Uttarkhand :)

Chef Mireille June 12, 2014 at 10:17 AM  

what authentic recipes to represent the state - so great that you were able to get the actual mandua flour from the state

Suma Gandlur August 1, 2014 at 7:07 AM  

Another traditional roti! Valli, did the flour taste like ragi too? If so, we can replace maandua flour with it, right?

Srivalli August 3, 2014 at 7:51 AM  

Suma, As I said Mandua is another hindi name for it's one and the same..:)

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