Mid-April each year, the harvest festival (or the start of the regional New Year) is celebrated round the country in diverse ways. Punjab has its Baisakhi, Kerala its Vishu. Bihar welcomes the season with Satuaan (सतुआन), also called Satuaa Sankranti (सतुआ संक्रान्ति).
The prefix ‘satuaa-‘ comes from ‘sattu‘ (roasted Bengal gram flour), a staple food in Bihar. For Satuaan, it is customary to eat a meal with sattu as its star item. The festival ushers in the summer season, so associating sattu-eating with it follows sound logic: sattu’s cooling properties are an effective antidote to heat.
We keep up with tradition by having sattu in some form on the occasion. This year, we had sattu chokha.
Sattu chokha is a very simple dish – no cooking, no artistry required in its making.
OK, this will probably not win prizes in a beauty contest, but call for Top Comfort Food and this is where I’ll place my bet.
- Sattu – 1 cup
- Mustard oil – 2 teaspoons
- Fresh lime juice – 2 teaspoons
- Green chilies – 1 or 2
- Onion – 1 small
- Salt – to taste
Chop the onions, green chilies finely.
Mix sattu with salt and mustard oil.
Add finely chopped onions, green chilies and freshly squeezed lime juice into sattu. Knead well. Add some water if required – just enough to make smooth balls of the sattu chokha, not so much that the chokha turns sticky.
Serve on the side with any Indian meal.
Meal today: boiled rice, aloo kathal curry (potato jackfruit curry), bhindi (okra) and sattu chokha.
For another popular sattu dish, try sattu paratha.