Like many disputes over food at home, this was also a dispute we always had. Summer always meant. Ma will change the menu of the house. Light dals, less spicy food, plenty of drinks and juices. No, I won’t lie that I have grown up eating summer salads at home. Salad meant slices of cucumber, onion and chopped-up coriander leaves. So what was the dispute all about? Coming to that in a while.
Sattu ka Sharbat in summers
Come summers, the office areas get dotted with vendors with earthen matkas on carts stationed during the day. They sell Sattu ka Sharbat. In a glass adequate amount of sattu is added, Cholar chatu or Bengal gram dry roasted in the sand and then ground to a fine powder is often used for this. Its stirred with rock salt and a dash of lemon and then served. It’s filling, refreshing and ticks all boxes in terms of nutritional values. That’s sattu ka sharbat for you. I have had this many times and really enjoyed the same.
The debate over Cholar Chatu or Jober Chatu
Sunday breakfast at a Bengali house is always Luchi? We had slightly different summers. That was always the point of debate. We used to have Cholar chatu or Jober chatu. There is a difference between the two. By difference, it’s not only the source or from where it has been made but also how they were consumed. Cholar Chatu was mixed with mustard oil, water and salt. The thumb rule was that the dough needs to be less watery and not runny at all. Always loved the accompaniments which came with this. I don’t know whether because it’s perceived as a staple from the neighbouring state of Bihar and my entire mother’s side had grown up there for several years, we had large onions and achar with Cholar Chatu. Was it like Ma? Spunky, savoury yet kind and affectionate?
Jober Chatu – add the sweetener
We had Jober chatu or the chatu from Berley with sugar. This one had more water added and some lemon too and usually in a semi liquid runny form. This was Baba’s favourite since he had a great sweet tooth. More time went into making this a perfect mixture and add water, add chatu and the process continued. Either ways I had a fun time as it was more time which can be spent on dinner table and an easy acceptable excuse to run away from studies.
The patience of making the chatu DIY in summers
We tried making the Chatu for few times at home and often realised that Tugga ran out of patience which can be a typical growing up syndrome but somehow I don’t want to stop the tradition of having the chatu. In the era of fresh eating and going back to roots, I don’t think anything can be better than this. If you don’t want to go through the entire rigour and keep it simple then this Sattu Ka Sharbat is a life saver in summers.
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Sattu ka Sharbat
- 1 cup chana Bengal gram
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 lemon
- 1 green chilli
- black salt to taste
- 2 pinch black pepper
- ½ tsp roasted cumin powder optional
- Dry roast the Bengal gram and crush with your hands to remove the skin. Then make a powder with the roasted gram. Alternately, you can find Bengal gram powder in the shops and use that
- In a vessel, take 2 tbsp of sattu (Bengal gram powder) and add chopped coriander leaves, the spices as per taste and chopped green chillies.
- Then add 2- 3 glasses of chilled water and mix well till there aren't any lumps. Finally, squeeze lemon juice, top with mint leaves and serve.