By Pooja Kini
Ever since I moved back home, my mother and I have grown incredibly close. Though we’re very different people, and our schedules rarely align, we usually find each other in the kitchen at some point during the day. I’ll sit on the counter top while she’s cooking, help her chop vegetables, or just join her at the table with a snack. We talk about everything, from the squirrels and birds in our yard to school to spirituality to recipes to music. Somehow, in these moments, the three decades between us seem to disappear.
As a home cook, I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, and it’s become somewhat sacred in these COVID times. I’ve grown to really treasure our time together. It’s a refreshing break from the screen and I’ve come to associate it with some of the best parts of life: love, casual conversations, and rays of sunlight pouring through the windows.
The other day, we were making one of my favorite recipes together for lunch: Rulaav Bhakri, or the Konkani version of Rava Dosa made with semolina, whole wheat flour, coconut, and green chillies. As we danced to Madonna and Tina Charles, she told me that as a teenager she would listen to ‘80s hits on her walkman, pretending she was the main character in her daydreams. (I’m 23 and I still do this, so….)
Anyway, I love when my mom makes these because they’re warm and crispy and taste incredible with some butter. Not to mention they’re pretty easy to make, so you can have a dance party in your kitchen while doing so. This is my grandmother’s recipe!
Rulaav Bhakri (Konkani Rava Dosa)
Recipe by Vasanthi Shenoy (my grandmother)
2 cups semolina A handful of whole wheat flour An inch-long piece of ginger 1/2 cup of shredded coconut 3 green chilies Salt to taste
- Combine the semolina and the whole wheat flour, and set aside.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind coconut, green chilies, ginger, and salt until it forms a loose paste
- Add the wet paste to the dry flour mixture, and slowly add water while mixing to form a wet bhakri batter. It should be thick, not runny or watery.
- Set the bhakri batter aside for 10 minutes so the semolina can absorb the water, and if the batter is dry, clumpy or too thick, add more water.
- Heat a cast iron skillet.
- Using your hands, take a handful of the bhakri batter and spread it in the center of the skillet. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can also use a ladle to do this, but this is traditionally done by hand.
- Add ghee to the skillet while the bhakri is cooking, as you would with a dosa. This will crisp it up, brown it, and add flavor
- When the bhakri is a light brown color, flip and cook the other side.
9. Serve with butter or your favorite condiment, and enjoy!
Pooja is an Economics and Accounting student at UC Santa Barbara pursuing a full-time career in public accounting. At any given point in the day, you’ll probably find her drinking coffee or listening to one of her (way too many) personalized Spotify playlists. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and loves being outdoors, exploring new food spots, and styling recipes for her food blog on Instagram.