Cook's Hideout: Besan Chikki - Independence day food parade

August 14, 2006

Besan Chikki - Independence day food parade

Indira of Mahanandi is hosting a very unique Parade for this year's Indian Independence day. She wants us to whip up our culinary skills to salute Mother India on her 59th Independence day. My entry is a very simple dish (more like a peasant dish) that does not require many ingredients.
Chikki (or savory biscuits) made with besan (chickpea flour) are cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce and it is usually served with any kind of roti or rice. This is my mother-in-law's authentic besan chikki recipe.

For Chikki:
Besan - 1 cup (sifted)
Red onion - 1 small chopped fine
Green chilies - 3 chopped fine
Curry leaves - 3
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4tsp
Salt - to taste

For Gravy:
Red onion - 1 small chopped
Tamarind pulp - 1/4 cup thick home made kind (fibers removed)
Fenugreek powder (menthi powder) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 2 - 3tbsp (depending on taste)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste

  • To make besan chikki: First fry the besan in a pan on medium-low flame, until it turns golden brown and does not smell raw anymore. Remove onto a plate and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan, add mustard and cumin seeds. After the seeds pop, add the chopped onions, green chilies, turmeric, curry leaves and saute till onions are softened.
  • Add 1¼ cups water (besan:water=1:1¼) to the onion mixture and let it come to a slow simmer. At this stage add fried besan slowly, stirring the mixture continuously, making sure that there are no lumps.
  • Keep stirring until the mixture comes together like upma. Remove onto a greased plate, cut into diamonds and let cool.
  • To make gravy: Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and after they splutter, add onions and saute till light brown.
  • Add tamarind pulp and about 1/2 cup of water. Add all the remaining ingredients and on a slow flame, bring the gravy to a simmer, about 15minutes.
  • Add the besan diamonds and simmer for another 5-10minutes. Make sure not to move them too much in the gravy, this might break the biscuits.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
We had our besan chikki with jonna roti. Simple and very satisfying meal. You can find detailed instructions for making jonna roti in Indira's and Cook's cottage blogs.
Wish you all a very Happy Independence day.


  1. I am glad you could come to the parade Pavani. Thanks for this wonderful recipe for IDFP.

    Happy ID to you too!

  2. Very nice. Happy indepedence day.

  3. Hi Pavani,
    I am searching for this recipe. Thanx for sharing. Happy Independece Day!!

  4. This is such a unique recipe. Great entry. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Nice recipe, never tried it before..
    Happy independenceday!

  6. Healthy independence day with jonna roti and besan chikki. Thankyou for sharing a different recipe.

  7. Hi Pavani, very nice dish, I've never heard of it before. Will definitely try.
    Could you make a post on how to make jonna rotti please :)

  8. Thank you Indira for hosting a beautiful ID food parade.

    Hi Pushpa, MT, Krithika, KA, Sudha,
    Thank you all for your comments.

    Hi Tweety,
    Thank you for visiting my blog.

  9. What a different recipe. Thanx Pavani. i have loads of besan at home right now. So i'll give it a try


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