Monday, 5 September 2016




          Ukde tandla bakri / bhakri is a breakfast dish which evokes nostalgic memories in the heart of every person who has enjoyed it even once in childhood. The smell of the cooked, slightly roasted rice and coconut suffused with the welcome fragrance of roasted green banana leaves in which it has been cooked on a cast-iron pan over a wood burning stove turns one into a hungry child, anxiously awaiting the delicious bakri.

The hot bakri is served to children, topped with a dollop of fresh, homemade butter or ghee, sprinkled with sugar whereas adults have their first one likewise and the next with hot torin ghashi or with soyi bhajjile ghashi or with poached egg masala curry or with niliye kholu or with mushroom curry or with any Konkani pickle.


     1)    Parboiled rice (preferably ponni rice) – 1 kg.
     2)    Grated coconut – 350 gm.
     3)    Salt – 10 gm. (2 teaspoons)
     4)    Water – 520 ml.
     5)    Banana leaf pieces of around 8” x 8” (20 cm. x 20 cm.) – 24 Nos.

To prepare:

          Soak the rice in water overnight (for urgent cooking, see note). Rinse the banana pieces carefully in water, wipe dry and set aside. Wash and drain the soaked rice. Use the measured water (no more than 520 ml.) to grind the rice together with the grated coconut to fine paste in your food processor (a little coarseness in the paste is alright).

Transfer the paste to a bowl, tip in the powdered salt and mix well. Set a cast iron pan on high heat. As soon as it is hot, place a banana leaf on the pan (dark side up) and put a dollop of batter in the center (around 150 ml. to 175 ml. would be ideal). Cover with another leaf (dark side down) and press it uniformly either with your fingers (the traditional way) or with the flat bottom of a vessel (my style, for an easy and more uniform result). Cover the upper leaf with a cloche.

A minute later, turn down the heat and let cook slowly for 7 minutes. Now lift up the cloche and flip over the leaf sandwich carefully. Cover again with the cloche and let cook for 7 more minutes.

Open the cloche and peel off the upper leaf. Flip over and peel off the lower leaf too. Roast each side for 2½ minutes. Your mouthwatering ukde tandla bakri is now ready to serve. Serve hot as suggested in the introduction.



          As it takes 20 minutes of cooking time to roast a bakri, I always use two cast-iron pans side by side to save on time.


          For urgent cooking, put the rice in a vessel and pour in enough boiling water to immerse it fully. Cover with a lid and keep for an hour. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again before grinding. However, I like the traditional method better as it gives a fresher taste and a nicer smell to the bakri.

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