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Snack away ?Sattu? power

?SATTU? NOW comes in barcoded packages. And, it?s selling like hot cakes. Forget the grain weighed out by the handful. It?s the modern ?healthy, diet food?. Now departmental stores, malls, fancy grocery-general stores, and even neighborhood grocery stores have this simple, convenient, nutritious, healthy and cheap traditional food on their racks. And the Sattu packets don?t gather dust on the racks.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 00:02 IST

‘SATTU’ NOW comes in barcoded packages. And, it’s selling like hot cakes. Forget the grain weighed out by the handful. It’s the modern ‘healthy, diet food’.

Now departmental stores, malls, fancy grocery-general stores, and even neighborhood grocery stores have this simple, convenient, nutritious, healthy and cheap traditional food on their racks. And the Sattu packets don’t gather dust on the racks.

At Shree Keshav House, Janpath a-top-of-the-line grocery store, ‘Jau-Chann Sattue’ and ‘Channa Sattu’ have pride of place alongside fancy original Italian pasta packets. And they are being grabbed as health and convenient food.

‘Sattu’ is an age-old traditional food. It is made by first roasting black gram, barley, wheat grain and then, making flour. There are different combinations of ‘Sattu’ too. ‘Sattu’ is now, made out of roasted black gram, or barley. Or there are combination of black gram and barley, or black gram-barley-wheat, or black gram-wheat combos. For consumption all one needs to do is take some ‘Sattu’ powder in a bowl, pour normal water (according to desired viscosity), sugar and a pinch of salt into the mixture and stir. There are two ways to consume it—thick paste or thin watery ‘Sattu’. Some people also have pickle to go along with it.

Traditionally people used to make ‘Sattu’ powder at home, but as making this is a cumbersome process, ‘Sattu’ was virtually forgotten in kitchens.

So, how has it made a comeback? Cashing in on the wave of healthy food, some cottage industry people started making it and supplying it in packets to groceries stores. And there are now branded ‘Sattu’ packets too available in these stores.

Amrit Lal Arora, of Prabhu Dayal Provision Stores, at Joppling Road says: “Everyday I sell several packets and demand is rising. It is the urbane kind of people and families who are the main customers. These are health and fitness conscious people who buying it.”

And the packaged ‘Sattu’ in shops is creating enough awareness that the ‘Sattu’ heap at the ‘laiyya-channa wallahs’ has started vanishing everyday.

“’Sattu’ has been a power meal and ‘summer meal’ on daily menu of traditional homes. It’s ‘taaseer’ goes well along with summer and it has been know as heat-protector in summers. And now, it has made a comeback. I sell several kilos of barley-wheat and black-gram ‘Sattu’ every day. The sale of ‘Sattu’ was never like this,” says Raju, the ‘laiyya-channa’ shoppe near Coffee House.

Scientist Dr Kamla Kulsreshtha, at the Eco-Education Division of National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) who also educates urban and rural people about food and nutrition says: “People may laugh at ‘Sattu’ but it certainly is a high energy health food. It is very good for summers. Its making a comeback as now all that people have to do is to rip a packet, pour it in water and stir”.

In grocery stores, the prices of different varieties range from Rs 11 to Rs 14 per packet of 250 gram, while at laiyya-channa shops prices are even lower—Rs 30 to Rs 40 per kg.

So, snack away!