Cool quotient: Here’s how you can combat harsh summer with Sattu - Hindustan Times

Cool quotient: Here’s how you can combat harsh summer with Sattu

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Mar 26, 2018 06:21 PM IST

The humble-looking ground mix is versatile, packed with health benefits, and acts as an antidote to the approaching hot weather.

As summer starts to tighten its grip across the country, we often rush to instant coolers like ice-cold water, ice creams and sodas. Often neglecting traditional cooling foods, we tend to consume what looks appealing on the surface. One such traditional food item is the sattu, which is used as the base item in many regional dishes in India. A ground mixture of several pulses and flours, sattu has excellent cooling properties.

Sattu, made by grinding chana (chickpea) has excellent cooling properties.(iStockphoto)
Sattu, made by grinding chana (chickpea) has excellent cooling properties.(iStockphoto)

Nutritionist Kavita Devgan, says, “Sattu is a cooling food and acts as an antidote to heat. It is very versatile — can be eaten in multiple ways. The easiest and most popular is sattu sharbat which can be had either sweet or salted. You can also make sattu stuffed rotis and parathas, upma, or even porridge and laddoos with it.” Chef Nishant Choubey, of Roseate, says, “It has high level of minerals, fibre, iron and calcium. Predominantly, chana (chickpea) sattu is used, although bajra mixed with it adds to the benefits.” Being neutral in taste, it easily blends with any dish. “It has the phenomenal quality of accepting any flavour, be it in sherbets, breads or halwa. It is very filling as well,” he adds.

Chef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien, says, “Sattu is prepared by dry roasting bengal gram. The traditional way of preparing sattu involves the use of an iron vessel, in which grams are roasted in sand, sieved and ground to fine flour.” This wonder food that sustains people through harsh summer days, is truly a labour of love. “Some people in Bihar call it Desi Horlicks,” he reveals!

Tracing the history of sattu is not hard. It originated in the Hindi-speaking belt of the country comprising regions of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The method of preparation varies from region to region. Food historian Pushpesh Pant, says, “Sattu originated in the countryside in the Hindi heartland that comprises the present day states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh along with adjacent areas. It is the quintessential poor man’s food— nutritious, easy to prepare and consume without any paraphernalia.” The food is such an integral part of culture that it is celebrated during festivals. “It is celebrated in the [Bihari] festival of satuwan. It’s said, ‘Ghar par kuch nahi ho to gamche mein sattu bhandkar le jana (if there’s nothing at home, take some sattu along in your scarf and get to work)’. For countless migrant labour sattu is the taste of home and family,” adds Pant.

The food has stood the test of time, and is back in vogue among the younger generation. “In spite of being in a culinary exile for long, this humble food didn’t lose its charm. Millennials are now much more aware of the benefits of sattu,” says Kumar.


•It has a lot of fibre, most of which is insoluble, which is great for the gut. It helps cleanse the stomach. It is a wonder food for those suffering from gas, acidity and constipation.

•It provides instant energy, and is an excellent source of good quality vegetarian protein (100 grams delivers about 20 grams protein).

•It has a low glycemic index, making it good for diabetics. It is low in sodium, too.

•It is a good source of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and vitamins C and A.

•100gm of it gives you about 400 calories, which means 2 tbsp (25 grams) will only give you 100 calories only..

•It is an indigenous, completely natural and safe protein powder. It aids weight loss and helps build muscle mass.

•It has a long shelf life—it stays good for a really long time.


Here are some easy to make, nutritious and yummy sattu recipes:


Sattu cholle tortilla with tamarind jelly by chef Nishant Choubey of Roseate.
Sattu cholle tortilla with tamarind jelly by chef Nishant Choubey of Roseate.

Mix 200 gm sattu, 40 gm kuttu atta and a pinch of salt. Slowly add warm water to make a dough. Rest it for 2 hours, then roll out into small chapattis and cook on a very hot griddle. Heat ghee in a pan, and add some chopped ginger and garlic, green chilli and jeera. Once roasted, add cholle masala. Now add 30gm onion-tomato masala. Add salt to taste and 100gm boiled cholle. Cook well and add coriander leaves. For the jelly, mix 100gm each of tamarind pulp and jaggery, and 10gm each of roasted jeera and rock salt. In a bowl, mix 20gm gelatin with hot water till it forms an emulsion. Mix with the rest and refrigerate to form jelly. Serve with the tortillas.

By chef Nishant Choubey of Roseate


Sattu chilla by chef Rahul Kholia of Brew Buddy.
Sattu chilla by chef Rahul Kholia of Brew Buddy.

Make a batter with 25 gm ground urad dal, 100 gm ground rice, 25 gm sattu, 5 ml oil olive and some salt. In a separate bowl, mix 10 gm each of diced paneer and chopped onions, and some coriander, green chillies, ginger and sprouts mix. Spread the batter on a hot pan and cook on low flame. Spread the mix on the chilla and fold. Make a salad with some lettuce leaves, mix bell peppers and lemon. Serve it with a dip made from 20 gm yogurt and 5ml strawberry preserve.

By chef Rahul Kholia of Brew Buddy


Sattu ke Laddoo by chef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien.
Sattu ke Laddoo by chef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien.

Heat 125 ml desi ghee in a kadhai, add 125 gm sattu flour on low flame and cook till it achieves a light brown colour. Remove from heat and let it cool. In a non-stick pan on slow flame, add desi ghee, chopped cashewnuts, almonds and pistachios. Cook till toasty. In a cup, take 20 ml milk and soak some saffron strands. Now, mix roasted dry fruits, sattu, saffron milk, 30 gm green cardamom powder and 250 gm bura sugar and 50 gm karara sugar. Make small balls and serve with garnish of silver leaves and dry fruits.

By chef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien.

Sattu Ka Sharbat

hef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien.
hef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien.

In a jug, add 4 tbsp sattu, 1 tsp roasted cumin powder, 4 tsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp sugar and black salt (to taste). Pour 750 ml chilled water to it. Mix well, so that there are no lumps. Pour sharbat in a glass, put some mint leaves, chopped green chillies, grated raw mango and serve chilled.

By chef Davinder Kumar of Le Meridien

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