I have a very vivid childhood memory about Jwari lahi-peeth; my mother’s family including her grandparents, her uncles and aunts and even my maternal uncle and his wife (my maternal grandparents had moved to another city years ago) lived in a big fat joint family of forty people in their huge ancestral home (a typical wada as it is called in Marathi) in Aurangabad. My great-grandmother came from a family whose wada was right next doors. And in this neighbouring household lived an elderly relative, Rama Mami. Rama Mami was widowed and had no children of her own, but lived her life on her terms; refusing to be dependant on her relatives children as was the norm those days. Every summer vacation, my grandmother would take us to Aurangabad and it was a lot of fun in a mad house of that many people! So, Rama Mami would always take me home and feed me with a lot of traditional summer goodies. She would still grind her flours on a grinding stone (jaata) by herself, and two things she would freshly grind and feed us children was Satoo che peeth (more on this in another post, maybe in summer when we make fresh peeth) and Jwari Lahi che peeth.
Jwari lahi is nothing but sorghum puffs; the Sorghum grains are puffed in a huge iron Kadhai (wok) over a wood-fired stoved at very high temperature. These puffs are then eaten just like that, salted, or used to make Chiwda (a savoury snack). Some of the sorghum puffs would also be milled on a grinding stone to make a flour called Lahi-peeth (Lahi: puffs, peeth: flour). Jwari Lahi-peeth would often be consumed for a quick breakfast, mixed with warm milk and honey/sugar or with buttermilk, cumin and salt.
The high-fibre content in the puffs keeps your hunger pangs at bay for a long time. I think this is an excellent local substitute for rolled oats; it is a lot cheaper and has similar nutritional benefits being rich in Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Niacin and Thiamin. It is also gluten-free and thus useful in managing celiac disease.
This is a quick savoury breakfast recipe I tried with Jwari Lahi peeth as I was bored of eating it with milk/buttermilk all the time.
2 cups Jwari lahi peeth (Sorghum puffs flour);
1 cup besan (Chickpea flour);
1 cup yogurt;
1 red onion, finely chopped;
1 capsicum, finely chopped;
¼ tsp Ajwain (carom seeds);
½ tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds);
Red chilly powder, to taste;
Salt, to taste;
Oil, to grease the pan.