BHATIA CULINARY TERMS
Bafaru, pronounced Bah-fah-roo, is the term used for Steaming.
Bafaru is the process through which a dish is cooked from the heat generated from the boiling of water.
The item being cooked is never in direct contact with the water.
Bhatia food items which are cooked through this method include Dhokra, Sooji ja Dhokra and Muthia.
Bafaru is a term, which is interchangeably used with Tokaru by Bhatias, which is the term for boiling.
When Potatoes, Chick Peas (Channa), Cow Peas (Lobiya) have been undergone the process of boiling, they use the term Bafaru rather than Tokaru.
Bafaru is called Bhafna is Hindi.
EK TAR / BHA TAR (ONE STRING / TWO STRING)
Ek Tar pronounced as hick-taar & Bha-Tar, pronounced as buh-taar is the terminology used for indicating the thickness of sugar syrup (Chasni).
Although most sweet dishes have different procedures for cooking, the sugar syrup used in them is generally made in one set pattern.
The consistency of the sugar syrup may, however, change from recipe to recipe.
Consistency in sugar syrup is measured by the thread test.
A little syrup is taken between the index finger and the thumb. Threads are formed depending on how much the sugar syrup has boiled.
Ek Tar means 1-string consistency while Bha Tar refers to a 2-string consistency. The thicker the sugar syrup, the more the Tars or strings in their consistency.
In Hindi, Ek Tar is called Aayk Tar and Bha Tar is called Do Tar.
MAY’R (THICKENING BATTER)
May’r pronounced may-er refers to the mixture made of Channay jo Atto (Bengal Gram Flour) and water.
In the absence of egg or gelatine in the Bhatia cuisine, most of the curries made for Lunch use May’r as a thickening agent.
May’r adds body to a curry.
For every 1 tsp. of Bengal gram flour, 1/2 a cup of water has to added to make a watery paste.
The thumb rule of using May’r in curries is 1 tsp. of Bengal gram flour has to be used for every person.
For example, when cooking a curry for 4 people, a May’r of 4 tsp. of gram flour would be required.
MOAR (BINDING /TASTE ENHANCING AGENT)
Moar, pronounced mow-urr is the terminology used to describe Oil or Ghee, which is added to flour when kneading dough.
Moar is added to flour to make the final product crispy and firm.
Usually, one or two spoons of oil or ghee are added to the dough.
Sekaru, pronounced say-kuh-roo refers to roasting.
Due to the absence of meats from Bhatia cooking, Sekaru in not done in the Tandoor like it is in normal Indian cuisine.
Sekaru in Bhatia cuisine is restricted to Roasting on a tawa or on a direct flame.
In the olden times, roasting used to be done directly on a charcoal fire, which due to the billowing smoke gave a very unique flavour to the dish being roasted.
Sekaru is called Sekna or Bhunnana in Hindi.
SEEJAIRU (INVERSE STEAMING)
Seejairu, pronounced see-jai~ru is the terminology used to describe ‘inverse steaming’.
For vegetables with low water content like potato, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, this cooking process is used.
The vegetable is placed in a deep pan and is covered with a Thali (plate with horizontal rim) filled with water.
When the pan is placed on a flame, the heat generated from the boiling of the water cooks the vegetable.
The moisture generated from water cooks the vegetable slowly and prevents it from burning.
Taranu, pronounced tah-rah-nu, is the general term used for frying (shallow frying, deep-frying, stir frying).
Most of the frying in Bhatia food is done in a Kadhai.
The advantages of cooking in the Kadhai include use of less quantity of ghee / oil but at the same time because of the shape of the Kadhai, larger quantities of food can be fried evenly.
Taranu is called Talna in Hindi.
Tokaru, pronounced tow-kuh-roo, simply means boiling or bringing an item to boiling point.
This is a common process in cooking all the Bhatia Lunch curries.
Usually, in Tokaru, a curry is bought to boiling point and then the heat is reduced to medium for the remaining cooking process.
Tokaru is called Ubalna in Hindi.
UNDER (BOILING WATER)
Under, pronounced un-dur, is the term used for ‘Boiling Water’.
In the olden days, when the cooking used to be done on coal and wood, to quicken the process of cooking, a lot of ladies used to start cooking by keeping pots of water for Boiling.
The boiling water was used for the preparation of rice (through the draining method) or for the preparation of curry dishes.
VAGHARNU (TEMPERING OR COOKED SEASONING)
Vagharnu, pronounced vah-ghhar-nu refers to ‘Tempering’.
This method involves frying spices in hot Oil or Ghee.
Hot Oil / Ghee has the ability to extract and retain the essence, aroma and flavour of herbs and spices.
When giving Vaghar, oil or ghee is bought to smoking point and then the heat is reduced. The crackling of the spice or a change in the colour indicates that the process of Vaghar is complete.
Vaghar not only adds to the flavour of the food but also sparks the look.
Vaghar is also called Tarka in Hindi or can be called Cooked Seasoning.
Vaylaroo, pronounced, way-luh-roo, is the term used for rolling.
The term refers to the process of rolling pieces of dough into discs shapes of various sizes.
Vaylaroo is called Bhelna is Hindi.
Vilowrunoo, pronounced as vee-low-run-nu, refers to churning.
The term is usually used when the churning is done manually-with a Mandiro – for example when curds are churned to make buttermilk.
Now-a-days, manual churning has been replaced with the automated mixer.
Vilowrunoo is called Manthan in Hindi.
Visamaru, pronounced, vee-sa-mur-oo, is the term used by Bhatias to describe simmering.
In Bhatia food, Visamaru is done when a dish is nearly cooked.
In this case, the heat is reduced to simmer and the Kadhai or Toap in which the dish is being cooked is kept on a Tawa and covered with a Rekabi (lid).
A generation or two ago, during Visamaru, pieces of smoldering coal were placed on top of the Rekabi (lid) while the dish was being cooked on coal. This was done so that the heat for simmering was even -from the top and below.
Visamaru in Hindi is called Dum Lagana.