Bhaarbhunja [parched grain] is cooked usually using short grain parboiled rice, grams or chickpeas, groundnuts. Rice, grams, groundnuts are roasted in a huge wok-like vessel called karahi with hot sand. A karahi is a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking pot (similar in shape to a wok) used in South Asian cuisine. The word has been coined from bhaar, which means stove and bhunja means gram or chickpeas.
The food is stirred all the time for even distribution of heat. The delightfully crunchy, flavorful snack, perfect for packing in a lunch is produced and it is filtered through a sieve to drain all the sand. Then toss them with whatever flavorings you like – I prefer Chili powder, lemon juice, onion, and black pepper with a dash of salt.
Not the most gorgeous thing in the world, but once you throw them in a little bowl they look just fine. It’s amazing how the grams, chickpeas, groundnuts and rice go from soft to crunchy; they really have a satisfying texture!
I love bhaarbhunja as anytime snacks. There was a bhaarbhunja vendor near the gate of the hospital where Jaya’s mother is admitted. We used to have bhaarbhunja for lunch during the days we went to see her. It has become Jaya’s lunch as she is with her mother since she is hospitalised.