Making sattu


Sattu and its inputs

On of the best things about the neighbourhood where I work (a bit in the out and beyond) is the amazing sattu you can get. Probably because it is still a partially urbanised area on the fringes of Lahore.

Sattu is a sweet, somewhat gritty drink made from a flour also called sattu. And in the summer months its not uncommon to see people stopping on the roadside to get a quick drink of iced sattu sold by carts dotted on most thoroughfares.

It is incredibly refreshing, and if you’re into south asian traditional medicine (yunani) its also something renowned for its ‘cooling’ properties. An untranslatable word, suffice to say when you have some you”ll know it.

The hardest bit about sattu is getting the right flour in the first place. Sattu is a bit of a generic catchall, and can —apparently— be made from a bunch of different pulses. My first attempt to recreate the sidewalk version to was to get some from the supermarket. This smelt mostly like wheatflour and tasted like having water with common flour.

I however managed to get my hands on some desk barley wheat (jau) which is what traditional Sattu is made of. There is a somewhat involved roasting / grinding process (which I’ll write about in detail the future) but essentially you dry roast the barley (with husks) and then when well roasted, you finely fine grind them.

To make the drink, you need:

  • 3 tablespoons of Sattu flour
  • 1 tablespoon of jaggery (gur)
  • Half a lemon 1 cup of ice 12 cup of cold water A few small slivers of ginger (optional)

Add the sattu, jaggery, ginger and lemon with a little bit of water into a blender and let it mix well on a high setting. At the end of this you should have a smooth paste. Make sure, in particular that the jaggery is smoothly mixed. Now add the ice and just enough water to make it a little runny.

Pour into a glass and enjoy :)

Where to get jaggery / gur

I’ve had only limited success getting really good unrefined gur / jaggery in supermarkets. Invariably this ends up having refined sugar mixed in. The one I’m using here is from a stall at an organic food market. Details in where to get gur.

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