Vikhroli Cucina

This humble grain is winter’s tastiest snack

14 January 2019 , 0 comments / 0 likes
The excitement of the New Year has died down, but the nip of the winter is still lingering in the air. Amongst several grains harvested in winter, hurda is catching the eyes of many. Winters call for a freshly roasted hurda, which is the toast of the season. It’s one of the best winter snacks to chase your cold weather blues away! Read to know more about this humble grain and its rising popularity.

What is Hurda?

Hurda is another name for the tender seeds of freshly harvested jowar or sorghum. During the winter, after jowar is harvested, farmers roast tender hurda seeds on coal or cow dung cakes to create a delicious and nutritious snack.

The freshly harvested tender jowar heads are roasted to perfection in the pits; then the roasted hurda is separated from the chaff by expertly rubbing the hot jowar by hand. The roasted hurda is then eaten while it is hot and juicy along with accompaniments such as jaggery, red garlic or spicy peanut chutney. Buttermilk or sugarcane juice is served with this delicious snack.

Healthy and delicious
As with most traditional snacks, hurda is full of healthy nutrients. It is known to have high mineral and fibre content. Hurda is rich in B-complex vitamins and non-starchy polysaccharides. Freshly roasted hurda or ponkh as it is called in Gujarat, washed down with a glass of cool buttermilk is the most under-rated snack yet.

Hurda parties – an experience of rural India
Young and old, families and friends, relax and experience rural India at Hurda parties. Hurda is so delicious that the humble grain has become a reason to party in several parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Hurda parties are organised in farms in several villages in Maharashtra and Gujarat, where guests are invited to partake this tasty treat with their families and friends. Freshly roasted hurda is eaten off the flames, and copious amounts of sugarcane juice and buttermilk are consumed. Hurda parties generally start in the late afternoon, going on till late in the evening.

Lunch and dinner of simple rural fare such as jowar and bajra rotis and brinjal sabji is usually a staple at these parties. Some farms also organise activities like bullock cart and horse rides and harvesting fresh jowar and vegetables. A typical hurda party involves plenty of tasty food and generally relaxing in the sylvan environs of the farm, far from the madding crowds of the city.

Cooking with hurda
The popularity of hurda is on the rise, and the grain is slowly finding a place in modern kitchens. Hurda is a very versatile grain and can be used in a host of dishes. The most popular dishes that you can incorporate hurda is hurda bhel or hurda chat. Also popular are hurda bhajji, hurda upma, hurda bhakri, and hurda raita.

So what are you making with hurda, this winter?