Monday, March 15, 2010

Tandlachi Bhakar / Goan Rice Flour Flatbread.

Today is my Pappa's Birthday.

Tandlachi bhakar is my Pappa's favourite dish and every year my Ma would make tandlachi bhakar for breakfast for my Pappa's B'day and their Wedding Anniversay.

As Ma is not here with us to make this I just wish that today I could be in Goa and I could prepare this tandlachi bhakar for my Pappa for breakfast(sigh).

When one stays overseas,on the other side of the world, this is the major disadvantage, one cannot go and be with one's parents in joy or sorrow as and when we feel like :(

Like my Pappa I too like this bhakar very much so I tend to make it sometimes, I could munch on these all day long :)
I used to make it a lot specially when my daughter was allergic to wheat and could not eat chappati. My daughter was allergic to wheat, eggs and soy so, I used to make everything gluten free and egg free from breads to cakes to pancakes to....u name it and I used to make it, well that's another story to dwell upon some other time.

Back to tandlachi bhakar which is nothing but humble rice flour flat bread made the Goan way !!

Ma made different kinds of bhakars,like rava,wheat,nachni,etc but this one was a regular fare at my parents place.

Ma had many banana trees in her backyard and so she used fresh banana leaves for a lot of things from roasting fish(bangda) in charcoal to lining the bhakar's while roasting them on the griddle. Oh ...those bananas leaves impart an out of this world aroma to the humble bhakar.

There are 2 ways of making the bhakar either
1)add warm water in the flour and mix or
2)boil the water and then add the flour to the boiling water.
The latter produces more softer bhakar.

And there are 4 ways of flattening out the balls of dough,
1) dip fingers in water and place the dough on the hot tava and quickly spread it out using your wet fingers,
2) take the washed banana leaf and lay it flat on the counter and then flatten the dough ball using fingers dipped in water and then gently lift the banana leaf along with the flattened bhakar and keep it on the griddle along with the leaf,
3) roll the ball sandwiched between thick plastic bags(like Ziploc) or foil.
4) dip a cheesecloth in water and rinse and lay on counter, then spread the ball of dough using fingers dipped in water, then flip the bhakar on to the hot tava and take/peel off the wet cheesecloth,

I like the banana leaves method but as I do not get fresh banana leaves here in Canada and I do not like the frozen ones, I prefer the third method.

Pappa, A Very Happy B'day To You & this bhakar is for you all the way from Canada !!

1 cup rice flour,
1 cup water,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar or jaggery,
1-2 green chilly , chopped fine,
1/4 onion , chopped fine,
4 tbsp grated coconut,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves(optional).

  • Heat water in a pan. When boiling add salt,and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Take off the heat and let rest for few minutes till cool enough to handle. Knead the dough for a few minutes to make it smooth.
  • Meanwhile heat a tava or griddle on medium heat.
  • Make 2 balls of the dough.
  • Take a piece of foil and put the ball on it and put another piece of foil over it and then roll using rolling pin to make 3/4 cm in thickness(thick like a paratha).
  • Lift the foil along with the bhakar and then flip the bhakar on the hot tava, foil side up, take off the foil and reuse to roll the next bhakar.
  • Cover with a lid and let the bhakar cook for few minutes on one side, then using a spatula flip it on the other side and let cook till few brown spots appear and it puffs up like a roti.
  • Take off the heat and apply a little oil or ghee and enjoy with dry khobra(coconut) chutney as in the picture.
  • I prefer mine plain or dunked in hot tea !!!!!!! And so do my kids :)


Sometimes Ma used to add dill leaves(shepo leaves) or grated cucumber to the dough.

I add chopped spinach leaves or grated butternut squash or zucchini to the dough for a change and extra nutrition for my kids.

1 cup yields 2 bhakars, you can double or triple the quantity as required.

Ma usually served it with green chutney or the Goan (khobarya chi chutney)dry coconut chutney as I have shown in the picture.
When my Dad read this post he reminded me that my mom also made this bhakar by soaking rice for few hours, then grinding it to a thick paste and then cooking it on a slow flame till it comes together into a ball. Add the rest of the ingredients (seasoning ) and then make the bhakars.
But that is a lengthy process so I think I will stick to the rice flour for now.


  1. Mayuri,
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I have book marked it. My nephew's have some allergies and this might be a good thing for my sister to prepare. A very happy birthday to you papa. I am sure he would be happy seeing you post on it.We always prepare food to make us relive a memory. I hope you enjoyed the Bhakara's. I sure your dad would have too. Nice post.

  2. I think I should post the many recipes that I invented for my daughter and her allergies. What allergies do ur nephews have.
    Thanks a lot for ur wishes n words, that is true food is definetely related to memories in all ways!!!
    I absolutely love the bhakars.

  3. Hi Mayuri,
    Your blog is a cool one and you have many a tasty recipes listed there. I have spent quite some time in Goa and your blog reminds me of all the good times there.

  4. Hi Ashwini,
    Thanks for ur sweet words.