Wheat is a staple in India. It is consumed in every strata of society and the delicacies made from wheat are enjoyed by people of all age groups.
Wheat flour is called Atta in local parlance. Atta is so versatile that it is inevitably consumed in some form or the other in everyday life. One can churn out umpteen varieties from this must-have ingredient in the Indian kitchen.
Some delicacies that one can dish out using Atta are-
Here is quick and yummy recipe for Atta halwa.
Ghee/clarified butter- 1 cup
Atta- 1 cup
Cardamom powder- ¼ tsp
Sugar (white or brown)- 1 cup
Water- 3 cup
Saffron strands- 4-5
Sliced almonds and pistachios- 1 tbsp.
- Heat ghee in a thick-bottom pan.
- Now add wheat flour. Mix it well without forming any lumps.
- Roast by stirring continuously on a low-medium flame.
- The mixture will start to turn golden and aromatic after 12-14 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, the mixture will turn dark golden brown. This indicates that wheat flour has cooked. Keep it aside.
- Take sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat it on low-medium flame.
- Stir the mixture well so that sugar dissolves. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
- Slowly, pour the hot sugar syrup over cooked wheat mixture stirring continuously.
- Stir continuously. The mixture will absorb all the water.
- Keep cooking for 5 minutes while stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed.
- Next, add cardamom powder. Mix well. You can also top up with saffron strands and sliced almonds and pistachios.
- Relish the flavorsome Atta halwa.
How is Atta obtained?
Stone mills were commonly used to grind wheat, Chana, Jowar, and Bajra in ancient times. This process retained the richness and fibrous nature of these edibles. But, it was both time-consuming and tiring.
However, with the advent of automation, today Atta is obtained by grinding the wheat kernels (also called wheatberry) in electric machines. Most of these machines are modern and retain the nutritional value of wheat. Nutritionists strongly recommend using whole wheat Atta as it is fibrous and healthy.
The multifold benefits of Atta
- Protects against obesity, cancer, and diabetes- According to scientific studies, whole grains protect against many diseases. Atta is derived from whole wheat and has a high fiber content. The wheat bran is also rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that have anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease- Clinical studies tell us that there is an exponential decrease in cardiovascular diseases by increasing the servings of whole grains by just 90g a day (3 servings).
- Reduces the risk of stroke- Studies have proven that the consumption of whole grains like wheat also reduces the risk of stroke.
- Aids in digestion- Consuming whole wheat has a positive effect on the human gut. Its prebiotic properties and high fiber content lead to better digestion.
Tips to remember while buying Atta
- Always look for Whole Wheat Atta (whole wheat flour) and not just Wheat Atta.
- Avoid buying Atta that is purely white and fine. Whole Wheat Atta has a brownish hue and a coarse texture.
- Many stores sell organic Atta and multigrain organic Atta as a healthier version.
- It is best to get Atta ground in front of you. This will help you decide the quality and how you want the texture. One must grind the wheat kernels in such a way that it has coarseness as a fine texture will reduce its fiber content.
How to store Atta?
Keep Atta in a tightly sealed container in a cool and dark place. This way, Atta can last up to 2 months. Keeping it in the refrigerator will increase its shelf life by another 2 months.
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