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Jhingora ka Chencheda

I was a part of a fermentation workshop for three days last month conducted by Shubhra Chatterjee (Historywali on instagram) and it was by far the most eye opened I have ever felt (I actually have pretty tiny eyes so maybe it was a good thing all together). It feels a little dramatic saying this but I really felt lost and somehow didn’t know what do after it ended and honestly could not imagine what I had been doing before it. The almost 10 hours of everyday studying, running out of ink and more than 50 pages of notes filled to the brim was something I had never done in all my years of education.

In some of the sessions, we discussed the importance of making cultured buttermilk, something I have been learning and seeing my mom do for the past 6 months while I have been living in Dehradun because of corona. I learnt that I could use buttermilk in my breads, cakes to ferment them, I could make Sendege Menasu (curd chilli) I could even make a cheese called Kalari from J&K.

The bigger thing this workshop taught me that went beyond fermentation was going back to my own culinary roots- something that really needs a revival. As a garhwali, most of our cuisine has gotten lost or is something that is shameful because its not as exquisite as foods from our neighbouring states. We compare our kode ki roti with kachoris of UP and immediately feel inferior. Which is just a shame because I cannot even tell you how exquisite hot kode ki roti feels when dipped with some fresh homemade butter. I decided to look into the fermentation of my state and realised that there was so much material here that has yet to be researched and I found out so many different types of alcohols (Chaang, Jann, Soor) and sausages ( Jamma, Arjia, Chartashya) that I really cannot wait to travel and taste, and maybe make some at home.

For now the easiest Garhwali fermented dish my mom could think of making was Chencheda- one of the easiest yet one the most delicious tangy and sour dish I have tasted in a while. Similar to a Punjabi Kadhi but made with Jhingora instead of Besan. I think I can call it a porridge of sort- I added some red chilli pickle in my bowl with some steaming Chendcheda. Literally one of my new favourite meals.


200g Jhingora (Banyad Millet), Soaked For 4 Hours

1 1/2 tsp Salt / 15g

1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder / 4g

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder / 5g

1/2 Tumeric Powder / 4g

2 Litres Buttermilk

2 tbsp Mustard Oil

1/3 tsp Jeera / 3g

3 Dried red Chillies

1/3 tsp Methi / 3g


2tsp oil

1/2 Medium Onion, Sliced/ 40g


  1. Soak Jhingora for four hours.

  2. In a large container, add salt, red chilli powder, corriander powder, tumeric powder along with 2 litres of butter milk and whisk it well till all of the ingredients are combined. Add in the jhingora and mix it again. Set aside.

  3. Now take a big kadhai, heat it in high flame and add mustard oil, add jeera, methi and dried red chillies till it splatters. Now gently pour in your jhingora mixure. Cook it in high heat heat till it boils for 10 minutes. Keep stiring it. If it starts to thicken too much, you can add some water to it. Turn the flame to sim and heat it for another 20 minutes with a lid on top.

  4. You can add a tadka on top but thats optional since the orginal recipe does not call for it. Take a small pan heat oil over high heat, add some sliced onions till they are brown and pour it over the chencheda.

#fermentation #GarhwaliFood #IndianFood #jhingorekachencheda

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